Incredibly moving, US Holocaust Memorial Museum is dedicated to giving visitors a better understanding of how and why the Nazi regime and its collaborators systematically murdered six million European Jews. You can expect a deeply moving yet haunting presentation of the facts and history of this painful historical event, so be prepared to leave with a heavy heart.
On the first floor, Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story is an exhibition geared for the younger audience – ages 8 and up. From the perspective of a boy growing up in Nazi Germany, this exhibition tells the story of one’s family experience during the Holocaust. It’s a hands-on interactive exhibit that is educationally for both kids and adults.
The permanent exhibits takes you on a journey on the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, conditions leading up to the Holocaust, outbreak of World War II, and the suffering of Jewish people of Europe. A variety of multimedia exhibits – videos, photographs, artifacts and recordings bring the horrors and atrocities of the Holocaust to life.
One of the last rooms to experience, Hall of Remembrance is a solemn place for visitors to sit and reflect on the museum’s heart wrenching content. Visitors may light memorial candles in the Hall to honor those who suffered so greatly during the Nazi regime. I felt respectful reverence by visitors here in the Hall.
With a wealth of well-curated exhibitions, the depth of information is enormous. Allow for plenty of time to absorb as much as you can. It’s a self-guided tour on three floors. Admission is free, but timed tickets are required between March and August to view the Permanent Exhibition. Timed tickets can be arranged on their website.
The museum has explored a very sensitive subject and handled it will great care. I believe one of the museum’s goals is to inspire citizens and leaders across the world to confront hatred and prevent genocide in the future.
I found the atmosphere throughout the museum to be quiet and respectful. Like me, I felt the visitors were genuinely interested in trying to better understand how this horrific genocide occurred. The museum was profoundly educating for me, which I hope has been for many other visitors. Shall we never forget what happened, so it’s not ever repeated again!