Windows of Hope
Ardyn Halter, artist, and son of Roman Halter, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, was commissioned by the UK-based Aegis Trust to create two stained-glass windows for The Memorial. His work forms a powerful link between the experience of the survivors of the Holocaust and that of the survivors of the Rwandan genocide.
Measuring 2.5m x 2.9m each, the windows are certainly substantial. They send down two shafts of light into a subterranean exhibition. These shafts symbolize rays of hope.
The first window is in the section of the exhibition after the description of the pre-genocide period and just before the zone about the genocide. There are steps leading
up to the windows, to the light. This indicates that the genocide was not inevitable. Warnings could have been heeded and action taken. But the world chose not to go up that path to the light.
The exhibition continues along the path of genocide, underground and in relative darkness.
The second window sends a shaft of light down into a section immediately after the exhibit describing the genocide. This section describes the heroes of the genocide: people who rescued and resisted. But again, they were not enough. Despite their great acts, and the gratitude of those that were saved, the heroes were too few, and so again, the stairs do not lead out of the subterranean exhibition, which continues straight into the next section underground, describing the ongoing problems and consequences of genocide, even after the killing has stopped.