U.S. Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C.
This museum/memorial was created in 1980 by Congress to document, study and interpret the Holocaust and serve as a memorial to its victims. Its mission also is to promote knowledge of the Holocaust and foster responsible reflection on the meaning of citizenship.
As we were with our 12 year old granddaughter, we decided to tour just the exhibit designed for children, ?Remember the Children: Daniel?s Story.? This takes you through the experience of a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany and the oppression and incarceration of his family. It is not grotesque, but tells the tale very well and movingly through a series of rooms depicting the family?s life at various stages in the process and with pages from Daniel?s diary.
There is a wall memorializing the 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Holocaust. It is a series of 3,000 tiles painted by American schoolchildren. Their art and sentiments are both beautiful and poignant.
Timed passes (at no cost) are required for the permanent exhibition and can be obtained in advanced by phone (800 400-9373) or at www.tickets.com or in limited numbers at the Pass Desk on the first floor. No passes are required for entry into the building or for ?Remember the Children.?
Open 10 a.m.?5:30 p.m. every day including weekends
Closed only on Yom Kippur (October 2, 2006) and Christmas Day (December 25, 2006)
When you enter the Holocaust Museum you will be able to pick up an Identification Card.
Each card is different and tells the story of a real person who lived during the Holocaust.
My husband had the name of Henoch Kornfelt, a young boy born in Kolbuszowa, Poland.
This child died July 7, 1942 at the Belzec extermination camp when he was 3 and a half years old.
My card had the name of Simone Weil, born April 22, 1920 in Ringerndorf, France. She was a social worker in Rivesaltes, an internment camp for foreign-born Jews near the Spanish border. She assumed a false name and joined the OSE underground network to hide Jewish children in Southern France. In 1949 she emigrated to American. This was very interesting to me because three months earlier we had been in the Spanish-French Pyrenees where we read and heard about the work done there during that time on the border of Spain.
There is a great deal of reading in this museum. If you take the time to read everything you cannot finish a visit in four hours. When you get to the boxcar, you are halfway through the Museum. There are at least 3 twelve minutes movies to watch. It's quite overwhelming to see this place. The first half is dedicated to the build up of persecution of Jews and others in Europe. After the boxcar it is mainly about the concentration camps and what happened during WWII.
I hadn't planned on visiting the Holocaust Museum but when I contacted my Congressman's office to inquire about touring the White House with only a couple of weeks notice, they were kind enough not to laugh (security clearance alone take several weeks since the terrorist attack on 9/11) and in lieu of the White House set me up with a VIP visit to the Capitol and also VIP entrance to the permanent exhibit at the Holocaust Museum so I stopped by before my tour of DC with Kentbein.
I got there around 12 and only had until about 1:30 which was nowhere near enough time to view the three floors of the permanent exhibit much less the rest of the museum. The permanent exhibit is divided into three parts/floors: "Nazi Assault" which chronicles the events leading up to WWII, "Final Solution" and "Last Chapter" about the time after the war. The museum suggests allocating 2-3 hours to view the exhibit.
I thought it was an amazing amount of information-pictures, videos, lots of text-and covered aspects of that time period that aren't well known to those of us who studied world history in the US school system.
"Make the mistakes of yesterday your lessons for today."
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is both a study center for issues related to the Holocaust & a national memorial for the millions murdered by the World War II Nazi government.
You should realize that this museum is solemn & respectful as well as engrossing & informative.
In 1993, this museum opened to document & bear witness to the Third Reich's systematic persecution & murder of 6,000,000 Jews & other "undesirables". To experience this museum is to experience a range of dramatic emotions from sadness to anger. It's also an interactive museum. The photographs, artifacts, letters, & video monitors contain graphic & disturbing images.
The poignant exhibit for children called Daniel's Story is about an 8-year-old Jewish boy from 1930s Germany. It's quite "moving".
On the 3rd floor, there are several permanent exhibits devoted to the Final Solution. I was impressed by the boxcar used to carry thousands of prisoners to the gas chambers.
The Hall of Remembrance has an eternal flame in honor of the victims & is located in the Central Atrium.
The Children's Wall incorporates 6,000 colorful tiles painted by U.S. children & is dedicated to the 1.5 million children murdered by the Nazis.
