Today we tackle two significant sights in Paris; one known for its beauty, Notre Dame, the other for its shame, Memorial de la Shoah, the Holocaust Museum.
Notre dame is massive with perfectly carved nuance (one could stare at the facade of the building for hours) and stained glass magnificence through which prismed slots of colored light pass. We were forbidden to take pictures within the church, therefore, I have none to show. But one has to wonder in the midst of such magnificence, where the French leaders, clergy and politician alike, were when the travesty that we next encountered, occurred.
We wander the side streets of Paris looking for the Memorial de la Shoah. The streets turn from a bustling community to a desolate silence, as if to usher us into the respectful, somber mood the museum deserves. So quiet was it, I thought we made a wrong turn. But continuing down another block proved to be the correct decision as we came upon an unassuming structure on our right. Once we enter the museum, where they scan your bags, a huge Star of David sits before us with an eternal flame at its center. The museum touches your heart and I remain emotional throughout the remainder of my time there.
These are the doors leading into the Warsaw Ghetto, where the brave fought and died, and held tight to their dignity. There were articles about the deportation and atrocious treatment of French Jews, who were as much as part of the society as any French man, woman or child. There were posters depicting starvation and ugliness.