Approximately one and a half million of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust were children. The number of children who survived is estimated in the thousands. Some children were able to escape by hiding — finding shelter wherever possible, constantly in fear of being discovered and dependent on the occasional good will of strangers. Other children survived by concealing their identities, facing constant fear and danger, where a wrong word could lead to discovery and death. Liberation did not end their suffering as most had no home to return to, no family to take them in. Special children’s homes were set up to meet the tremendous physical and emotional needs of these children. One of these homes was in Otwock, Poland.
“A Time to Heal” focuses on the children’s experiences from their arrival at the home in Otwock through the difficult and often painful process of healing and rehabilitation. Most of the resources in this exhibition were taken from the Yad Vashem Archives. The film and photographs, the stories and testimonies that comprise this exhibition tell the story of how the children of Otwock, with the love and guidance of the devoted staff of the home, learned to laugh, to play, to create, to trust, and ultimately - to hope.