Rehovot, Israel: At the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, we visited labs, the Weizmann house and a Holocaust Memorial—an unexpected addition to the tour.
The Weizmann Institute of Science is a public research university and offers only graduate study. It was established in 1934 by Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), Zionist leader, Israeli statesman, and first president of the newly-formed state of Israel. He was also a biochemist, who developed the acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation process that produces acetone. His acetone production method was of great importance for the British war industry in WW1.
The Memorial to the Holocaust Plaza was designed by Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan and completed in 1972. It is a memorial plaza to victims of the Holocaust on the campus of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The centerpiece is a bronze and stone sculpture representing a torah scroll that has been split in half (very symbolic for Jewish people). On the walls surrounding the plaza are inscriptions with names and quotes. One of them is by Weizmann (1946), which says “I feel sure that science will bring to this land both peace and a renewal of its youth, creating here the springs of a new spiritual and material life.” It’s a great compliment to science, but a little ironic really when one considers what has happened in this part of the world since then.
The Memorial Plaza is a lovely tranquil area on campus, surrounded by trees and gardens. A place for some quiet reflection.
Sculptor Dani Karavan (born 1930) is best known for site-specific memorials and monuments that merge into the environment, such as this one. Another is one (2005) depicting the foundation of the Regensburg Synagogue that was destroyed during a pogrom in 1519.