Washington DC: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

When I visited the Imperial War Museum in London a year ago, I was moved by the Holocaust special exhibit. That was the first time that I learned and understood what the Holocaust was about and how the horrible events helped shape the world today and taught us that we need to respond to cruelty of man. I wanted Suanne to see it too and included this museum as part of our itinerary.

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There are actually many Holocaust Museums in the world and surprisingly most of them are located in the US. The one in Washington DC is called the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum which was quite newly opened during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. While the US government funded the building and operations, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is funded largely by private sources, mainly Jewish I presume.

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It is quite a large facility with a total of 5 floors of exhibits and other facilities. As expected, there is a security check before one is allowed into the building although the line moves very fast.

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Other than the lobby, one is not allowed to take pictures. I am not sure why though. I mean, these are all static displays. Too bad I can’t share much with you on our visit there.

Admission is free to the Museum but you will need a timed pass for the Permanent Exhibition. Despite giving timed pass, the Permanent Exhibition is the most crowded of all and it’s close to impossible to really enjoy it. The Permanent Exhibit is broken down into three chapters over three floors. It started describing the life before the rise of Nazism and followed to the Final Solution where millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and other “undesirables” were systematically exterminated. If not for the crowd, it would have been a good museum to learn about the holocaust.

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We caught a show on the holocaust in the theater. The other exhibits are not as good as the Permanent Exhibit actually. (more…)

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