The ninth gallery is dedicated exclusively to the She’erit Hapleita (lit. the surviving remnant), many of whom felt “liberated but not free”, as one survivor put it. The survivors lived between memory and hope; between the loss, the anguish, the hatred and the distress on the one hand, and the struggle to rehabilitate their lives and create a new future, on the other. This tension is the focal point of the exhibit.
The display examines the processes the survivors underwent: searching for family members, coping with the loss, looking for missing children and setting up orphanages, fleeing from the antisemitism rampant in Poland even after the Holocaust; living in the DP camps in Germany and leaving them for assorted destinations – mainly Eretz Israel.
One of the gallery’s centerpieces is an original hut from a DP camp in Germany. Here, the visitor will feel the vitality that characterized the world of the She’erit Hapleita, and manifested itself in building families and bringing children into the world, as well as the development of a diverse religious and cultural existence. The She’erit Hapleita felt an overwhelming affinity for Zionism as a result of their experiences during the war. They became increasingly convinced of the importance of finding a territorial solution for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel, and of the necessity for the nations of the world to act justly, and to open the doors of Eretz Israel as well as other countries, for the purpose of welcoming survivors.
Political reality forced the She’erit Hapleita to withstand the tribulations of illegal immigration, and life in more camps – this time, DP camps in Cyprus.
The display concludes with an audio-visual presentation: “The Tension Between Memory and Hope”, depicting the key elements of this complex topic.