Dec 30, 2009

I was stuck on the queue in the Shoah Memorial and Museum. Located at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4 th arrondissement, opened in 2005. The first installation of the Shoah Memorial and Museum is the deeply moving Wall of Names, tall plinths honoring the 76,000 French Jews deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps and only 2,500 survived.

I walked in through tight airport security, and the first thing I saw, are long walls inscribed with the names of those who were lost. In the courtyard there’s a bronze cylinder, symbolizing the chimneys of the death camps that bears the names of the Warsaw Ghetto. There are lots of interactive displays, and much of the text is presented in both French and English. I was interested in seeing the films clips and photography of everyday life before the war, and of the deportations and life and death in the camps. On a lower floor is an eternal flame, sits across from the door of a barrack from one of the camps. The memorial also contains the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation. There are reading rooms, an excellent bookstore and a café.

Station on Paris metro: Saint Paul, Hôtel de Ville, Pont Marie