Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation
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Sobering & Moving Visit to Memorial
This memorial to the 200,000 people deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, is on the site of a former morgue and built underground behind Notre Dame. It was designed by French modernist architect Georges-Henri Pingusson and opened in 1962. Pingusson intended that its long and narrow subterranean space convey a feeling of claustrophobia. A narrow chamber containing 200,000 crystals with light shining through are meant to symbolize each of the deportees who died in the concentration camps; at the end of the tunnel is a single bright light. A stark iron gate overlooking the Seine enhances the feeling of entrapment.
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