Prof. Mikhail B. Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and Mr. Amir G. Kabiri, the President of the Hermitage Museum Foundation Israel, Mr. Nicolas V. Iljine, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Mrs. Yehudit Shendar, Deputy Director & Senior Art Curator Museum Division at Yad Vashem, during, their personal visit to the Yad Vashem Museum, Jerusalem.
A decade in the making, the Holocaust History Museum combines the best of Yad Vashem’s expertise, resources and state-of-the-art exhibits to take Holocaust remembrance well into the 21st century . The Holocaust History Museum occupies over 4,200 square meters, mainly underground. Both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, it presents the story of the Shoah from a unique Jewish perspective, emphasizing the experiences of the individual victims through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions.
Its 180 meters – long linear structure in the form of a spike cuts through the mountain with its uppermost edge – a skylight – protruding through the mountain ridge. Galleries portraying the complexity of the Jewish situation during those terrible years branch off this spike-like shaft, and the exit emerges dramatically out of the mountainside, affording a view of the valley below. Unique settings, spaces with varying heights, and different degrees of light accentuate focal points of the unfolding narrative. At the end of the Museum’s historical narrative is the Hall of Names — a repository for the Pages of Testimony of millions of Holocaust victims, a memorial to those who perished.