The haunting tales of the Holocaust fill the walls of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Everything on the 45-acre campus reminds visitors of the horrors caused from the Holocaust, including the 2,300 trees planted around the museum that each have a name attached honoring a non-Jewish person who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. Down the lane of trees into the main museum, I spotted Oskar Schindler’s name next to one of the trees, which gave the famous German the title of “Righteous among the Nations.”
The museum itself serves as a symbol of the Nazi oppression, since its stark triangle-shaped concrete walls appear to grow narrower throughout the museum. Powerful photographic images of Jewish oppression, personal effects and videos narrated by survivors gave a personal touch to the unbelievable atrocities committed by many Nazis.
The museum progressed chronologically, making many of the displays more heart wrenching as the Holocaust genocide picked up steam near the end of the war. I found the end of the museum especially moving in the cone-shaped Hall of Names, which held 600 photographs of those killed in the Holocaust surrounded by walls filled with names of the murdered.
“We are trying to recover the names of every person murdered in the Holocaust,” said Susanna Kokkonen, director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem International Relations Division. “We have 3.6 million individual names. We are trying to get as close to the six million names as we can.”
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