Sing: We Shall Overcome
Yad Vashem (translation: everlasting name) is Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and is dedicated to documenting the story of the six million victims and conveying their legacy to future generations. It is located on a hillside of Mount Herzl, Jerusalem’s Mount of Remembrance. Tree-lined walkways lead visitors through a complex combination of museums, outdoor monuments, exhibition halls, an archive, a library, and other resource centers extending over forty-five acres.
The Holocaust History Museum
The first thing you notice is the top of this museum’s long central gallery, a triangular skylight which keeps this connecting center filled with light. Ten underground galleries arranged on alternating sides of the central gallery tell the story of the Shoah (Holocaust) from the point of view of individual Jews. The chronological and thematic narrative is punctuated by a look into the worlds of Jews who lived – and died – under the Nazis and their collaborators. The exhibits incorporate a wide variety of original artifacts, testimonies, photographs, documentation, art, multimedia, and video art. After being immersed in the darkness of the human depravity in each gallery the alternating return to the light of the central gallery reminds us that, despite the inhuman cruelty that continues to live in our world, faith, hope, and love abide.
The Children’s Memorial; Sing: Jesus Loves Me
This unique memorial, hollowed out from an underground cavern, is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust. Walking through the memorial, we heard the names of murdered children, their ages and countries of origin in the background. Before, behind, and above us we beheld a million and a half points of light moving as we moved reminding us of what we have lost. This stirring memorial was designed by architect Moshe Safdie.
Any trip to Israel must include at least a half-day visit to Yad Vashem.