Yehuda Lave
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Little known Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum the first Holocaust Museum

On a trip to Rosh Hanikra, we noticed a little sign across the highway for the museum. I had never seen any advertising or heard of the museum. On a lark, we stopped by soon before it closed and discovered a five-story massive building with a tremendous exhibit.

The exhibit includes the original glass booth that was used in the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1962. The museum focuses on the Warsaw Ghetto and the resistance. Having come back from Warsaw last year and having seen the $100,000,000 new Warsaw ghetto museum, that has worldwide fame, I was very impressed with this small museum right off the main road and easy to find. Just no one has heard of it until now.

The Ghetto Fighters’ House – Itzhak Katzenelson Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum– known as the “House” – is not only the first Holocaust museum in the world but also the first of its kind to be founded by Holocaust survivors.  Since its establishment On April 19, 1949, the sixth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, by young graduates of the Zionist youth movements who had survived the Holocaust, the museum tells the story of the Holocaust during World War II, emphasizing the bravery, spiritual triumph and the incredible ability of Holocaust survivors and the fighters of the revolt to rebuild their lives in a new country about which they had dreamed – the State of Israel.

The founders, who established the museum together with their home, Kibbutz Lohamei HaGhetaot, saw its primary role as a means to bequeath the history of the Holocaust to future generations and to cultivate their humanistic consciousness.

The Ghetto Fighters’ House gives evidence to the founders’ vision.  Having to put behind them the grief and the horror, they chose to come to the Western Galilee in order to build a flourishing kibbutz – the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz – and the museum located within the community.

In light of this vision, the Ghetto Fighters’ House provides its visitors, both from Israel and abroad, a unique experience, going beyond the grief and horror in order to make evident Antek Zukerman’s declaration in the first National Gathering for Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day that took place on the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz:  “We came here to build homes filled with life.” 

The museum was designed by the architect Shmuel Bickels. It’s five levels hold thematic exhibitions offering varied perspectives of the Holocaust.

The museum rooftop offers an observation deck overlooking the Western Galilee, the Ottoman Aqueduct and the Mediterranean Sea.

My pictures from the trip:

Alongside the museum is the Center for Humanistic Education, whose goal is to instill knowledge and understanding of the events that took place during the Holocaust through dialogue and joint learning.  The center strives to create multi-cultural gatherings in which intensive discussions can take place concerning the human and universal meaning of the Holocaust both within and beyond Israeli society.

In 1995, the Yad Layeled Children’s Memorial Museum was established at the Ghetto Fighters’ House in order to commemorate the memory of the Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust.  The aim of the children’s museum is to acquaint young visitors with the world of the children who lived during the Holocaust, providing an experiential venue through which they can explore the subject of the Holocaust in an age-appropriate manner.

Who’s Right?

Moishe and Miriam, both a bit stubborn, were involved in a petty argument, both of them unwilling to admit they might be in error.

“I’ll admit I’m wrong,” Miriam told her husband in a conciliatory attempt, “if you’ll admit I’m right.”

Moishe agreed and, like a gentleman, insisted she go first.

“I’m wrong,” Miriam said.

With a twinkle in his eye, Moishe responded, “You’re right!”

About the Author
Yehuda Lave writes a daily (except on Shabbat and Hags) motivational Torah blog at YehudaLave.com Loving-kindness my specialty. Internationally Known Speaker and Lecturer and Author. Self Help through Bible and Psychology. Classes in controlling anger and finding Joy. Now living and working in Israel. Remember, it only takes a moment to change your life. Learn to have all the joy in your life that you deserve!!! There are great masters here to interpret Spirituality. Studied Kabbalah and being a good human being with Rabbi Plizken and Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, my Rabbi. Torah is the name of the game in Israel, with 3,500 years of mystics and scholars interpreting G-D's word. Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
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