U.S. Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C.
"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.
the u.s.h.m.m is a fasinating and disturbing history of nazi germany and the holocaust. to see the permanent exhibit you get a ticket at the information counter on the main floor. you are then given a "passport" which is a copy of a ID card and brief biography of a victim of the holocaust. then you take an elevator to the fourth floor to begin the tour of the museum. the fourth floor has videos and exhibits on the rise of nazism in germany. there are also exhibits on nazi race classification and antisemitism. the third floor is devoted to the "final solution" or the extermination of the jews in europe. the exhibits also touch on the fate of other targeted groups such as the mentially impared, homosexuals, gypysies, and jehovah's witnesses. the most disturbing exhibits are a box car that took victims to the concentration camps, and collections of personal effects that once belonged to victims of the holocaust. a must see site for students of 20th century history. i would not recomend this museum for young children. the admission is free but during peak tourist periods tickets to the permanent collection must be reserved in advance.
on june 9 th 2009 an elderly deranged white supremacist shot and killed a security guard at the main entrance to the museum. this insane act will probably increase security at the museum. in planning a visit to the holocaust museum check their web site for security updates.
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.
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)
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is the best museum of its kind by far. Of course it’s devoted to the holocaust in Europe in case you think there was any US holocaust! The ugly building(pic 1) isn’t attractive and the security people at the entrance (you have to go through screening, not even bottles of water allowed inside!) were super extra non friendly.
At the main floor (pic 2) you will get the museum plan and other info (no photos at permanent gallery) as well a passport which is actually a copy of an ID card with a small biography of a holocaust victim!
Then we went up to the upper floor where you can see exhibits (in chronological display), these are pictures, written info and videos about the rise of Nazis in Germany and how the anti-Semitism growth slowly in the society. At the end you will also pass through the section which is about what they called Final Solution which was of course the extermination of jews, gypsies and others like the disabled people!.
The whole experience is quite astonishing, some exhibits/pictures are disturbing so maybe very young children shouldn’t be here. The museum is open daily 10.00-17.20 with free entrance. I’ve heard that during high season there is time ticketing but in late September we just walked in like in any other museum.
At the end you can visit the Hall Of Remembrance(pic 4), you can take photos there but without flash.
I never heard of the US Holocaust, so I was a bit confused about this museum that memorializes the US Holocaust. Turns out this museum in the US is about the German holocaust. Does Germany have a museum dedicated to American slavery? Maybe they could call it the German Slavery Museum. Have you ever visited the US Slavery Museum or the American Indian Atrocities Museum on the National Mall in DC? Funny how we focus so much attention on other nations' tragic histories while ignoring our own.
Anyway, this great museum is located along the National Mall near the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin. It opened in 1993, and I visited about a year later.
The museum's main feature is the Permanent Exhibition that has chronological displays of the history of the holocaust in Europe under Nazi Germany. This area also includes the "Tower of Faces," which shows daily life in a Lithuanian town before the residents were executed. The last big element of the museum is the memorial Hall of Rememberance
This museum is one of the most important ones in Washington and no matter how much you feel you know about the Holocaust it is worth visiting and putting things into perspective; They also emphasis current world crises such as the problems occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan which helps.
During my visit there was a special exhibit called the Storey of Daniel a young child who survived the Holocaust and it illustrates through his journal the good life he had that eventually turned to the loss of his mother, sister and his father’s death in the concentration camps. This was a very good exhibit.
Another exhibit that I felt was effective was a presentation dedicated to the Protocols of Zion, a propaganda tool used to convince people that the Jewish has a plan to take over the world. During the war I could see how this would have been effective but what got my attention and find alarming is the fact that if you do a search on the Internet these protocols remain prominent today throughout the world and there are even governments that teach them. It is alarming that racism is still what it is in our world.
The permanent exhibit at the museum follows a chronological illustration of the war and lets you get a graphic illustration of what happened; other things that have become imprinted in my head where the looting, the display of shoes and the pictures that showed all the tattoos people where given. The survivors still have to wear them today.
