Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) begins this evening. It is a day of mourning for the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Himself and I spent time in Budapest, Hungary in 2003. While there we visited the Great Synagogue (Dohany St. Synagogue).
It is the largest active synagogue in Europe… second largest in the world. Built in 1859, it can hold 3000 worshippers.
But during the Holocaust it became a concentration camp. It is estimated that from the original Jewish population pre-Nazi era of 861,000, about 225,000 survived. The courtyard became a mass grave for thousands of Jews who died during their imprisonment.
Today, in that courtyard, sits the Tree of Life Holocaust Memorial. Appropriately, it is a weeping willow.
Made of stainless steel and silver, each leaf bears the name of a Hungarian Holocaust victim.
In front of the memorial is a black granite arch. The arches are in the form of tablets, representing the lack of the Ten Commandments in the lives of those who committed the atrocities of the Holocaust.
It is inscribed in Hebrew: “Whose agony is greater than mine”