Thursday, May 1, 2008

Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, today. The sirens sounded their mournful wail for two long minutes and everyone in Israel stopped and stood quietly in inner silence. A somber day.
 The main ceremonies were at Yad Vashem which is a vast 45-acre complex of museums, outdoor monuments, exhibition halls, archives, a library and other resource centers.

"Cattle car, a memorial to the deportees" by Moshe Safdie.
The Yad Vashem website says, "The cattle-car is perched on the edge of the severed track, paused on the brink of the abyss. Although symbolizing the journey towards annihilation and oblivion, facing as it does the hills of Jerusalem the memorial also conveys the hope and the gift of life of the State of Israel and Jerusalem."

The skylight of the long, triangular shaped Holocaust History Museum. Most of it is underground, inside the mountain.
 After walking through it for hours, trying to comprehend the horrors of the killing of six million Jews, one finally comes to the end of the tunnel.

And suddenly you emerge into the light!
Spread out below the open terrace in panoramic grandeur are the Jerusalem Hills.
 Our own country!
The memory of the victims and the sweat of the new immigrant survivors went into the building of Israel and independence and statehood was achieved in 1948.
We have come a long way.


Musings said...

This is truly a part of history that must never be forgotten and never repeated.

Kris McCracken said...

I would imagine that this day is a sombre one for the state of Israel. I wasn't aware that there was an official day at all, so thanks very much for enlightening me, and thank you for the link. It looks like would be a tremendous (if that is the right word) place to visit.

Suzanne said...

May their memories be for a blessing.

USelaine said...

Since returning from eastern Europe, I've gone to several observances arranged by the area shul. It's almost too difficult to do, depending on what is involved.

Dina said...

Thanks, folks, for viewing a not-easy post.
Musings and Suzanne--Amen to your words.
Elaine--Oh yeah, I know what you mean. So difficult.
Kris--You're right. Yad Vashem is well done and very effective. Foreign dignitaries are always taken there to begin their state visit.
Actually Yom Hashoah is marked in many countries. An interfaith service was held at a church in Sydney--see pics and liturgy here.