Tuesday, 3 July 2012

ABC Wednesday, Y of Yad Vashem

Before I came to Israel Dina asked me what I wanted to see in Jerusalem. I wanted to see a lot of sights,  but please not  Yad Vashem, because I know what happened because of all the documentaries and movies I had seen on TV, and I had been in a concentration camp myself.( A Japanese camp in Java in WWII.) It doesn't mean that I don't think Yad Vashem is not important. On the contrary: every body who can face the horrors of the German camps should go and visit it.
 “And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a “yad vashem”)... that shall not be cut off.”
(Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5)

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by an act of the Israeli Knesset. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has been entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period, preserving the memory and story of each of the six million victims, and imparting the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come through its archives, library, school, museums and recognition of the Righteous Among the Nations. Located on Har Hazikaron, the Mount of Remembrance, in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem is a vast, sprawling complex of tree-studded walkways leading to museums, exhibits, archives, monuments, sculptures, and memorials.

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.We started round 10 of the fascinating meme of ABC. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar . This week we are looking for words beginning with Y.

Cloudia from Comfort Spiral wrote about General Eisenhower's feelings when he saw the work of the Nazis in the concentration camps. See http://comfortspiral.blogspot.com  of June 19th.

" On April 4, 1945, elements of
 the United States Army
captured the Ohrdruf concentration camp 

. . . .. Bodies were piled 
throughout the camp. 
 There was evidence everywhere 
of systematic butchery. 

Many of the mounds of
 dead bodies were still smoldering
 from failed attempts
 by the departing SS guards 
to burn them. 

By that time, Buchenwald itself
 had been captured.

Eisenhower ordered 
every American soldier in the area 
who was not on the front lines 
to visit Ohrdruf and Buchenwald.


Jenn Jilks said...

It is horrifying what was done. I just wish humans would learn the lessons.
Thoughtful post.
Greetings from Cottage Country!

Miss_Yves said...

Hélas! Si le souvenir de ces horreurs pouvaient éviter qu'elles se renouvellent...Il faut l'espérer.

Mon billet sur les amoureux de Peynet aurait pu servir pour la Sant-Valentin, n'est-ce pas ?

Roger Owen Green said...

What an example of inhumanity, something we manage to replicate far too often.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Sylvia K said...

A heartbreaking post, Wil! I visited several of the prison camps when I lived in Germany years ago, the horror that I saw there has never left me! Roger is right, unfortunately, we do indeed manage to replicate this far too often! Thank you!


The Weaver of Grass said...

Not sure who said, Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn" Wil - but it is as true today as it ever was

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Yad Vashem is a very powerful and heart-wrenching experience. I too don't like going as it just too personal on so many levels. That said it is empowering as well.

Great post! Have a great week.

Berowne said...

Very moving - and well written...

Leslie: said...

I have always had a deep-seated urge to visit places like that - not because I or any of my loved ones experienced it, but because I, as a student of history, feel the need to honour those who suffered so terribly at the hands of butchers. Some day...I am so sorry to hear that you know from experience these horrors.

abcw team

Andy David said...

When I think of all the past and present horrors in this world caused by human hands, I sometimes think we act/have acted worse than animals! So sad. I echo the sentiments of those before me. Thanks for sharing.

You Make My Eyes Beautiful

photowannabe said...

I will NEVER forget Yad Vashem.
Even after 12 years I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach when I remember it and all it stands for.
Its a horrible, haunting and humbling reminder of man's inhumanity to man.
I really can understand your not wanting to visit it.

Paula Scott said...

I think it is a wonderful miracle that you survived it to share the experience-lest we forget (and that would be the greatest crime). But, I totally 'get it' as to why you cannot visit there. There are some emotional memories that we would rather not stir up again (and shouldn't).

Anonymous said...

and yet...there are people who deny this ever happened, and their followers believe them. that is sickening!!

yoga teacher limerick

Dianne said...

A very sombre reminder of what happened and I guess what can happen .... so difficult to comprehend.

Vicki Lane said...

A fine post -- and what a powerful piece of sculpture you've pictured.

Kay said...

I wish man could learn from that horrifying, shameful past and not repeat the same errors. Sigh....

Luna Miranda said...

i have goosebumps reading about Yad Vashem. i hope we will never forget.

Arkansas Patti said...

I would be torn about seeing that place also. The horror is too much for the mind but we must know and never repeat that lowest point in human nature.
Did not know that about Eisenhower. It would certainly make the troops know what they were fighting for.

chubskulit said...

So sad but true, inhumanity existed since Christ's time.

Y is for...
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Vagabonde said...

Quel endroit impressionant. Il faut que le monde entier n’oublie jamais les horreurs du passé pour ne pas les commetre au futur.

Black Jack's Carol said...

There are some aspects of humanity so horrific, to face them is to instil pain in our souls. I took a graduate course in holocaust literature and began to understand the enormous need to testify, even if on scraps of paper that had only a small chance of being found. You didn't visit Yad Vashem, but surely, you answered that need to bring a story to light.

Lisa said...

It's horrific what happened in those camps. I hope future generations never forget the events that lead up to and caused this type of indecency. Jerusalem would be a both a fascinating place to visit on many levels.

cloudia charters said...

You did not need to go,
you shared the truth;
thank YOU, my friend

Have a fine Weekend, Dear Joop

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Marie said...

So, so sad...we should NEVER forget! So many people suffered and were persecuted by the Nazis...not just the Jews. The atrocities are horrible! I don't think I could visit the museum either. It would be very emotionally draining. I know how hard it would be for you, having been in the Japanese camp. I'm sure you went through a lot that most people wouldn't even understand.

I wanted to ask you months back and hadn't yet, but is the book and movie with Claudette Colbert about your group of prisoners? It's called something like "Only Two Came Home" ....something like that.