The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Authority opened a branch last year at the Israeli military's new officer training base south of Be'er Sheva, but its existence is little-known. The facility provides Holocaust education training for officers and other soldiers, but is not meant as a substitute for visits to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.
Army officials said they attach great importance to Holocaust education for soldiers. Officials at Yad Vashem noted that the branch at the army base has made it possible to expand Holocaust education programming to soldiers who do not visit the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem during their military service. Funding for the branch was provided jointly by the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority and the military.
The branch includes an interactive exhibition space dedicated to Holocaust remembrance, focusing in particular on the struggle to maintain a semblance of humanity in the face of constant death in the ghettos, the forests to which Jews escaped, and in the camps.
The education center is one of several projects that the army has undertaken on the subject of Holocaust remembrance, which also includes a program of visits to Poland by IDF officers, a program that this year brought about 2,000 soldiers to the country on Holocaust-related visits. Participants are provided with two days of training at Yad Vashem prior to their trips.