In 2013 I was given the awesome opportunity to stay in Israel for 15 days as a school trip.
Whilst on our trip we visited the The Holocaust History Museum – Yad Vashem. The museum was the place that cause the most emotion for me, although I don’t know of any relations who were effected by the NAZI genocide of jewish people it was the first time I felt like I had a connection to it. Being in the homeland of the Jewish people whose family were directly effected by this tragedy you would feel that it meant something so much more to them compared to far away New Zealanders.
The Museum architecturally was beautiful and their creative visualisation of data made the lives lost seem real, tragic and beautiful at the same time.
“A decade in the making, the Holocaust History Museum combines the best of Yad Vashem’s expertise, resources and state-of-the-art exhibits to take Holocaust remembrance well into the 21st century.”
Unfortunately you are unable to take photos in the museum but you may have seen the photo of many shoes of victim that were taken from a concentration camp, there are thousands of shoes all under a glass flour as you first walk in, it was a shock as it wasn’t the first thing you saw until you looked down, it shocked me and I wanted to get off that part of the floor asap as I felt like I was standing on peoples personal belonging only to remember that these people no longer live.
However the most beautiful visual collection of data in my opinion was the childrens memorial hall of mirrors pictured below.
Designed by architect Moshe Safdie.
This is a seperate building to the museum and is internal filled with mirrors and black flooring. One candle is lit and is reflected thousands and thousands of times by the mirrors to create a scene that resembles a stary night sky. This was to represent the amount of childrens lives alone that were taken during the holocaust. A speaker continually reads out names of children and their age, the list of victims names (1.5 million children) takes days to read out.
“This unique memorial, hollowed out from an underground cavern, is a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who were murdered during the Holocaust. Memorial candles, a customary Jewish tradition to remember the dead, are reflected infinitely in a dark and somber space, creating the impression of millions of stars shining in the firmament. The names of murdered children, their ages and countries of origin can be heard in the background.”
I enjoyed this exhibition especially because the tragedy of the event is depicted so beautifully, it is peaceful and a space for remembrance rather than causing anger to build up.