Visiting Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem often leads to emotional and unexpected encounters.
We recently received a report of an experience as such. A young woman from the United States shared with us her impressions on a tour of Yad Vashem, and her own personal feelings. At the end she had a very special encounter with a Jewish woman. A small excerpt of her experience is posted here:
“We proceeded into the museum complex. The rooms were in chronological order, beginning with the seeds sown for anti-Semitism such as newspaper clippings of cartoons mocking Jews. At every turn I made in the Z shaped rooms, I was met with displays of family portraits, beautiful families, with a description about their lives, occupations, children’s ages and then date when they were murdered at a death camp.
As I turned away, I literally stumbled onto a reconstructed brick road. It was pulling me into the horror. I tried to swallow my pain as my heart felt like it was swelling with grief. There was a video playing in every section. Old women and men were telling the stories of how they escaped or hid as they listened helplessly to the cries of their mothers, brothers, and sisters who were taken away – never to return or be seen again.
A Nazi officer’s room was set up with a desk, typewriter, and other furniture, demonstrating how if would feel to approach him and be questioned, not knowing whether your fate from this awful interview would be life or death.”
You can read the detailed version of this woman’s extraordinary encounter and reconciliation in our Israel Today April 2013 issue.
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