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Yad Vashem. Today is 01/03/10 in Jerusalem


Wake and update the Daily Log.

Say goodbye to Nils and Barbara –they go home to Sweden.  It was nice making their acquaintance. Hopefully we will meet again.

I decide to visit Yad Vashem.

Set off for Damascus Gate bus terminal but I am told THAT bus to the Holocaust Museum leaves from the Central bus station… so I walk on. At Notre Dame I am told it is around the corner, 2 minutes.

10 minutes into my walk around the corner, I ask and am told it is straight, 20 more minutes.

I look into store windows as I walk. I have one camera with me today and only the lens on that body – traveling light.

I eventually get a taxi feeling like I am running out of time (as I am told I need at least three hours to see the museum and it is 1pm already). The taxi driver and I negotiate to 40 shekel and take off into traffic.

At the museum: it is a beautiful structure and the way they recount the Holocaust is to build up the history of a people who have lives, as we do, family, musicians, tailors, workers, shopping, etc – a part of society, so we can relate to them as humans – as us -  and then continue to tell how things became as they did, socially, politically, legally… When I saw the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC I remembered more of the sensation of being made to feel what it was like to be sent to and in a concentration camp. I was always conscious that it was about the Jews and remembering what happened to them.

In Jerusalem, thus is a less emotional presentation, to me (though it was emotional) and more intelligent sociologically as if to suggest this can happen to any race…and it must not. That these lives, these Jews, were human beings.

There was a lot to it but the section about the propaganda that dehumanized the Jew was very powerful since I am currently arguing the importance of visual images and how they play a part in influencing our thinking. The images of the Jew that were propagated to society via poster and newspaper were appalling and it is easy to see how people could turn toward hatred when enough of it is disseminated to persuade opinion and alter the truth. It can happen now with the media… but hopefully the internet will be a saber to singular control of media persuasion by any one group.

I was taken by the quote in a section of the museum, of a pastor during WWII who was helping the Jews escape and hide – “what is a Jew? I only see people.”

I took another taxi back to Jaffa gate for 45 shekel and walked back to the convent for dinner.

I ate far too much tonight – Sister Louisa (from Austria) gave me her turkey leg – so I had two – two helpings of soup, spinach, two slices of home made pizza which Nils had made the night I was at Shabbos… and grapes (too!) and them Sister Liliana poured me a glass of white wine.

I ate like a king tonight… grateful that I can eat at all.

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