About the design
Ori Abramson, Museum and Exhibition Designer
THE VOICES, THE PLACES, THE NAMES
We took upon ourselves the impossible – to create a monument ot the inconceivable – to tesify to the murder of a child who died for being Jewish. We created a memorial to enable those who survived to speak form the abyss and to hallow the memory of the million and a half children annihilated in the Holocaust.
Every child is a world – the whol world. Every child is me. And you. And her. And him.
We looked for testimonies of children who survived and grew-up, unlocking a window to the storm imprisoned inside them which had begun during those impossible inconceivable days and which had become inseparable from their being.
We followed the trail of survivors whose beloved were murdered or lost destinies unknown, and because of whom the survivors cannot find peace.
In our quest, we struggled to understand, perceive, and recreate the voices, memories, sensations, and feelings. Those worlds whose voices had died, surged again from the words, diaries and memories.
There are the voices of children like us, like ours – each child in one voice. They are you. And me. And him. And her.
We designed Yad Layeled as a building and exhibition disconnected from time and place, a building and exhibition which are the life and hardships of one child. And another. And another.
We created a remembrance of the unthinkable, unions of shapes and voices that join place and time – testimony to destruction and to the voice of the child – the feelings, sensations, thoughts.
We erected stations – depictions of the persecution; of the restrictions and the outbreak of war; of the attempts to escape; of the deportation to the ghettos; of the mass killing; of the transfers to the death camps; of the “selections”. All these are presented – some in symbolic design, some real. But all are depicted in the environment where they happened and where the children lived.
We move testimonies into a continuous story, presenting the soul of a child through children’s voices – cries, feelings, and memories.
We lit an eternal flame to remember one child who died. And another. And another. And with them stand those who were rescued and survived and who are the revival – the hope.
We inscribed the names of children on a wall washed with daylight, the sunlight of here and of now.
The voices, the places, the names – those together are a monument and a testimony. These together become the command to “remember until the tenth generation.”
You, moving within the walls of the museum – into the voices, the places, the names – will unite these three into the story of one child, into the story of one million and a half children.
Children who were and are gone.
Each child – a world of his or her own;
Each child – the entire world;
Each child is him. And her. And you.
Ronit Lombrozo, Exhibition Designer
“I remained alone in the room…all was quiet outside byt for the sound of hobnailed boots…I was in Warsaw, inside the ghetto, behind walls, surrounded by an armed cordon of men who did not hesitate to kill children…The fear of that future kept me awake at night and filled my waking hours with nightmares. Yet I could not talk about them. The hope that we should all be spared, that at worse I alone would survive, had become a necessary illusion…I pressed my face to the cold glass and wished myself inside. I had read Alice Through the Looking Glass. If she could do it…of course it was a story. At twelve, one did not believe in fairy-tales, but what if there really was a way of doing it? If there existed some magic, undiscovered way, might it not be revealed to me now, when I needed it so desperately? Were there really no miracles, no escape from the present?” (from A Square Sky, a Touch of Earth by Janina David)
Janina David wrote these words alone in a Ghetto attic, as heavy footsteps approached the door. From this true story, beyond any imagination, more terrible and full of agony than any nightmare, there was no escape. Even the few that survived carry their story engraved in their flesh, like a deep and hidden wound.
The exhibition is an attempt to visualize that which was and cannot be verbalized, that which was and cannot be grasped.
The constant threat, the everlasting hunger, the heart rending separations and the gnawing longing for the life that was, is told through the faint voice of the children.
The exhibition presents the single woice, the tangible, instead of all the voices, the single image instead of all the images, an excerpt instead of an entire story. The implicit instead of the explicit.
Let us remember