Saturday, July 14, 2012

1st museum - Lohamel

Our 1st visit in Israel was to Lohamel,which in Hebrew means fighters of the ghetto, or more commonly known as the Ghetto Fighters Museum. It is located in Western Galilee (Israel) about 10 kilometers from the Lebanon border. Nearby is a kibbutz or commune made up of people that resisted the deportation of the Jews. This kibbutz created the museum on April 19, 1949-- the 6th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and is still maintained by them. People living in a kibbutz share their resources to all those living there. This one makes their money through making transformers, agricultural products and a special type of cutlet made out of soy. Today it's not so much a commune as it was, but people living there are guaranteed to be taken care of for life. Part of their reasoning for this was to compensate for all the losses they suffered during World War II.
One of the purposes of this place is to tell the story of Jewish refugees that weren't afraid to fight and take responsibility for their future. The second purpose is to teach the future generations their responsibility to society. The children's museum was opened in 1995 to remember the loss of a generation --the potential children of those killed in the camps. And it is here where much of their teaching takes place -- in a white, round room representing how the past, present and future are one, interconnected and all is equal--sitting in a circle. The room is decorated by stained glass windows with pictures drawn by children that perished at Terezin. They are brightly colored-- representing butterflies, based on the phrase (and book title) "I never saw a butterfly" (in the ghetto and/or camps.). The butterfly represents freedom, living life to the fullest, vibrant colors-- all connected to childhood. We then toured the museum that showed the various resistance movements.

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