In Vienna’s Judenplatz stands a construction of steel and concrete that takes the shape of a library turned inside out. Its walls are filled with books, but the spines are all turned inward, so the knowledge they contain is inaccessible. It bears two large doors, but these do not open.
It is a memorial to the Austrian victims of the Holocaust. Artist Rachel Whiteread said, “It was clear to me from the outset that my proposal had to be simple, monumental, poetic and non-literal. I am a sculptor: not a person of words but of images and forms.”
At the unveiling, Simon Wiesenthal said, “This monument shouldn’t be beautiful. It must hurt.”