Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial is set on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem. The new Yad Vashem Museum opened in 2005 and its nine chilling galleries of interactive historical displays present the Holocaust using a range of multimedia including photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos. Yad Vashem is a place which is not fun to visit, but is definitely somewhere that we recommend all visitors to Israel experience.
Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem by Flickr user Gaspa
Yad Vashem started as an organization in 1953 to document the memory of Holocaust victims and the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust so that it will be remembered by future generations.
The new Yad Vashem opened in 2005. Shaped as a prism penetrating the mountain, the museum’s architecture sets the atmosphere for the 9 chilling galleries of interactive historical displays which present the Holocaust in many ways. These include photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos.
The Hall of Names at Yad Vashem
The museum leads into the Hall of Names, an eerie space containing over three million names of Holocaust victims that were submitted by their families and relatives. Names can still be submitted by visitors to the memorial and added to the computerized archive, whilst visitors are able to search through the records.
In addition to the Holocaust History Museum, the Yad Vashem campus has a number of other chilling memorials which you can visit. These include the Hall of Remembrance, where the ashes of the dead are buried and an eternal flame burns in commemoration; Yad Layeled, the children’s memorial, which commemorates the one and a half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust; and The Memorial to the Deportees, a railroad car hanging over the cliff on the road winding down from the mountain commerorating those who were deported.
The incredible yet chilling architecture of Yad Vashem sets an eery atmosphere by Flickr usre Gaspa
The Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations has over 2,000 trees which were planted in honor of non-Jews who endangered their lives in order to rescue Jews from the Nazis
Yad Vashem is not an emotionally easy museum to visit, but it is definetely the most important for any visitor to Israel to visit in order to understand the true scale and impact of the Holocaust.
You could spend as little as two hours here, or as long as a whole day in the museum and complex. Tours are available but we think the best way to experience this museum is at your own pace. Entry is free.