Yad Vashem – Jerusalem

Yad Vashem in Hebrew means “a memorial and a name,” but is better known as the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. The museum is dedicated to the 6 million killed in the Holocaust and is located at the base of Mt. Herzel, but on the Mount of Remembrance and overlooks some of Jerusalem. Yad Vashem is my favorite museum in Israel. Its memorials and exhibits are more powerful than any historical artifact or painting.

We started through the main gate (1st photo), designed to look like the entrance to a concentration camp and continued down into the main complex (seen in photos 2 and 3). The Historical Museum (photos 4,5,6) outline the entire Holocaust, from its antisemitic origins to the Allied liberation of the concentration camps. The Historical Museum had a more comprehensive and detailed exhibit of the Holocaust than I even thought possible: photographs, trinkets, testimonies, and relics captured everything that not only the Jews, but also the Nazis and locals felt at that time. The last exhibit of the Historical Museum is the impressive Hall of Names (9th photo), which tries to chronicle every individual killed during the Holocaust. The hall is a circle, on its walls are books with the name and details of the deceased. In the middle is a conical viewing point, on its ceiling are the photographs of the Holocaust victims, and underneath is a deep well.

Leaving the Historical Museum we entered the Synagogue (10th, 11th photos), made up of relics and pieces of synagogues destroyed during the Nazi occupation. Next we visited the Hall of Remembrance (13th photo). Inside on the floor are the names of all the Nazi concentration camps around an eternal flame. Near the Hall of Remembrance is the Monument to Jewish Soldiers and Partisans who fought against Nazi Germany (photos 14, 15), and the Pillar of Heroism (16th photo) commemorating the Jewish resistance. Two art museums (17th photo) showcase art done during and about the Holocaust, and lead into the Warsaw Ghetto Square (18th photo), and the Wall of Remembrance (19th, 20th photos). The last memorial, the Children’s Memorial (21st photo), was by far the most haunting. The interior of the memorial is made of two rooms, both completely dark except for the back lit illuminated photos of child victims, and another room filled with tiny candles and mirrors position to look like an infinite sea of candles. A voice inside the memorial continually reads the names, ages, and countries of young victims. The Avenue of the Righteous Among Nations (last photo), leads to the exit. Each tree on this avenue commemorates a non-Jewish European individual or family who aided Jews (Oskar Schindler’s is near the front).

If you come to Israel and visit Yad Vashem, do it at the end of your day because you won’t be in the mood to do much more.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on November 5, 2010.

One Response to “Yad Vashem – Jerusalem”

  1. […] photos above are from my visit to Yad Vashem in […]

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