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Opening Hours:

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Thursday: 9:00-20:00 *
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Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

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Art as Commemoration - January 2012

Welcome to the 26th issue of Teaching the Legacy. This edition is part of a newsletter series that will focus on the subject of commemoration and art. This e-newsletter will focus on the visual arts, while the next ones will continue with other art forms such as poetry, films, Holocaust memorials, and so-called “graphic novels” (comics). This e-newsletter includes a main article that covers the subject of Holocaust art created by survivors. Another article which is accompanied by a teacher’s guide decribes the use of interdisciplinary tools and its value in the classroom. A third article discusses the limitations of artistic representations. We have also included an interview with the Holocaust survivor and artist Samuel Willenberg and his wife Ada. As always, the newsletter features new publications, book reviews, and updates on recent and upcoming activities at the International School for Holocaust Studies and across Yad Vashem. We hope you find this issue interesting and resourceful and we look forward to your feedback.

Commemoration in the Art of Holocaust Survivors

Commemoration in the Art of Holocaust Survivors

We are accustomed to reading testimonies of Holocaust survivors, or of hearing survivors speak and tell their stories. However, words, in whatever form they may take, are not the only avenue of commemoration or documentation, and sometimes they are insufficient to express the full range of feelings of a survivor. There are those Holocaust survivors who have chosen instead to use not words, but paper, canvas, clay, and other materials as the medium through which they express themselves. Primo Levi1 wrote:On many occasions, we survivors of the Nazi concentration camps have come to notice how...
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Are There Boundaries to Artistic Representations of the Holocaust?

Are There Boundaries to Artistic Representations of the Holocaust?

Artistic representation of the Holocaust has become a matter of some controversy. The controversy focuses around questions such as: Can art represent the Holocaust? And if so, in what way should it be represented? Can it give us a picture or an image of the Holocaust? Can art teach us anything about the Holocaust? Should there be limitations to the artistic representation of the Holocaust? Where should the boundaries be? Who should decide these boundaries?This article discusses two of the controversies:The limits of art as proof or testimony.The moral limits of artistic representation.The limits...
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Interdisciplinary Education

One of the problems of teaching the Holocaust is the unprecedented behavior of humanity during the Second World War and finding a believable way of presenting it. It is a difficult task to convey realities from that era to pupils and students seventy years removed from the atrocities. This article will suggest ways of presenting aspects of the Holocaust that combine different approaches to enable cognitive contact with a difficult subject.Interdisciplinary education is basically the combination of different disciplines to promote contact, understanding and knowledge of the matter being taught....
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Interview with Samuel Willenberg, Survivor of the Treblinka Death Camp

Interview with Samuel Willenberg, Survivor of the Treblinka Death Camp

My colleague Liz Elsby and I sat down to interview Samuel Willenberg on Sunday, December 4, 2011 in his apartment in Tel Aviv, Israel. His wife, Ada, herself a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, sat with us, plied us with tea and pastries, and added to our knowledge and to the discussion.Samuel was born in 1923 in Czestochowa, Poland. When the Germans invaded Poland he was 16 years old, but he enlisted in the Polish Army in order to fight against them and was wounded severely. His family moved to Opatow for a time. In the fall of 1941, while hiding from the Germans, his two sisters were arrested...
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Article and Lesson Plan – "Keeping the Memory Alive": International Poster Competition 2012

Article and Lesson Plan – "Keeping the Memory Alive": International Poster Competition 2012

This article discusses the international poster competition held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2011 and analyzes the three finalists’ entries. The associated lesson plan presents various methodologies that can be used by teachers to analyze the posters, and to have their classes create their own posters....
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Artifacts and Art Created in the Detention Camps in Cyprus

Artifacts and Art Created in the Detention Camps in Cyprus

This artifact is a miniature monument or tombstone made in the detention camps in Cyprus as a memorial to Moshe Joselewitz's family who were murdered by the Nazis. 
It says, “God will remember the soul of my mother Sarah, my sister Chana, my brother Mordechai and the souls of all my relatives that were killed, burned and choked by the German murderers in the years 1941-1942, may God avenge their blood.”Moshe Joselewitz was born in Grodno in 1924. He and his family were forced into the ghetto of a small town near Grodno. His mother Sarah, and younger brother and sister,...
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Varian Fry

Varian Fry

An American in Marseille According to the armistice agreement signed after the fall of France in June 1940, France was obligated to turn over to the Germans all persons on the Gestapo’s wanted list - a large number of whom were Jewish intellectuals. The refugees from Germany who had sought shelter in France were once again under German control, and the danger to their person was grave. An aid organization - the Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC) – was established in New York with the purpose of helping intellectuals and renowned figures stranded in France, who were in danger of being...
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Waitstill and Martha Sharp, 1939

Waitstill and Martha Sharp

Waitstill Sharp was a minister in the Unitarian church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and his wife Martha a noted social worker. In 1939, the Sharps accepted an invitation by the Unitarian Service Committee to help members of the Unitarian church in Czechoslovakia. Arriving in Prague in February 1939, the Sharps also aided a number of Jews to leave the country, which had come under Nazi control on March 15th. The Sharps continued their charitable work until August 1939, leaving Prague when warned of their possible arrest by the Gestapo. On June 20, 1940, Waitstill and Martha Sharp landed in Lisbon,...
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A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry - Sheila Isenberg

A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry - Sheila Isenberg

A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry
Sheila Isenberg
Random House 2001 
349 pages
 The story of Varian Fry is perhaps less well known than that of Oscar Schindler, but to some he became known as the "American Schindler" or The Artist's Schindler". In 1940, Fry was sent to France by the Emergency Rescue Committee in New York, with a list of two hundred names and only three thousand dollars in his pocket. The list was made up by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. Those on the list were mainly artists, scientists...
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