The foundation scroll
In the foundation scroll has been put down
We, the survivors of ghetto Terezin, relatives and friends of all inhabitants of the ghetto that did not came back from the holocaust, that died in Terezin or perished on their way to death camps, today, 29. September 1969, the foundation cornerstone is being laid down for a library and archive to commemorate their memory of them.
In accordance with the spirit and approach of all our friends in “Hechalutz” and the Zionist Movement, that were not fortunate to live with us in the State of Israel, we did not want to erect a statue or a sculpture to commemorate them, an object that will symbolize indeed the past suffering, but will not serve as a bridge to the future. We asked to build a house that the life will continue to flow, that the young people will read and learn there, a place people will come to, sit down and make conversation within it’s walls.
We wish to collect as much documentary material regarding the life in ghetto Terezin as possible, within our reach, including the names of all 140.000 Czechoslovak, German, Austrian, Denmark and Holland Jews, that passed through the gates of the ghetto during the four years of its existence – winter of 1941 until spring 1945 – hoping that the visitors who will come to honor their memory, will feel here some of the ghetto’s mood, that they will be more understanding what it is like to maintain something like cultural life under a constant shadow of death, to safeguard the elements of justice and inner honesty, the relationship between friends and mutual help. Our sincere wish is that researchers will come, and will succeed to transmit to future generations a loyal image of ghetto Terezin with all the special features it had, that they will be able to give the proper articulation to the deeds and efforts of Jacob Edelstein and friends that surrounded him, that if they erred or were mistaken – only due to over-trust in human beings they erred, because they were not capable to grasp the full measure of the satanic nature of the German “supreme” beings.
The decision we have taken, to build the Beit Terezin in kibbutz
G i v a t C h a i m I c h u d was not incidental, but because many of the kibbutz members are the ghetto survivors: We wanted to build the site for commemoration of the dead in the heart of a bustle noisy place, in the midst of flowers and trees, among children and farmers, in order to express our faith that was also their faith.