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Forest of the Martyrs

Introduction

The Forest of the Martyrs (Hebrew: יער הקדושים, Ya'ar HaKdoshim) is a forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel.

It was planted as a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust and will eventually contain six million trees, symbolizing the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis in World War II. 

The main memorial sites in the forest are:

  1. A monumental sculpture by Nathan Rappaport, entitled Scroll of Fire (Hebrew: מגילת האש, Megilat HaEsh)
  2. The Martyrs' Cave (also known as the Bnei Brith Cave)
  3. Anne Frank Memorial (adjacent to the Martyrs' Cave)

Memorial monuments in memory of individual Shtetls (Jewish communities) are scattered across the forest.

Additional information on JNF site:

In Hebrew: http://www.kkl.org.il/forestsearch/Kdoshim_Forest.aspx

In English: http://www.kkl.org.il/eng/tourism-and-recreation/forests-and-parks/martyrs-forest.aspx

Mazheik Memorial Monuments

  1. Original Monument

The original monument was erected in the 1950's – 1960's by the Association of Former citizens of Mazheik in Israel.

Below are pictures taken at memorial ceremonies, as well as maps of the location.

At the Mazheik Memorial monument.

Inscription on the plaque:

Grove in memory of the martyrs of Mazeikiai Community, Lithuania
Av 5701 (= August 1941)

Memorial ceremony at the Mazheik Memorial monument, 'Ya'ar HaKdoshim' (Forest of Martyrs) 1960's

General map of the Forest of Martyrs
(in Hebrew)

Access map to the Mazheik Memorial monument (in Hebrew)

(see note below)

Note: The webmasters tried to locate the Mazheik Memorial monument – in vain.
Together with the JNF we came to the conclusion that this monument may not have survived.
They have provided information about a replacement monument (see below).

  1. Replacement Monument

Replacement Mazheik Memorial monument.

Inscription on the plaque:

JNF
Grove in memory of the martyrs of Mazeikiai Community, Lithuania
15 Av 5701 (= August 1941)

See note below.

Access map to the replacement Mazheik Memorial monument

Note:  Note: the date of murder is incorrect. See http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Mazeikiai/Holocust/AriSadaTranslation.htm#Yizkor

  1. New Memorial Plaque

Over the years the JNF came to the conclusion that it is hard to maintain the many memorial monuments scattered across he forest.
Sometimes it is also difficult to locate and access memorial monuments distributed in the depth of the forest due to the topography.
Instead, the JNF decided to erect concentrated memorial boards in one central place, which has good accessibility and allows for improved maintenance: near the Martyrs' Cave.

After consulting with the JNF we ordered a new memorial plaque for the Martyrs of Mazheik.
The memorial plaque was erected in Nov. 2011.
A group of descendents visited the site in June 2012, paying respect to the Martyrs of Mazheik.

Mazheik Memorial plaque near the Martyrs' Cave

Inscription on the plaque:

Grove in memory of the martyrs of Mazeikiai Community

Close view of the board with Mazheik Memorial plaque
(at bottom left side)

General view of the memorial site near the Martyrs' Cave

  How to get there:

Drive on Highway no. 1 from Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem. At Shaar-ha'Guy Interchange exit onto Road no. 38 southwards towards Beit-Shemesh. Continue on Road no. 38 until Eshtaol junction, turn left onto Road no. 395 and make a U-turn back to Eshtaol junction. Turn right back to Road no. 38 northwards. A short distance afterwards turn right carefully onto an unpaved road, leading to the Martyrs' Cave (Bnei Brith Cave). After a short distance the unpaved road changes into a good paved road, leading through a gate to the cave and the memorial panels next to it.

Access map in Hebrew:

http://www.kkl.org.il/files/forests/center_maps/kedoshim_forest_map_2008.pdf

Updated: August 2012


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Compiled by Raymond Ravinsky
Updated: August, 2012
Copyright © 2009 Raymond Ravinsky

 

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