10 July 2008
Prof. Dan Michman, Chief Historian at Yad Vashem, recently met with Dr. Becky Kook, Prof. Wyman and Dr. Medoff in a scheduled meeting to receive personally from them a petition to have Dr. Kook’s father’s activities represented in the permanent display at Yad Vashem.
Context is essential to the presentation of history. This is true of the study of the Holocaust as well, as of the reactions to it in the free world. Yad Vashem’s Holocaust History Museum focuses on the central story of the Jews in the Holocaust. Of course, no museum, regardless of its breadth and scope, can include all of the events, activities and occurrences that took place during the period of the Holocaust and World War II. The Museum devotes limited space to official American responses and none at all to the responses of Jews in the free world. Yad Vashem is well aware of the important activities of the Bergson group. However, inserting a discussion about it here would be out of context and therefore misleading.
It is important to stress that Yad Vashem is not only a museum, but carries out a wide range of activities including research, education, documentation, and a website entered by over 7 million visitors a year. In fact, Yad Vashem translated and published, in Hebrew, David Wyman’s book The Abandonment of the Jews, where he highlights the activities of the Bergson group. For many years, Yad Vashem has employed these means, as well as seminars, workshops and lectures in order to discuss the activities of the Bergson Group.