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Desert Holocaust Memorial

This sobering memorial stands in dark contrast to the sunny light-filled city in which it stands. 

The Desert Holocaust Memorial was created by the sculptor Dee Clements, and officially opened in 1995. The work is immersive and sobering, vividly retelling the story of the Holocaust through friezes and statues. 

On approaching the memorial site, you’ll first see a ring of trees encircling it, which represent life outside of the Nazi concentration camps. Walking into the memorial area, the cobbled path and replica camp-lights echo those of the infamous death camp, Auschwitz.

The centerpiece of Clements’ memorial is an assemblage of seven larger than life figures, representing a demographic cross-section of the Jewish people who were rounded up by the Nazis. Some are defiant, while others look defeated. They stand on a doubled-tiered Star of David carved from granite, upon which is carved a European map marking out the 19 concentration camps.

Take the time to study the 11 bronze relief plaques surrounding the statues. These snapshots depict the story of the Holocaust: mass transportations by train, the dehumanizing camps, the gas chambers and, eventually, liberation by Allied troops. 

Children are welcome, if they are old enough to be respectful. Make sure they understand that this memorial is not a play park.

The Desert Holocaust Memorial is situated in Civic Center Park in Palm Desert, 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of downtown Palm Springs. The memorial’s surrounding park with its waterways, picnic areas and playground provides the perfect place to unwind before heading back into Palm Springs.

The park is open daily and entry is free.


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Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott CA $259
Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott

Hotel Paseo, Autograph Collection by Marriott

45-400 Larkspur Lane, Palm Desert, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the shopping district, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Gardens on El Paseo and McCallum Theatre. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and River are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa CA $220
    Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

    Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

    41-000 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Set in Rancho Mirage, this family-friendly resort is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from McCallum Theatre.

      Gorgeous Poolside Home in Palm Desert by RedAwning
      Gorgeous Poolside Home in Palm Desert by RedAwning

      Gorgeous Poolside Home in Palm Desert by RedAwning

      73835 Fred Waring Dr, Palm Desert, CA
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Palm Desert, this golf holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Civic Center Park and San Jacinto Mountains. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.

        Villa Kensley - Marvelous 3 Bedrooms
        Villa Kensley - Marvelous 3 Bedrooms

        Villa Kensley - Marvelous 3 Bedrooms

        Rutledge Way, Palm Desert 92260, Palm Desert, CA
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Palm Desert, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Civic Center Park and San Jacinto Mountains. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and Desert Willow Golf Resort are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Sleek and Modern Desert Oasis With Salt Water Pool and Hot Tub by El Paseo
          Sleek and Modern Desert Oasis With Salt Water Pool and Hot Tub by El Paseo

          Sleek and Modern Desert Oasis With Salt Water Pool and Hot Tub by El Paseo

          44811 San Clemente Cir, Palm Desert, CA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Palm Desert, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of El Paseo Shopping District and San Jacinto Mountains. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

            Private House With Large Pool & Separate Casita
            Private House With Large Pool & Separate Casita

            Private House With Large Pool & Separate Casita

            44700 San Antonio Cir, Palm Desert, CA
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Palm Desert, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palms to Pines Plaza West Shopping Center and San Jacinto Mountains. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) away.

              Palm Desert Decadence
              Palm Desert Decadence

              Palm Desert Decadence

              44565 San Jose Ave, Palm Desert, CA
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Palm Desert, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of El Paseo Shopping District and San Jacinto Mountains. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away.

                Bright, Open and Relaxing Monterey CC Condo
                Bright, Open and Relaxing Monterey CC Condo

                Bright, Open and Relaxing Monterey CC Condo

                264 Castellana S, Palm Desert, CA
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the mountains, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Civic Center Park and San Jacinto Mountains. Desert Willow Golf Resort is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.