"And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a "yad vashem")... that shall not be cut off." Isaiah 56 v5

A visit to Yad Vashem

The main museum has been rebuilt in the last few years.

It conveys the story very powerfully, and a few photographs can do no more than encourage one to visit and see for oneself.

The main exhibition is housed in a triangular section concrete building, that intersects the ridge through which it is built and along which runs Avenue of the Righteous among the Nations.

The entrance takes you in to the end which hangs over the abyss, which shows Jewish life and culture in pre-war Europe.

Once inside, the museum slopes downwards and gets narrower, as it shows how the degradation, de-humanisation and persecution of the Jews was progressing towards the Shoah.

The exhibits are mainly in the side chambers through which one progresses.

One early room houses terrible evidence of how Christian Anti-Semitism laid the foundations for what was about to happen.

The journey ends with the museum rising and widening until it suddenly opens out over the pleasant, present day landscape of Israel.

The memorial to the children is in the form of a tomb.  The entrance, shown here, has cut off reinforcing rods sticking up - speaking of children cut off before they could grow up.  The unfinished columns tell the same story.

The impact of the interior cannot be conveyed, but has to be experienced. 

The names, ages and home towns of the murdered children are read out.

 Five candles burn in the darkness, but their multiple reflections give one the impression of being in the tomb with the spirits of the one and a half million children who were murdered.

This is the memorial to Janus Korczak, (pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, author, doctor and educator) Korczak cared for orphaned Jewish children and went with them from the ghetto, to the concentration camp, and into the gas chamber; rather than terrify them with the knowledge of what was to happen to them.

See a fuller story at wikipedia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new item in the Avenue of the Righteous among the Nations is this red granite statue to the Unknown Righteous Among the Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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