Although it was unplanned, it is fitting that my new friend Colleen and I visited Yad Vashem this morning, on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust; it also recognizes non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.
Rather than words, here are some images from the visit. The first is a collection of victim’s shoes from the Majdanek death camp. The second is from the Hall of Names; since no cemeteries, headstones, or traces were left to mark the loss of the six million Holocaust victims, the Hall of Names is the Jewish People’s memorial to each Jew murdered in the Holocaust. The final is the Children’s Memorial, hollowed out from an underground cavern, a tribute to the approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who were murdered during the Holocause.
On this day of remembrance, it is good to keep in mind the words on one of the plaques at Yad Vashem: “A country is not just what it does – it is also what it tolerates. (Kurt Tucholsky, German essayist of Jewish origin)