Yad Vashem, is the national holocaust museum in Israel. It was constructed as a result of a law that was issued in the Israeli parliament in 1953. There is no other country in the world that built a holocaust museum by law and in addition to that Yad Vashem does not charge admission fees for the visit.
The law of Yad Vashem is not limited only to building a museum but it is also ordering the authorities to build a place of memorial, a place of study and an archive.
The name Yad Vashem is mentioned in the bible (Isaiah. 56,5) meaning, “Memorial and name”.
In 2005, after 10 years of constructions, finally new museum was open to the public. The new museum is designed not only to show and teach the history but to make it a living documentation with thousands of personal items of victims and survivors.
A visit in Yad Vashem is not just another historical museum, you will be able to relate to the history in a personal way. Each visitor and his own way, one can decide, how long to spend in each part of the museum and when to seat down and watch a documentary video.
The museum takes you on a journey along the time line to the most horrible era in the history of humanity, yet you will always be able to look forward and see a big bright window at the end that shows you the capital of the Jewish people- Jerusalem. the architecture is symbolically seeing there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel, there is hope for the Jewish people and the Nazis didn’t win.
The part that I find very emotional is when you start the visit at the museum. You will see a video art of Jewish life in Europe in the 19 century. Many years before Hitler, living their life, happy, smiling, dancing, celebrating holidays and also singing the Tikva- the Jewish anthem. At the end of the museum you will get to the part that takes about the foundation of the state of Israel and you will again hear the Tikva. That is for me an amazing way to close a circle, to never forget, but not to be stuck in the past but to move on to the future.
The visitors should dedicate at least 2 hours just for the indoor museum and another 1 hour for children memorial and the surrounding. Inside the museum its forbidden to take pictures and to carry bags.
Read more: guided tours israel
Author: Yariv Hen, licensed tour guide in Israel
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