NEW YORK (Oct. 18)
Beit Lohamei Haghetaot (Ghetto Fighters’ House), the museum and memorial for the Holocaust and resistance against the Nazis, located in Kibbutz Lohamei Haghetaot northern Israel, is in the process of expanding.
Expansion plans include a research center, a dormitory to accommodate students from all over the world, and a children’s memorial to specifically commemorate the more than one million children who perished in the Holocaust, according to Tzvi Netzer, a member of the executive board of Beit Lohamei Haghetaot, who is touring the United States to help raise funds for the project.
We decided to establish the research center on the resistance and heroism by the Jews in the ghettos of Europe because this subject was very little researched,” Netzer said in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“The truth is that there was not one single ghetto in which there was not at one time or another an attempt to revolt against the Nazis. This phenomenon even took place inside some of the concentration camps. We are going to emphasize the aspect of heroism in the ghettos and make it a part of the legacy of the destruction of European Jewry for generations to come.”
ELEMENTS OF THE EXPANSION PLAN
Netzer said that the research center will be named after Yitzhak Zuckerman (Antek) and Zivia Lubetkin, leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, who were members of Kibbutz Lohamei Haghetaot until their death more than a year ago.
The children’s memorial, Netzer said, will contain four units: a shrine; a section dealing with Jewish children during the Holocaust; a section dealing with art by Jewish children; and a wing devoted to the life and legacy of Janusz Korczak, the famed educator who was murdered by the Nazis.
There is also a plan to build an auditorium and classrooms as well as a dining room and coffee shop as part of the Beit Lohamei Haghetaot Museum, Netzer said. He added that the project will cost several million dollars, part of which will be raised in Israel and part in the United States through the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters’ House.
The House started as a documentation center which has expanded over the years. It now has a library with more than 60,000 volumes in many languages. Its archive of photographs contains more than 40,000 pictures and its film library has some 340 items from which two full-length documentary films on the Holocaust — The 8lst Blow” and “The Last Sea” — have been produced. The House has also published more than 140 books in Hebrew and scores of books in other languages dealing with the Holocaust.