Yad Vashem Survivor’s Art Collections

April 28th 2011

Yad Vashem Present Survivor’s Art Collections

“Virtues of Memory: Six Decades of Holocaust Survivor’s Creativity” is one of the newest exhibitions recently opened at Yad Vashem, Israel’s famous and powerful Holocaust Memorial Museum.

At this monumental event, unprecedented in its scope, are the works of close to 300 Holocaust survivors, including among them extremely prestigious Jewish artists, lesser known artists, and even outstanding amateur artists. The dramatic art collection has been in the accumulation process at Yad Vashem for the last 65 years.

Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev remarked at the opening,

“This is your way of documenting and questioning, of processing and contemplating, of communicating with the world. This is a path …that screams the truth.”

Traveling in Israel must include a visit to Yad Vashem. Israel bar mitzvah tours will always include a stop at this museum, preparing their youngsters for taking on the responsibility of their Jewish heritage.

Yad Vashem, established in 1953 ( pre-Eichmann trials) is an enormous museum complex, that is the world’s center for research, education, documentation, and commemoration of the Shoah.

People from all over the world come to Yad Vashem.  Recently,  at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, about twenty Chinese educators participated in a unique two week seminar at the Holocaust museum, to learn about the event in-depth, as well as to gain knowledge and skills for how to teach it back home in the classroom. For most, this was their first time vacationing in Israel.

At Yad Vashem’s International Institute, in the Center for Study of the Aftermath of the Shoah, a recent symposium discussed the complexities of Polish society during and after the Holocaust, looking at how Polish citizen grappled with the terror occurring in their midst, and the Jewish survivors who returned home to rebuild after the concentration camps.

One of the most popular elements of Yad Vashem is its History Museum, a fantastically undertaken project of a decade that is filled with original artifacts, testimonies, diaries, letters, film, and offers the viewer a glimpse into the meticulous documentation that was the Nazi’s eventual downfall.

The History Museum aims to look at the Holocaust through the individual’s lens, and the 4,200 square meter (mainly underground) complex is quite successful in this endeavor.

Private group Israel tours are available; however these need to be coordinated in advance with the Reservations desk. If your Israeli tour guide is deeply knowledgeable about the Shoah, he can serve as the unofficial tour guide. Yad Vashem tour guides are extremely impressive in their breadth of knowledge and presentation.

The most powerful Holocaust Memorial Museum in the world; Yad Vashem is the only place that you can read, watch, and learn about the destruction, the turmoil, and the desire by Hitler and nations  to destroy the Jewish people, only to walk outside afterwards into the crisp, fresh air of the Holy Land, proud witness to the bustling, blooming Jewish civilization that picked itself up from the Holocaust ashes.