THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

The Holocaust Museum is very similiar in name and purpose to Yad Vashem. But it is an entirely separate establishment, with no ties at all to Yad Vashem and with a different location in Jerusalem. It is found on Mt. Sion, not far from the tomb of David and the Room of the Last Supper. In Christ's time, this place was part of Jerusalem; now it is outside the walls of the old city. Several ancient buildings belong to the museum, with a courtyard in the middle, between the walls. The museum is in the first stages of development. A library about the holocaust is being organized, and a museum with various exhibits of the Holocaust. Around the courtyard, there are plaques set into the walls, averaging two feet by three, in memory of the holocaust victims from the districts of Ukraine, Poland or other European counties and even cities.

The museum's Director, Dr. Itsak Tattelbaum, was immensely pleased when he discovered that I, a prisoner of Auschwitz, for four years, was not Jewish. This is why: The museum was originally conceived of as a museum of the Jewish holocaust and was operated as such. But the present director, Tattelbaum, who was born and raised in the U.S. and had only recently transferred to Israel and become an Israeli citizen had views on the museum's goals which were not exactly "kosher". He considers that the museum of the Jewish Holocaust should be in Yad Vashem, while this Holocaust Museum ('Chamber of the Holocaust') should become international - a museum of the Nazi-German holocaust of all nations', in fact, a museum of all holocausts. Therefore, he was extremely glad to have ties with Ukrainians, Poles and other peoples (nationalities) interested in the organization and support of such an international Holocaust Museum. But, are the Ukrainians ready for such mutual cooperation?

We examined the courtyard. Across from the entrance, the wall was only partialiy covered by plaques.

"Look," I said, "the middle of the wall is still empty. Would you be agreeable to letting the Ukrainians set up their own plaque in three languages - Jewish, Ukrainian and English - with a 'Tryzub' emblem over the Ukrainian text, in memory of the three million Ukrainians - victims of the German-Nazi holocaust - and the over-ten million Ukrainians who were victims of the Bolshevik-Russian holocaust?"

"Why not? You Ukrainians will be the first and other non-Jews will certainly follow your example. That is precisely our goal: that there be non-Jewish plaques here, also".

"What is the cost of setting up such a plaque?"

"Approximately three t thousand dollars, for a plaque two-by-three feet. If you are thinking of this, submit the desired size and text, and we will calculate the cost exactly and send it to your organization".

"You understand that the text must be decided by our organization?"

"Obviously. We are only too happy to attract all non-Jews to this sort of cooperation, in order to develop this Holocaust museum. The location is ideal in that every day there are many visitors from all corners of the world; right across the street in the Room of the Last Supper and David's grave; nearby is the 'Wailing Wall', and a bit further, is the renowned Mosque of Aman and the cliff, from which Muhammed ascended into heaven on a camel. So everyone will incidentally view this museum also, if we build it together. Naturally, there wouldn't be just plaques, but a library pertaining to the holocaust, and various memorabilia. Provide the plans, let's raise the funds".