United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
“As the generation of Holocaust survivors and liberators dwindles, the torch of remembrance, of bearing witness, and of education must continue forward.”
These are the famous words by Dan Guillerman that ring true from generation to generation.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum brings to life the atrocities of the aftermath of genocide successfully enlightening its visitors on the pending dangers of antagonism. Because of its detailed presentation, the United States Holocaust Museum is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Washington D.C. and we at Priddy Chimney Sweeps would highly recommend spending some time here.
Located on the National Mall in Washington D.C, it can easily be found on the southside of Independence Avenue bordering the 14th and 15th Street. The museum officially opened its doors to the public in April 26, 1993 in honor of the holocaust victims.
The “Holocaust” Permanent Exhibition is sectioned into three parts:
- “Nazi assault”
- “Final Solution”
- “Last Chapter”
Nazi Assault 1933-1939
Photographs from the concentration camps opens up the Permanent Exhibition painting a clear picture on the terrors of Nazism. The display on this floor starts by outlining the rise of the Nazi party in 1933 to the onset of World War II in 1939.
The chronicles continue down to the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Germany’s chancellor and the evolution of Nazi policies. Changes in these policies resulted to Jews possessing German citizenship being declared outcasts and labeled as ‘enemies of the state.’
The Final Solution 1940-1945
Also known as the middle floor, this part of the Permanent Exhibition narrates the beginning of genocide in 1941. “The Final Solution” was a code name given for the total annihilation of the Jewish race campaign ordered by Hermann Goering.
The primary focus on this floor is how largely concentration camps were established by the Nazis and the voice of Auschwitz narrates the survivors’ testimonies in the audio theater. By the time World War II ended in 1945, six million Jews had already perished in the hands of the Nazis and their allies.
The Last Chapter
This floor of the Permanent Exhibition concludes with the overwhelming victory over the Nazi and their allies. It showcases the final liberation of the Nazi camps in 1945, the resistance efforts of the Nazis and successful rescue missions by the US army.
The quest for justice rings loudly on this final floor as the holocaust survivors are seen piecing their lives back together and the post-war effects greatly felt.
A series of testimonial films of both the rescuers and survivors sharing their encounters is played constantly reminding the visitors on the importance of an individual’s obligation towards mankind.
One of the activities that greatly stands out on this floor is the selflessness of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon French country folk who put their lives in danger hiding the Jews and the rescue of 7,000 Jews by the Danish.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is indeed a fundamental source of inspiration for both world leaders and citizens alike. The museum’s core values can be seen through its determination to preserve the memories and physical proofs of the survivors, witnesses and rescuers. From the well documented displays to oral narrations of the survivors, the Holocaust Memorial Museum is a wealth of knowledge and awareness.
If you are planning to visit the museum, visitors are advised to take the Metro as there is limited public parking. The museum opens its door everyday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Yom Kippur and Christmas Day.
Tickets are free but if you would like to make reservations it will cost $1.
While World War II was primarily fought in the European theatre, the U.S. also fought in the Pacific theatre. If you’re interested in learning more about that aspect of WWII then you can learn a lot by visiting the National Museum of the Marine Corps.