One of the most exciting parts of studying the Holocaust in Israel is the opportunity to see how the event shaped the country, and how this country shapes the narrative of that event. This past week our students were lucky to have a private tour or Atlit Detention Center with museum expert Tami Rich.
Atlit served as a detention camp in the British mandate of Palestine before Israel established its independence. Tens of thousands of Jewish illegal immigrants were interned in this camp in their attempts to escape Nazi ruled Europe, and then rebuild their lives in a Jewish state after the war.
The memorial site today has many restored barracks and a replica boat with an outstanding exhibit on the inside. For many of our international students it was interesting to interpret this exclusively Israeli narrative of life after the Holocaust. Atlit served as a bittersweet experience for most of its detainees as it simultaneously served as a safe haven from Nazi persecution and provided limited freedom to its inhabitants. For our students, the tour provided an insight into Israeli history as it connects to the Holocaust, and we snuck in a nice picnic at the end of the tour as well.
We are lucky to have such fascinating memorial sites right around the corner from our University, and we are glad to provide experiences like this tour to our students.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/