Jewish leaders are not unaware of the irony of homeless Baltimoreans congregating at the site of the Holocaust Memorial, despite the discomfort it causes some visitors. As Rabbi Murray Saltzman put it, during the time of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jewish people were homeless. Moreover, here is a monument to the human tragedy of the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews in Europe, visited daily by the city's most disadvantaged citizens, flotsam of a modern human tragedy of disregard in an economy which has no use for them.
Initially, many Jews had wanted the memorial to be located in Northwest Baltimore, center of the city's Jewish population. Municipal officials provided a city block adjacent to the Community College of Baltimore, however, putting the site a short walk from the Inner Harbor and offering non-Jews a chance to learn about the Holocaust.
Such learning became easier when, three years ago, the Baltimore Jewish Council added a sculpture of Holocaust victims consumed by flames. According to Art Abramson, executive director of the council, an explanatory plaque may also be added.