Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Underground Prisoners Museum

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The Underground Prisoners Museum, in Jerusalem's Russian Compound, is introduced for ABC Wednesday's letter U.

Hundreds of both Jewish and Arab prisoners were held here by the British police from 1920 to 1948, during the British Mandate.

Many of the young fighters in the pre-state Jewish underground movements were jailed and some were executed.
Everything from cells to workshops to synagogue is set up as it originally was.
Anyone who wants to understand and feel our history should really take a guided tour in this place.
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20 comments:

Francisca said...

If prison walls could talk... it chills me to think of it.

VP said...

I have seen this! But it looks like they have spruced it up in the years...

photowannabe said...

This is very chiling to me too.
Man's inhumanity to man is something I just can't understand.

Dina said...

Francisca and Photowannabe, yeah, I hope I can get back to writing some happy posts soon.

VP, you took yourself to all the off-the-beaten-path places, I see.
Yes, it is really spruced up now. In 1991 the building was transferred to the Ministry of Defense which restored the prison and turned it into a museum. Groups of young soldiers are brought here on guided tours as part of their learning the history of the country.

Roger Owen Green said...

an UNPLEASANT piece of history, to say the least.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

Will mankind ever learn???

Hels said...

I am a passionate Anglophile, but some parts of British history were horribly oppressive. Thankfully this gaol will remind us.

Tarun Mitra said...

Unpleasant history it is but lessons should never be forgotten

Petrea said...

This is a story I've never heard before. I echo what Francisca said.

Pietro said...

I fully agree with photowannabe.

Dina, have you forgotten my blog?????

Pietro said...

Dina, I also am a bit busy and not always I can write a comment on your interesting posts, but I follow almost daily your nice blog.

Jedediah said...

It looks to be an oppressive place. I've been to the Gestapo prison in Cologne, it had a similar chilling look.

Dina said...

Dear readers, OK, I see this place needs a few more posts.
Please don't get the idea that the British were cruel beasts. They were just trying to keep law and order, a hard task in the Middle East. Remember that the Jewish underground groups, like the Irgun and Etzel, were bombing places where the British were headquartered (e.g. the King David Hotel) in order to end the Mandate and get an independent state. Brits were being killed.
I'm not saying the British police were right in hanging our boys, but they had to have jails.

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

It adds to the complicated history that I am only starting to understand. I'm always struck by how much goes on below the earth's surface (mining, this prison, deep sea diving)!

Cheryl said...

That second shot, besides being stunning, is the one that captures the essence of what you're conveying.

A sad entry for U yet necessary. Lest we ever forget.

mrsnesbitt said...

Britain/England has a past - which we tend to forget at times. As was once said "Let he who is without sin"
Thanks so much for your thought provoking contributions to ABC Wednesday - always appreciated
Denise
ABC Team

JM said...

It must be really interesting having a tour there.

helenmac said...

Such a complicated issue: law and order v. people's desire for their own country or for a new government. It is an old and long story. I hope that someday we will learn that torturing and/or killing as a deterrent does not work.

Jingle said...

love your imagination,
how haunting it is to think about talking prison walls...

cool take.

Kay said...

What a sad place. There's so much history we don't know.