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Photos Tell their Own Story

 Below are some photos of recent trips we've taken and things I've seen.

The Many Forms of Jewish Resistance

I’ve  asked myself many times, “Didn’t the Jews resist what Hitler was doing to them? Surely millions of people could have done more to stop the genocide.” One thing I didn’t realize was that most Germans didn’t care what happened to the Jews. Many Catholics in Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania hated Jews and actually murdered their own Jewish neighbors when Hitler took over their countries. So it was a terrible time for Jews all over Eastern Europe. Of course, there were some who helped Jews. At least 23,000 who we know about. But that’s a small number relative to millions of people who did nothing.

Could the Jews Have Escaped?

I’ve always wondered if the Jews could have escaped from the Nazis. I think a lot of people would ask this same question. Several of our scholars have touched on the answer, and then I found a resource here in Jerusalem that gave more ways to answer it. Here are some ways the Jews DID try to escape and what happened. Remember, it’s a complicated question and I don’t pretend to have all the answers here. There’s a related question that I’ll answer in a later blog, “Did the Jews resist?”  

Testimony of Judith, a Holocaust Survivor

Today, July 20, our institute group spent a couple hours with four Holocaust survivors. First, they shared just a bit of their experiences during the Holocaust. Then, each one of us could choose one of them to speak with more personally, which meant that each one of the survivors talked to nine or 10 of us and answered individual questions. I’d like to tell the story of one of them in this blog entry.

Where Was God in the Holocaust?

The Learning Center here at Yad Vashem is a darkened room with a circle of about 20 computers and a pair of headphones each in a kind of carrel. Inside the circle of carrels, invisible from the computer desks, is a circle of benches and a large screen that continually shows 17 FAQs about the Holocaust.

Testimony by a Friend of Anne Frank

One of our most touching sessions so far has been hearing from a Holocaust survivor who was a close friend of Anne Frank and today lives in Israel.

The Righteous Among the Nations

Our institute group had the privilege to attend a two-part ceremony honoring Stefan and Maria Magenheim as Righteous Among the Nations. Here’s their story. 

Two Symbols: Dome of the Rock, the Menorah

When people see the skyline of Jerusalem, what stands out is a gold dome among the cream-colored buildings and walls. (By the way, that dome today is covered by 24-carat gold donated by Saudi Arabia.) Why is it so important? And why is it holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims? 

Touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

Today our group spent the morning in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

Liturgy at Ninth Century Christian Church

On Sunday, the Catholics in our group celebrated liturgy with Benedictine monks and nuns in Abu Goth. They sang a Gregorian chant that was out of this world!