When designing this museum, they made it claustrophobic in spots to give the visitor an experience similar to what Holocaust victims experienced.
When we entered the museum, we were given an Identity Card with the name & history of a Holocaust victim, & we could update the card at computer terminals, & at the end, we learned the fate of our person.
Of all the things I saw in Washington DC, this museum still haunts me.
Time passes required for Permanent Exhibit. Same-day passes are available at the Pass Desk. Advance passes can be reserved through Tickets.com (800)400-9373.
When we were there, this was not necessary, but it's become so popular, these restrictions were necessary.
Be advised that this museum is not for children as the exhibits will be very disturbing. Admission to the main galleries is free, however you must secure one of the limited tickets. Demand for these tickets can vary, so you might want to arrive early if this is high on your list of places to visit.
The museum takes a very extensive and innovative approach to examining the events associated with the Holocaust. If you never manage to make it to one of the actual concentration camps, I believe that this museum will drive home the point. There are graphic exhibits starting with the rise of the Nazi empire and concluding with the "final solution". There is also a large memorial chamber within the building. At the beginning of your self-guided tour, you will be issued a "passport" of an individual who was in the Holocaust. At the end of your tour, you will find out what their fate was in this horrible event.
This place will make you cry. It is important to remember what happened to the Jews during this time so that history doesn't forget and repeat itself again. This entire museum is a memorial to the Jews and others persecuted during the horrible Holocaust. If you have a heart, you should see this.
This is one of the newest Smithsonian museums, and a must-see. A lot of the previous reviews have detailed the basics. What I'd like to add is that if you go, do obtain your free entry ticket as soon as possible on the day you visit, or ahead of time. The earlier your entry time, the more time you have alloted, and you should allow at least a half-day for this museum. Second, the special exhibit area in the basement and the children's exhibit on the main floor do not require an entry ticket, so if you have limited time you can see these. Last, if you are unsure that you can handle the permanent exhibit (which as many have stated, is quite explicit and graphic-- no punches pulled), test yourself with the children's exhibit. If you feel you'll be okay after completing this, you can probably go through the rest of the museum. The video screens that have graphic footage are behind "shields" (primarily for children's benefit so they aren't exposed to it) and so you can opt to pass these. They are actual footage of executions, the camps, etc. That doesn't mean they are necessarily what will affect you the most-- as many here (and elsewhere) have said, things like the piles of shoes really move people. There is a sacred meditation room at the end, where you may light a candle in honor of the dead, or take a moment to say a prayer, and make the transition from the Holocaust back to the 21st century.
On the southern edge of the National Mall is the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This three story building is dedicated to memory of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis during World War II.
The Permanent Exhibit of the museum contains original relics from the Holocaust including: a boxcar used to transport Jews to the concentration camps, the bunk beds where Jewish prisoners lay, and shoes and personal items of the victims. In addition, to film and photos you can listen and watch audio and video testimony from concentration camp survivors
Talk about SILENCE. In spite of the enourmous number of visitors that day, the halls were respectfully silent save for a sniffle here and there from those moved by the powerful exhibits.
In the official words, this is America's "institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history." Excellent and moving, the museum deserves the high reputation it has won for seriousness of purpose and the appropriateness of its design. Definitely worth a visit on any trip to Washington - but I would very much recommend giving yourself at least a half-day for the experience, and not trying to "cram" it in with a long list of other Mall sightseeing.
The Holocaust Musuem in Washington D.C. opened to the public in 1993. It is a very moving monument to the Holocaust and a place you should not miss while you're in the nation's capital.
The building itself is remarkable: on the outside it's a forbidding, gray, almost prison-like structure. The inside is also somber, at times feeling like a jail. Yet, the building is also very open and fills with light at various times of the day. Visitors are hushed, and the entire place feels somehow sacred. It's an excellent environment for such a serious subject.
The permanent exhibit traces the history of the Holocaust, from its origins in pre-Nazi Germany to its tragic conclusions. The exhibit has photos, documents and videos which are fascinating. You'll spend a lot of time here, looking over all the details. The museum also houses an eternal flame and a suspended walkway, surrounded by glass. The names of Holocaust victims are etched into the glass. Another moving spot: a room filled entirely with shoes (shoes that were taken from Jews as they were sent to their death in the concentration camps).
