Monday, 9 January 2012

Yad Vashem

One of the most moving experiences of the trip to the Holy Land was a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum  The large site of the museum contains many stories from the holocaust and is, in so many ways, simply horrifying.  Written accounts, video stories and exhibition cases offers accounts of the dreadful experiences that happened to so many.  Frequently these are telling of relatives and friends who did not survive.  At one point there is a pile of shoes.  Elsewhere there is a model of a concentration camp crematorium, indicating how it all worked.  The horror was almost overwhelming - yet must not be denied. 

One story I remember was of some children being told to hide in a wardrobe when the soldiers were seen coming.  The parents were being taken away and their mother asked if she could just get her coat.  Given permission to do that, she went to the wardrobe to get a coat and whispered instructions to the children as to who they should go to for help.  That was the last time they saw their parents.

The stories of death were many and traumatic, the stories of survival sometimes quite remarkable - and the big question how to make any kind of sense of it, and I don't think you can.

Are there things we can't make sense of?  If so, what do we do with them?

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