Shalom Israel - Part 3
A shot of the city of Jaffa
A whippingly windy day turns dark and heavy with rain and reflects our mood as we enter the Yad Vashaem Holocaust Martyr's and Heroes Museum, a must-visit in Jerusalem. Situated on Jerusalem's Mount of Remembrance, Yad Vashem's 45-acre campus includes museums, outdoor monuments, memorials, garden sculptures and world-class research and education centres, all intent on a meaningful and dynamic commemoration of the Holocaust and its victims. We have time only for a quick tour (normally give yourself from one-and-a-half to three hours) of the Holocaust History Museum, which tells the story of the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective, using authentic artifacts including testimonies, photographs, film clips, works of art and music collected by Yad Vashem over the last 50 years.
For the museum, internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, has designed a prism-like triangular structure which penetrates or tunnels through the mountain with both ends dramatically cantilevering into the open air. The route through the museum is marked from the centre and branches into 'chapters' on either side, while maintaining an uninterrupted view between the two ends of the prism. I enter and am enthralled by Living Landscapes a video art display by artist Michal Rovner, being projected onto the triangular wall, using archival film footage and photographs of the Jewish world before the Holocaust. The next 'installation' is a collection of half-burnt photos and personal documents found in the Klooga Concentration camp. At the end, the Hall of Names contains the archives of the names of Jews who perished in the Holocaust. I burst out into the evening light again and a magnificent panoramic view of Jerusalem, and it is as if life is affirming itself and aligning with hope rather than despair.
Image credit: Reuters