Three young sisters were brutally seized from the safety of their home and dropped into the horrors of the extermination camp: Auschwitz-Birkenau. When Livia and Cibi were taken in 1942, Cibi told Livia during transport that: “we will eat stones and we will eat nails, but we will live.” Magda, who had been ill in hospital, was with their aunt and cousins in Humany. She was taken to Auschwitz just before the end of the war where the sisters were reunited. The Nazis stripped the sisters of their identity and their humanity through years of hard labour, illness, torture, and overwhelming loss. But despite the evil and cruelty, the purity of their love for each other remained untainted by the hatred that brought them to the camps. The strength from that love kept them alive, each sister relying on the other to be the reason to live through each day. The three sisters used that bond to create new lives in the new State of Israel. They married, raised children, enjoy grandchildren, and now, the joy of great-grandchildren. Three generations, from three sisters, each embracing that love, each knowing that their very existence represents a defiant victory against the Nazis.
The Three Sisters was created in homage to the sisters’ devotion to and love for each other and honours all survivors of the Holocaust who went on to lead honourable and fruitful lives. It is dedicated to Livia (Meller) Ravek, Magda (Meller) Gutman, and Cibi (Meller) Lang, the Ravek’s cherished and dear mother, mother-in-law, and aunts. It also serves as a memorial to the 6,000,000 Jews murdered by the Nazis (scattered roses with thorns on base) and the 1,500,000 children (12 roses on second tier without thorns). The roughly cast numbers on three sides are the numbers that were tattooed on their arms. The three triangles that make up the Star of David evoke the Jewish diaspora come together in Israel, their spiritual land and home. It is a story told in clear glass – a declaration of hope, made bare and transparent for all to see.