A new exhibit called “My Childhood Began Here” has just opened at the “Yad LaYeled Museum” at the Ghetto Fighters’ House, presenting for the first time, in a comprehensive manner, the stories of what happened to Jewish child Holocaust survivors at end of World War II. The exhibition portrays these children’s journies through their personal stories of what they had to face, as the end of the war did not signify the end to their challenges.
The end of the war saw youngsters who had lost parents, children who returned to homes that were no longer existent, and street gangs who had lost all sense of morality during the war. They fought for their continued existence without benefit of home, family or close relatives, or else they spent their days searching for relatives who might have survived. The exhibition also recounts the stories of children who were forced to live under false identities with Gentile families or in convents, and the ensuing difficulties they faced when they returned to their lives as Jews.
Stories are depicted through the use of photographs, clippings from Israeli and European children’s newspapers, correspondence between children “over there” and in Israel, taped testimonies of both emissaries and youngsters, and also includes extracts from documentary films. The interactive exhibition space offers a learning and creative area to children aged 11 and above, and also enables visitors to carry out research and creative activities related to the exhibit.
The "Yad LaYeled Museum” was founded with the aim of creating a multi-layered encounter with the world of the Holocaust’s youngest victims. The museum’s exhibits are based on authentic stories drawn from diaries and testimonies of children who lived during those times.
Exhibits include three-dimensional displays consisting of photographs, artifacts, film monitors, soundtracks and sound-and-light displays. Visitors are allowed to touch, use, watch and go back and forth between displays. “Yad LaYeled” is the first museum of its kind here in Israel, enabling the young to learn about the Holocaust through the eyes of children who lived during it.