The Lights in the Darkness gallery at the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem uses artistic and imaginative animation to tell the tales of Righteous Among the Nations, those whose faith and consciences drove them to save the lives of Jews, young and old, during the Holocaust in Europe.
In dramatic fashion, images appear on a dark, “shattered” wall, introducing us to Christian personalities from Germany, Poland, Holland, Japan and Sweden who – impelled by their belief and conscience – exercised extraordinary and dangerous initiatives to save Jews during the Holocaust in Europe. These heroes are represented on the screen before us as beams of light against a totally dark background, hence the name of the gallery – Lights in the Darkness.
In emotional, animated, black and white scenes depicting wartime horror and suffering on the one hand and untiring efforts towards rescue on the other, we see and hear of the exceptional actions of Oskar Schindler of Germany, who used his influence with the Nazis to save the lives of slave labor Jews working in his factory; Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who smuggled Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto, thereby rescuing them from certain death; Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese consul general in Lithuania, who worked day and night to issue visas to Jews who were desperate to escape the clutches of the Nazis and their collaborators; Casper, Betsie and Corrie ten Boom of Holland, who hid Jews in their home; Miep and Jan Gies, who hid and sustained the Frank family in Amsterdam and rescued the world-famous Diary of Anne Frank; and Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat, who saved tens of thousands of Jewish lives in Hungary.
Heroes all, only some of whom survived the clutches of the Nazi murder regime. These Righteous Among the Nations were people whose Christian mores would not allow them to just “stand by” and see God’s children sacrificed on the altar of man’s inhumanity.
The presentation ends with a unique and surprising technological demonstration, where the audience experiences “first hand” the responsibility each person holds for the fate of his fellow man.