Our Arts Story: Women of the Shoah

She Won't Take Off Her Boots Monument

North Carolina’s Monument and Memorial to the women and children of the Holocaust, “She Wouldn’t Take Off Her Boots,” will be unveiled at Carolyn’s Garden in LeBauer Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Yom HaShoah, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, coinciding with the commemoration of Holocaust (Shoah) Memorial Day.

The dedication of the Monument and Memorial site will introduce the community to this visionary gathering and learning place while honoring the strength and resilience of all women. Enlightening our community and state, the Monument and Memorial will stand as a powerful statement against antisemitism and racism, celebrating that which brings us together as a people.

Sculpted by Greensboro artist Victoria Milstein, the bronze sculpture is inspired by a photo of four Jewish women and a child taken moments before they were murdered as part of a mass execution of Jews conducted by Nazis in Liepaja, Latvia in December of 1941.

Designed as an interactive work of art, the sculpted figures of the women will face a camera which will enable the visitor to become a witness to the atrocity and at the same time feel the women’s humanity — the opposite of what the photographer intended to document.

The Memorial site will also include a self-guided tour empowering the community to learn about the Holocaust, using public art and placemaking as an educational vehicle for social justice.

As Eli Wiesel said, “the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.” The Monument is named in honor of two brave mothers, Eva Weiner and Sofia Guralnik, who saved their children — Greensboro residents Shelly Weiner and Raya Kizhnerman — by hiding them in Nazi- occupied Poland for two years.

The Monument is funded through public and private donations and the project appreciates the support of the

state of North Carolina, the City of Greensboro and the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, among many others. It will serve as a resource and a tool to carry out North Carolina’s Gizella Abramson Holocaust Education Act, which requires the State Board of Education to include instruction of the Holocaust and genocide.

The Monument’s self-guided on-site educational tour will be powered by QR code technology and will inform visitors about the Holocaust, the specific incident captured by the photo of the mass murder that inspired the monument, and the story of women and children of the Shoah and their unique experiences. It will feature stories by and about people with connections to Greensboro that endured the Holocaust and have told their stories for all to hear.

The Monument will serve as a vehicle for educational enlightenment in Greensboro and for the region for generations to come. For more information, please contact Women of the Shoah, the non-profit that has planned and coordinated all aspects of this Holocaust Memorial and Monument, at womenoftheshoahjp.org.

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Women of the Shoah-Jewish Placemaking

517 S Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27406
(631) 897-7236