Visiting the little-known Chamber of the Holocaust

The Chamber of the Holocaust was even able to receive some of the ashes of victims to give them a proper burial.

By SHAINA OPPENHEIMER
July 14, 2016 16:12
2 minute read.
tefillin

Mini-tefillin secretly passed around in concentration camps. (photo credit: IAN GOODMAN AND ELLY MERENSTEIN)

 
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‘Most places educate through learning; we educate through experience,” says Ilan Goodman, chief curator at the Chamber of the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. Situated on Mount Zion at the footsteps of the Tomb of King David, the site is home to a rich collection of artifacts and ashes, as well as survivors’ memories of lives and entire communities that were wiped out.

Established in 1949 by Holocaust survivors as the first Holocaust museum in Jerusalem – and possibly in the world – The Chamber of the Holocaust was envisioned as a memorial site to convene and connect. Rather than feeling like outsiders, museum visitors are encouraged to connect and engage with the memories and be a part of the story. The cave-like sanctuary is framed by tombstones created to commemorate the lives of those who did not receive a proper burial. On display are Torah scrolls, uniforms from Auschwitz, tiles from a destroyed mikve, letters, and much more that the survivors brought.

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