President Bush at a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. In the background (RTL), Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid
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11 January 2008
President George W. Bush visited Yad Vashem on Friday, January 11, 2008.
During his visit to Yad Vashem, the President, guided by Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, visited the Holocaust History Museum, the Museum of Holocaust Art, held a wreath-laying ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and visited the Children's Memorial . He was accompanied by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid.
Upon signing the Visitors' Book outside of the Children's Memorial, President Bush said:
"I would hope as many people in the world would come to this place. It would be a sobering reminder that evil exists, and a call that when we find evil we must resist it. I came away with this impression: I was most impressed that people in the face of horror and evil would not forsake their God, that in the face of unspeakable crimes against humanity, brave souls, young and old, stood strong for what they believe. It is an honor to be here. It is a moving experience, and it is a living memory that is important."
At the conclusion of his visit, Shalev presented President Bush with a special gift, a replica of an illustrated Bible by Jewish artist Carol Deutsch. The original is on display in the Museum of Holocaust Art. Recently Yad Vashem decided to produce a special, numbered series of the portfolio limited to 500 copies, the first of which will be presented to the President. Deutsch created the works while in hiding in Belgium. He was informed upon, and died in 1944 in Buchenwald, leaving behind 99 vividly colored prints in an illustrated wooden box, which he bequeathed to his daughter Ingrid.