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Remembering the Holocaust Museum

  1. #1
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    fureverywhere is offline beloved friend who will always be with us in spirit
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    Remembering the Holocaust Museum

    Wow, how things can come back to you. I just finished reading a book I had picked up called "Tell Them We Remember". It was put out by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, maybe targeted at Jr. High reading level but very well done. But it brought back when I went there in 2001. First some backstory...I went back to college in my early forties. A bit fuzzy about those years, had five kids home and was working full time besides, yeah it's a blur. Know I did good and got a bunch of scholarships.

    Anyways, World History was a course taught by a prof with a heavy German accent. I remember one day he announced in a few weeks we would have a field trip. I remember raising my hand for the last question of the day. I had a nursing baby who couldn't go a full day without nummies, could I bring her? He said of course if she didn't scream all the way to Washington. We left class that day and oddly the lots were full of exiting traffic. I remember the TV being on in the student center but I didn't look at the screen that had everyone's attention.

    It was time to feed the baby and my shirt was soaked. So out to the lots and asking a stranger what was going on. He said they had bombed New York and Washington...shirt getting wetter and two hours of traffic to home. I did finally get there to feed the baby. We all know what else happened that day. So now three weeks later and it was time for our trip. Three weeks after September 11th...I had a diaper bag stuffed in my backpack. Every nappie, every nose tissue, it took half an hour to clear security and just as long to put it all back together.

    If you haven't been there, the museum tour starts on the top floor. Everyone is given a passport. The image and description is the story of an individual German Jew, you will read their story as you descend down the different floors. The displays...you can imagine what just the silence does to you, chilling as an extreme understatement. Oh and our professor giving us amusing sidelights in a heavy German accent. I imagine some people leave this place in tears or manic, possibly both...it's that intense.

    On the ground level the last display is "Remembering the Children". A hallway of tiles created by US school kids nationwide with messages and drawings. At this point before you turn in your passport and find out if the subject of your tour survived the war. Then you walk out into sunlight drained. You know my reading material on the bus trip home? The new Rolling Stone with them carrying Father Judge on the cover, and a baby nursing in my arms. Definitely a trip I will never forget. I would tell everyone to go there at least once in their life.

    All those memories from a school age text...I'm donating it to a library with a major Jewish population, an important book in any case.

  2. #2
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    We have a Jewish holocaust museum in Sydney. I've visited it a couple of times with girls from the school where I was teaching.
    We combined a visit to the Great Synagogue and the museum as part of the Year 10 Religious Studies course.

    It was a very powerful experience and our guide was a sweet elderly man called David who bore a number tattoo on his arm.

    As we left he spoke directly to the girls and said to them "Remember that you must never hate."
    Even now, as I write this I want to weep as I remember what I learned that day.
    We must always take sides.
    Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.

  3. #3
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    Warri, he spoke the truth. It is all that separates us from THEM. That is the ultimate victory.

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    Every year around Veterans Day there are a lot of old war movies and war documentaries on TV and they showed the people inside concentration camps just after they were liberated.

    We've all seen the horrific pictures before but every time I see them I don't choked up as much as I get really, really pissed off at what took place.

  5. #5
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    I've seen so many photos and documentaries on the Holocaust that we skipped the Holocaust Museum in Washington when we went. Don't think I could handle it.

  6. #6
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    I thought this was an interesting interview with a twin who was experimented on with her sister, and survived the Holocaust, also gave forgiveness. Not looking to start a political discussion, just thought some would like to hear this lady.


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    There are museums, plaques, and moving art works, devoted to the six million Jews, who were viciously exterminated during WWII. This is rightly so. Yet, there were about five million others, who were exterminated in the same manner. Their bodies were in the same ovens, and they died the same horrible deaths, but there are no museums, plaques, or moving art works, devoted to them. They were the dregs of society, the deformed, the mentally defective, homosexuals, and the very old. For me, it's sad that even in death, as in life, they don't matter.

  8. #8
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    Fuzzybuddy, where did you get the idea that the Holocaust Museum honors only the Jewish victims? Here's an excerpt from the museum's web site.

    The Museum honors as Survivors and Victims any persons, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, social, and political policies of the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945. (The Museum’s ID Cards portray the experiences of a wide range of people during the Holocaust. Browse all ID Cards)
    The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.
    During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

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