The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Officially called the United s Holocaust Memorial Museum, I visited this landmark and tourist attraction on June 5, 2012, in the afternoon. Upon visiting, I went to the website for the museum to see what to expect and to check the times when I could be admitted. Before even visiting the museum, I was aware of some of the basics to expect from the museum as far as being able to enter the permanent exhibition to see the history of the Holocaust as well as the artifacts. However, even before traveling to the museum, I was able to read up on some literature that helped prepare me more as far as giving me background information about this tragic experience known as the Holocaust that occurred and involved several members of the Jewish religion and impacted numerous citizens during the 1940s in Germany.
Upon visiting the museum, I visited it with a couple of friends who had never been before either. It looked from the outside just like any other basic building in Washington, D.C. but once upon entering, there was a solemn and sobering aura about the place. I was not sure where to begin my tour as there is quite a bit of thing to see but it seemed that no matter where I went, there was not only a memorial to the situation but just a strange feeling of melancholy and sadness. The museum had so many different types of exhibits and surprisingly a library, a cafe, and a gift shop. I was also surprised that the museum was open every single day except for Christmas Day and the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in September.
The permanent exhibition had numerous artifacts that were on display. I found out that there were almost 1000 artifacts that were part of the Holocaust’s permanent exhibition. There were also a few different areas where a person could watch historical footage discussing the Nazis, Hitler, and the concentration camps to give a bit more insight on what the members of the Holocaust were forced into doing by Adolph Hitler. There were so many images of death and destruction that it is unreal how people were able to survive the experience.
It was also interesting to see the numerous artifacts of propaganda advertising that Hitler used in an effort to convince people to listen to him, honor him and honor his wishes that were those of supremacy of anyone that did not fit his idea of who a person was supposed” to be. Upon visiting the website, I found that this permanent exhibition was designed to be in three different segments called the Nazi Assault, the Final Solution and the Last Chapter (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012). The museum was structured with the design in mind to show how people lived and were treated during this era led by a monster.
Another fascinating portion of the museum though too was the area that was dedicated to the children of the Holocaust. It is an area designed to actually be told from the point of view of a boy that was going through the Holocaust and is told in a way to help children understand it better. It is a great exhibit for all ages since visitors can hear the narrative from a child’s point of view. The area of this exhibit is Daniels Story and even shows the young boys’ room prior to the destruction and danger.
I was most interested in the areas of propaganda discussion. It amazed me the types of information that was disseminated across Germany in order to convince others that the Jews needed to be destroyed. The people had no idea what it was like on the other side of the Holocaust and what it was like to be a Jewish person. Adolf Hitler had these people convinced using tactics that were like brainwashing that all began when he became the Chancellor in Germany in January 1933. It was not even a month after his appointment that he began to start trouble with Nazis burning buildings in February (The History Place, 1997).
The History Place. (1997). The history place: Holocaust timeline. Retrieved from http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/timeline.html.
United States Holocaust Memorial Musem. (2012). Exhibitions: the Holocaust. Retrieved from http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/exhibit/#perm.