Publié : 26 avril
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Le Mémorial de la Shoah à Paris

Pendant la visite à Paris, nous sommes allès au Mémorial de la Shoah...

The first thing I saw after we had gone through the very tight security on the gate was walls and walls of names, which I was shocked to learn were names of the Jews that were killed during the Second World War. Seeing them on walls like that really brought home the sheer amount of deaths and how many people all over the world those deaths must have affected.

We were later told that not all the names of the Jewish victims were on there, because not everybody could be traced. The idea that some people died without a trace was not just shocking, but upsetting, because it really does make them into statistics. However I thought one of the best things about the museum and memorial was that it tried to make sure that each individual Jew is honoured and not just forgotten as part of a massive number.

Part of the memorial is The Crypt, where the Star of David is sunken into the floor, with a flame coming out of the top. Around the star there are six of everything, for instance six pillars to hold the rope up so you can’t go in and six steps down to the crypt. This symbolises the six milion Jews that died.

I felt that although this honoured the sheer number of Jews that died, it was the only part of the whole museum that did look at them as just a number, and I thought this had less of an impact than other parts of the museum.

For example, in one section there were sheets of frosted glass hanging on the wall, with thousands of photographs behind them, of the Jewish children that were killed. In that room it was very bright, because there were lights behind the glass, in order to symbolise the happiness and brightness of children, and therefore signify what had been lost. It also contrasted with the very sombre mood of the rest of the museum. Again they had been unable to find photos of all the children that were killed, which seems so unfair because they were so young when they died and probably didn’t even realise what was happenning to them.

For me, those were the most important points of the memorial, because they made me realise, almost by shocking me into realisation, that it was not just millions of innocent Jews that died, but millions of innocent people, just like me and you, who died for no reason other than their religion.