There was also a model display of killing centers and how they would try to convince people they were going for a sanitary shower. Another sad illustration is of the Nazi program to kill disabled people and the sick in the hospitals. There is more and more at this museum and I encourage you to visit.
Think about what you saw at the Holocaust Museum.
This is the museum slogan, found at the entrance and in the bags of the gift shop.
And they really do their best so we could think about it.
I would recommend visiting this museum in a half day, without any other museum or touristic activity scheduled, because the whole experience is quite astonishing. No matter how many times you heard about the Holocaust, and how sure we are that this is something we cannot repeat again, it will always be shocking to see the panels, the stories, the badges with the Star of David, the cups that children carried to their execution places thinking that they would get soup, the personal belongings that many Jews left before being gassed, even a couple of diaries from people in the ghettos. Most importantly, how society took so long to react, in the same way they do nowadays, in cases of extermination and genocide.
The entrance is free, but you gotta make a line to get tickets. It's advised to go early, because tickets are for later. I went on a Saturday, arrived at 10 am and got a ticket for 12:30, but there were other people arriving a bit later than me that got tickets for 4 pm. After the main exhibition, you can find the Hall of Remembrance, where some stop to reflect and pay their respect to the victims. There are also lectures and exhibitions, mostly on genocide and mass killings (e.g. Srebenica, Darfur), that make me wonder if this museum will eventually turn into a genocide museum.
Words do not begin to describe a visit to the Holocaust Museum, and I dare say that fewer words are spoken in this location than any other place in all of Washington, DC.
As opposed to most museums in the area, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is privately funded and not at all a part of the U.S. government. No photograhpy, video or audio recording is allowed and rightfully so, as some images are better served becoming a part of one's memory. This is just such a place.
As you begin your tour of the Museum, each person is given an "Identification Card." However, it's not your Identification Card but one of a real person who lived during the Holocaust. As I consider my visit to the Holocaust Museum a "private" experience and not one to be shared as any mere tourist destination, I have decided to share with you the person who's Identification Card I received, as this tells much more about this place and its dedication to one of the most horrific periods in the sorry history of mankind.
Please see the following tip for this as space will not allow here
Name: Miksa Deutsch
Date of Birth: June 24, 1897
Place of Birth: Bistrita, Romania
Miksa was the youngest of four children born to religious Jewish parents. The Deutches lived in the town of Bistrita in Transylvania, a region of Romania that belonged to Hungary until 1918. After 1910, the family lived in nearby Viseu de Sus. In 1922, Miksa moved to Budapest, Hungary where he and his older brother, Pal, opened a business selling matches. In 1928 Miksa married Kornelia Mahrer.
1933-1939: Miksa and Kornelia had three children whom they raised with a religious education. Miksa and his brother were the sole distributors in Hungary of Swedish-made matches, and the business prospered. In May 1939 the Hungarian government enacted a law that limited the number of Jews who could be employed in Hungarian businesses, forcing Miksa to fire some of his Jewish employees.
1940-1944: In 1940, Miksa was conscripted into the Hungarian army's labor service. Two years later, he was forced to surrender control of his business to a brother of the Hungarian Prime Minister. In October 1944 Miksa began to fear deportation and he briefly left his labor unit to visit his wife, who gave him a Swedish safe-conduct pass she had received from a friend. When Miksa returned to the labor unit on October 31, a Hungarian officer tore up his pass and ordered him deported along with the others. On November 10, 1944 Miksa wrote to his wife that he was being force-marched from Hungary to Austria. He died in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria at the age of 47.
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.
In his review, MindCrime wrote: "...Of course it’s devoted to the holocaust in Europe in case you think there was any US holocaust!"
Mind you, MindCrime, that the mass destruction of Native Americans was indeed genocide, a horrific holocaust of its own kind, and what about the enslavement of Africans and the discrimination against them in the US? They're both absolutely horrific events in history, together with the Jewish Holocaust in Europe.
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.
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.