Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial and honoured the victims of the Holocaust, among the greatest tragedies in human history as some six million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany. Modi was accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial.
Yad Vashem started as an organisation in 1953 on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance near Jerusalem, as a form of reference to future generations, documenting the memory of Holocaust victims and the history of the Jewish people during the tragic time.
The museum occupies over 4,200 square metres – mainly underground – and emphasises the experiences of the individual victims through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions. Shaped as a prism penetrating the mountain, the new Yad Vashem opened in 2005. Its architecture sets the atmosphere for the nine chilling galleries of interactive historical displays which present the Holocaust in several ways.
The museum leads into the Hall of Names, which contains more than three million names of Holocaust victims submitted by their families and relatives. The Holocaust was the killing of nearly six million Jews, including some 1.5 million children, by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Though the persecution of Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during the more than four years of World War II.
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On his arrival, Modi was greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu along with the top tier of Israel’s leadership – known as segel aleph. Modi’s three-day visit to Israel is the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state.