One of the most moving memorials at Yad Vashem is the Children’s Memorial. This is a tribute to approximately 1.5 million Jewish children who perished during the Shoah. It has been created by hollowing out an under underground cavern, which has its own symbolism.
The memorial is entered by a descent that funnels you into a darkened room. The images of several unnamed children stare out from photographs which resonate with unfulfilled hope, as the sound of a mournful lament softly plays. Then further down, feeling your way into the darkness you enter what appears to be a room filled with stars. The effect is created by just five candles, that are replaced each day, being reflected by mirrors to produce an infinity of tiny lights.
In this twilight we listen to just a few of the names of some 1800 of the children, their ages and where they were from; a representation of stolen lives. It is very moving and I immediately think of my own children
Then we move up and out of cavern to the daylight outside. Today it has been raining and a light breeze seems to sigh as it stirs the leaves of the trees planted opposite, and the hills and valleys of Jerusalem are shrouded in a fine mist.
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled,
because they are no more.’