Friday, January 23, 2009

Jerusalem Holocaust Museum

Last Sunday, we visted the Jerusalem Holocaust museum and the International School for Holocaust Studies. I have been to a few Holocaust Museums, but this one had a different feel to it, mainly because almost every Jew in Jerusalem has some direct connection back to the Holocaust - either they or someone in their family survived it. Our guide told us that pre-Holocaust there were about 18 million Jews in the world, and afteward, after the systematic slaughter of 6 million, there were 12 million. Today, there are only just over 13 million Jews, meaning that the population STILL has not recovered its numbers. Just terrible.

However, there was a very intersting Zionist twist at the end of the museum - a view looking over Jerusalem. One of the main reasons that Israel became a state was that the United Nations wanted to create a place for the Jews after the Holocaust - they had been persecuted and murdered all over Europe, Western Asia, and the United States had closed its doors to massive immigration - they literally had no place to go.

So they were given a place in Palestine. But the Palestinians weren't exactly 'asked' if this was ok.... enter conflict that still rages today.
At the beginning of our tour, we were able to go into a room, put on head phones, and hear experts answer questions we could choose about the Holocaust. It was very interesting.
Here's a Holocaust surviver anwering my question about why the Allies didn't bomb the death camps:

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Jennifer said...

did you ask if the holocaust could happen without hitler? im so intersted!

Samantha Williams said...

What was his answer?! I'd be very interested to know. Even though I'm happy in SA, I'm so jealous of your continued hunger for exploration and knowledge. Go on, girl, keep looking! I'm also jealous of your frequent blogging--I just don't have it in me to do so. But I sure wish I did! Much love and warm thoughts from South Africa.