Yad Vashem Jerusalem
Murder of Millions
To have any understanding of Yad Vashem Jerusalem it is important to know the meaning of holocaust. The word holocaust means a sacrifice entirely consumed by fire.
This word is used to describe the murder of millions of people during the Second World War by the National Socialist regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler. It is especially associated with the more than seven million Jewish individuals who had their lives cut short. The word goes further in its meaning regarding the Jewish victims. This is because the aim of the Nazis was to wipe out the Jews as a nation, They referred to it as the final solution.
Faces, Names and Mirrors
The statistics of the Holocaust are hard to grasp. There was no distinction made between men, women and children. The only requirement was being Jewish. Shockingly 1.5 million innocent Jewish children were murdered. The detail of the suffering endured is a shameful disgrace. One of the ways the people of Israel have chosen to remember these martyrs in a remarkable way. They built Yad Vashem Jerusalem. This complex is made up of archives, museums and libraries. It is a modern complex and it is full of life.
Yad Vashem Jerusalem has gone to great lengths to provide accurate information. One way they have done this is to provide more than statistics. They have recovered many names of the murdered Jews. The children’s memorial is placed underground. Visitors see the names but they also see the faces of the children. Each child is tenderly presented by name, age and hometown. Visitors are left with an image of candles in the darkness. Mirrors multiply the candles into hundreds of flickering lights.
More Than a Number
The memorial complex has been open to the public since 1957. Yad Vashem wants people to remember how wrong the holocaust was. Their aim is for it never to happen again. They do this by: commemoration, documentation, education and research.
There are still millions of names that are unknown. Yad Vashem needs the help of people around the world to come forward. Any person, Jewish or non-Jewish can provide information to the researchers. Their goal is to find the name of each person who was killed. Visitors will find Yad Vashem at Har Hazikaron (the Mount of Remembrance).
The complex of Yad Vashem also houses a large collection of Holocaust art. These are pieces that were created during the Holocaust about ten thousand pieces of art. These works are for the visitor as well as for academic research.
Yad Vashem uses the art to tell the story of the individual artist. Many were physically weakened by overwork, hunger, illness and abuse. Their art is their souls touching the souls of the living.
Research for Understanding
Travelers to the city of Jerusalem can visit the complex. The subject is not easy. Yad Vashem has researched thousands of documents and stories. They have arranged the information to help the visitor understand the events that took place. The complex is made up as follows:
Hall of Names
International School for Holocaust Studies
International Institute for Holocaust Research
Yad Vashem Studies
Yad Vashem Publications
New Holocaust History Museum
New Holocaust Art Museum
Hall of Remembrance
Valley of the Communities
Avenue and Garden of the Righteous Amongst the Nations
Memorial to the Deportees
Where the Heart Is
The new synagogue at Yad Vashem was designed by Moshe Safdie. This is the quiet place where visitors can say Kaddish for their dear ones. Displayed in this synagogue are 31 items collected from Europe. All these items of Judaica were used in the once thriving Jewish communities before the Holocaust. Four arks were discovered. One of them was in use as a common cupboard. These items were carefully brought from Romania as well as a threadbare Torah Ark curtain.
Other ritual articles were found and brought from Transnistria, Germany, Slovakia, Greece and Poland.
These 31 objects are proof of a Jewish past. A memorial such as Yad Vashem makes it easier to understand the history of the Jewish people. A story of resilience can benefit any individual. It is the hope of Yad Vashem to remind individuals that there is always a choice. Many international travelers found their visit to Yad Vashem a very moving experience.
The Practicalities of Life
The complex can be visited Sunday to Thursday 09.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Friday and Eve of Jewish Holidays 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays
Bus Routes: 13, 17, 17a, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 39, 99
Visitors are welcome and more information can be obtained from:
Yad Vashem Jerusalem Web Site
Tel (972) 2 6443802
There are visitors who spend a lot of time at Yad Vashem. The complex provides the services of a kosher cafeteria for the comfort of its visitors. There is also a resource center where books can be purchased.
Yad Vashem Jerusalem, A visit to this memorial is a mark of respect to those who perished.
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