There are also several special exhibitions which rotate through the museum and will vary depending on when you are there.
Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted in the musuem. On entry, all visitors will pass through metal detectors and have their belongings scanned. Video recording is not permitted and photography is not permitted in the exhibitions.
Timed passes are necessary for visiting the Permanent Exhibition and can be obtained at the Museum on the day of your visit or in advance by calling tickets.com at (800) 400–9373. Each day, the Museum distributes on a first–come first–served basis a large but limited number of timed entry passes for use that same day. It's best to get there early in the summer, when the musuem is most crowded.
For me,one of the top things to do/see was the Holocaust Museum,which certainly represents everything you should know about the holocaust.The building itself is impresive,entering into the foyer where you will be given a passport of a person who was sent to a concentration camp,and to which you follow them until you find out their fate .
The museum follows through the history of the holocaust and all those affected including concentration camp towers,a replica of the Auchwitz entrance and even ovens where prisoners died.
What affected me most was a train carriage,which you could walk into and experience the small amount of room and the room of shoes taken from a camp at the end of the war,as well as the almost total silence as you wandered around the exhibits (and it was very busy when I went)
You cannot fail to be moved or to learn something about history,people and yourself.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum brings us back to the times of World War II & the death of millions of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, & many handicapped people. This museum will bring no smiles to your lips except perhaps until you reach the end of the exhibits when you realize that there are some saviors & heroes who tried to save those who were to die.
This is a must see museum for people all over the world. We say that we must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, and that what happened should not be repeated. It has happened again, but on a different scale.
Children are welcome to this museum as well. There are some graphic footage, like experiments done on humans by the Nazis, but it is surrounded by a wall so that children are not able to see it. There is a special exhibit for children as well.
Definitely put this museum on your list of places to go.
A stunning tribute to a historical tragedy, the Holocaust Museum's collection is a winding trail of history. The permanent exhibit is available only via special pass obtainable at tickets.com or at the museum the day of visit. Arrive early for tickets and either immediately enter the permanent exhibit or ask for a visit at a later hour. The permanent can get easily crowded during the peak midday hours and it becomes difficult to read or view some exhibit items. While entry time is set, visitors are encouraged to stay as long as they please. The actual architecture of the museum is a work of art. The main hall replicates the look and feel of an industrial building (concentration camp) with exposed brick and ominous structure. Large overhead skylights, however, flood the main hall with sunlight throughout the day. Perhaps the most humbling room in the exhibit is the Tower of Faces, a photographer's lifetime work of a small Jewish village's occupants almost completely wiped out during World War II. The photographs cover daily life, special events, and posed subjects crowded and so numerous it is difficult to see each individual picture. Other humbling exhibit highlights include a section on Kristallnacht and extensive coverage of international actions (or inactions) throughout the time period. All exhibits are presented as a chronological narrative divided into three sections: "Nazi Assault", "Final Solution", and "Last Chapter". At the end of the permanent exhibit, visitors are invited for a moment of silent reflection and to view the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance. The museum hosts 2-3 special exhibits at a time. Current exhibits include a new Schindler exhibit, the Berlin Olympics, and the artwork of Arthur Szyk. Special exhibits are often created by the museum and are available to other museums worldwide.
This is an impressive museum that serves to educate people on the Holocaust. I didn't get to go on the 'tour' because we were to late. However, I am told that you are to walk in the place of one of the victim's shoes, given an identity and all information on this person. You then walk through as that person. At any rate, there are a couple free tours you can take... one is the children's tour, which presents the Holocaust to children. Also, there was a special exhibit when I was there that I got to see, and that was very interesting. Anyway, I highly reccommend this, and next time I return I would definitely like to do the real tour.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, off Independence Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. This museum shows the sad history of the more than one million jews who were systematically killed by the Nazi regime in Germany and German occupied territory during World War II. Photography is not allowed. I would not recommend it for younger children below the age of 12 for the main exhibits, or below the age of 8 for the special exhibit designed for children called Daniel's Story. The images are very disturbing.
I cannot recommend this for young children for obvious reasons. However, for adults this is a good reminder of history and the adage that those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it. This museuem reminds us how teaching hatred based on religion or ethinicity in any country can lead to unthinkable horrors on minority racial groups. The purpose of the museum is help make sure this type of event does not occur again.