Holocaust Museum LobbyWelcome to the Holocaust Museum… have a meaningful experience.

As it’s name indicates, the museum’s focus is on telling the story of the Holocaust.  Since it’s opening in 1993, over 30 million people have visited the museum – and from my experience on Saturday, that number is growing rapidly.  Most notable upon arriving is the architecture.  There is an incredible mixture of stone, glass, steel, and light – quite stunning.

The museum captured the story from Hitler’s rise to power to the liberation of the concentration camps.  Overall, I found the museum to be informative and impactful.  I visited Dachau  previously and definitely still appreciated the insights offered by the Holocaust Museum.  Well done, Holocaust Museum – I had a meaningful experience.

I’ll focus on a few parts I found most interesting:

  • Photos of more than 1,000 families from Eisiskes, Lithuania
  • Barrack Bunks from Aushwitz – standing inside of a constructed barracks and seeing these bunks was moving.  It really is one thing to read about the conditions and quite another to experience a fraction of what it would have been like.
  • On that same note, walking through a railcar that transported people to Ghettos and concentration camps almost made me sick.
  • Information on Ghettos – I can not get my head around constructing a bridge to go over a street so that Jews would not walk on it…

The Hall of Remembrance is a great testament to those who endured the Holocaust.  When you first walk into that room – you are greeted with a burning flame, above it these words:

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.

~ Deuteronomy 4:9

If you’re thinking of checking it out, you’ll want to secure your timed entry ticket either in advance (with a booking fee) or earlier in your museum-filled day.  Look at the details here.  Many thanks to Sarah who helped me with securing tickets for my museum-touring group.

I’ll leave you with one other quote I found particularly moving.  Never forget.

~ Jessica ~

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.

Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. 

~ Elie Wiesel, Night (New York: Bantam, 1982), p.32