I enjoyed my visit to the Jewish Museum in Camden, which tells the history of the Jewish people over the past 4,000 years. In doing so, it doesn’t seek to lecture or preach – instead, it takes the approach that to educate is to enlighten, and I certainly came away feeling as though I’d learned a lot.
The Museum is divided into three main areas: the History Exhibition – an insight into British Jewish history from 1066 to today – the Living Faith Gallery (a selection of rare and beautiful ceremonial art objects demonstrating religious practice and traditions in the home and synagogue) and the Holocaust Gallery.
All three are fascinating, but I was particularly moved by the Holocaust Gallery, which is small, simple – and all the more effective for that. It tells the story of a British-born survivor of Auschwitz, Leon Greenman, who was living in the Netherlands with his family when war broke out. Sent to Auschwitz, and then to a further five concentration camps, Leon somehow survived – his wife and two-year-old son did not. After the war, Leon returned to the UK and spent the remainder of his life campaigning against racism and prejudice, eventually being awarded an OBE. The gallery displays many of his family’s possessions, which were kept safe for them by a neighbour – including his wife’s wedding dress and, heartbreakingly, a tiny sailor suit that his son used to wear. You can also watch a very moving film of Leon talking about his experiences. If you have an interest in history, religion or politics (and I am sure that most people do), I highly recommend paying the Jewish Museum a visit – you won’t regret it.