Israeli Museum Puts 'Face' on the Holocaust

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Israelis stopped to remember the Holocaust and to tell the world it will never happen again. 

A moment of silence was observed as a siren wailed throughout the country, while traffic came to a standstill.  People stood to honor the memory of the six million Jews who died during the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people.

Museum Reminds the World of Those Who Perished

A key part of that reminder comes through the museum known as Yad Vashem. The name for the museum draws its inspiration from Isaiah 56:5. The verse reads "To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name." 

The museum not only documents the horrors of the Holocaust, it has three million names on record, but it aims to make the Holocaust personal.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell.

To give a name and a face to the six million individuals, the men, women and children who perished in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem is a reminder of the 20th century's most horrific example of hatred for the Jewish people. With the rhetoric in the Middle East today, it's also a warning that what was once thought unthinkable could happen again.

"Unfortunately, it is a possibility and it's the role of all people of good will to fight against that possibility where Jews are concerned of course or any other people are concerned," said Robert Rozett, director of the museum's libraries.

Striking Resemblance to the Nazis

Rozett says the Muslim theology of Iran's president and his boast that Israel should be wiped off the map bear a striking similarity to the Nazi ideology of Adolf Hitler that led to the deaths of six million Jews.

"The circumstances change, the context changes, but the ideas also mutate to a certain degree," Rozett told CBN News. "But at the root they are often very similar and they are still with us, and this is one of the reasons why remembering, commemorating, teaching about the Holocaust is still very central to what we need to do as enlightened human beings."

As part of that effort, for the first time in its history, the museum recently established a new office called Christian Friends of Yad Vashem.  It is a joint project by the museum and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

Sam Clarke is the director of the office.

"Yad Vashem is a memorial to the pain and suffering of the Jewish people," he said. "When Christians reach out and say, 'We want to stand with Yad Vashem. We want to stand with the Jewish people.' You are touching them, where they hurt the most," he continued. "And this is a way to express our remorse for our contribution to this and also to stand with you that this will never happen again."

The cry "never again" remains the legacy of the Holocaust. And the hope that at least in this regard, history will not repeat itself.

*Originally aired April 21, 2009

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