Today we spent the afternoon at the Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, it was established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust. What was astonishing about the Yad Vashem is the design. The museum itself is underground, cutting through the hill like a sharp item! The outside long structure is shaped similarly to a triangle.
Inside the museum, there is a long hall and a path that weaves its way through two sides exhibits (small rooms), as we kept moving into the end of the museum, there was a final stop, a huge spacious room called the Hall of Names (apparently this room was visited by many high ranked officials and leaders from all over the world including the president of the United States as it shows on the picture above) This two-story room was filled from the bottom to the top with books bearing testimonial pages of those lost. Looking up, you see a dome covered with faces of victims. Looking down, you see a large hole filled with rock and water.
As we walked outside the triangle, we were amazed by a striking view of Jerusalem, and that itself had a meaning to many Israeli, that this is the future, this view is the a new page of hope, this gorgeous view might remind the people of a better Israel.
Few steps from the Yad Vashem museum, we walked to what is known as the Children’s Memorial a tribute to approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who were murdered during the Holocaust. As we went inside, everything was dark, a windowless building, we found ourselves surrounded by many light/candles (Each light represented one child that were murdered in the Holocaust) we had absolutely no idea, which way we were walking. All what we heard was voices announcing a name, an age and a country as the list of children killed in the Holocaust was read.
In the way out we stopped at another historical place, which was the Mount Herzl, or the mount of remembrance, the site of Israel’s national cemetery and other memorial and educational facilities. It is named for Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism. Mount Herzl was a meaningful experience, it was a great way for us to learn about the foundation of the current state of Israel.
Yad Vashem is seriously one of the most incredible museums I have ever been to. It’s an incredibly moving experience, situated on a huge, beautiful compound, filled with so many remembrance, shapes, and halls, as well as other touches. This place was one of the greatest experiences I had so far at Jerusalem.