Have you ever found yourself in Atlantic City, a bagful of saltwater taffy in hand, wishing there was someplace more somber to visit than Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum? If so, then this one’s for you: a group of locals are busy planning a Holocaust museum to be placed right smack on the main boardwalk. The committee’s VP puts their reasoning this way: “Why not?” Indeed! Local politicians have already donated the site, and architects Daniel Libeskind and Richard Meier have agreed to judge a design competition for the building, with guidelines including that the museum should “not be stark” and “blend in with the motif of the boardwalk.”
One visitor who happened upon a Holocaust Remembrance Day event recently held on the future site approved of the plan. “As to whether a memorial fits in with the scene overlooking the Atlantic,” says the Jerusalem Post, he replied “Where did the Holocaust fit in with life?” Mayor Lorenzo T. Langford sees the location more pragmatically: “The boardwalk is the most densely traveled pedestrian thoroughfare in the nation. If you’re going to have a memorial, there’s no better place to have it.” If nothing else, down on their luck gamblers will have a reminder that it could always be worse.
Hadara Graubart was formerly a writer and editor for Tablet Magazine.