An exhibition opening at Waitangi on Saturday aims to ensure the 1.5 million Jewish children killed by Nazis during World War II are not forgotten.
The Children's Holocaust Memorial, created by a Wellington school over a period of more than 10 years, was also designed to remember the uncounted thousands of Romani children, children with disabilities, Polish children and children in the occupied Soviet Union also killed by the Nazis and their collaborators.
In 2008 principal Justine Hitchcock and students at Moriah College, a Jewish school in Wellington, started collecting buttons in an attempt to illustrate the vast number of children killed between 1939 and 1945.
Each of the 1.5 million buttons they collected from around the world represents one child.
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The memorial comprises 12 display tables of increasing size — the biggest holds almost one million buttons — and 18 portraits of children from different countries who suffered similar fates during the Holocaust.
Treaty Grounds chief executive Greg McManus said the exhibition supported the Waitangi National Trust's key mission around education.
"The Holocaust was one of the most tragic events in human history and we're honoured the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand has chosen Waitangi as a venue for the memorial. Aotearoa has become home to many descendants of those who perished in the Holocaust, and those who survived it, and it's important their stories are told and their lives remembered."
The exhibition is being held at the Treaty Grounds' Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi and opens to the public today.
It will be open until December 5. Covid alert level rules apply.