The National Holocaust Centre & Museum (Beth Shalom)

HITACHI

I have visited the National Holocaust Centre on several occasions.  These have included a field trip with my students, a study visit for my own benefit, and a couple of visits to hear Holocaust survivors give their testimonies.

The Centre is a bit off the beaten track, but has beautiful grounds studded with thought provoking statuary and themed memorials.  The internal spaces include a lecture theatre, library, and the museum.

The Camps Pillar is a potent symbol, as it represents the millions who died in the six camps named upon it, and soil from each lies beneath it.  Other memorials include one dedicated to the Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg who rescued thousands to only perish himself.

HITACHI

Raoul Wallenberg Monument

This being an educational centre, there are several features which focus on children. These include a memorial where you are challenged to place a stone to remember the lost children, a monument to the hidden children and those that protected them, and a bronze sculpture representing the children of the Kindertransport.

The Centre also has regular educational events, and Holocaust survivors regularly tell their stories at the venue.  I have heard Kitty Hart Moxon and others here, and their accounts are powerful and moving.

The museum shows the progression of the isolation and persecution of the Jewish community, and the subsequent events of the Holocaust.  It is deeply touching, and calls for some soul searching on how one might respond in such circumstances.

While not the main focus of such a visit, their are some nice gardens, notably the roses of the memorial garden.  There is also a book shop and places to have lunch.

This is a place to take your time to take it in.  It is  place to learn, to reflect, and to reflect again.  It is well worth the visit.

Padre

Centre’s page for further information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s