Kendall and I both agreed that this was one of our very favorite things we did. But it was hard to see, hard to read, very powerful.
the outside of the Holocaust Museum
just one display of amazing pictures of people affected by the Holocaust.
there are displays of clothing etc that the prisoners wore...these are shoes...there is a room of shoes.
this was definitely not uplifting but i very much wanted to see this museum. we waited in line starting around 8:15 am, to get tickets for the day. you can reserve them online but they were all out when we went to do that. so we waited in line, and we got great tickets. the museum actually opens at 10 and we got tickets for 10:30, and it took probably 3 or so hours to do all the floors and read all the things we wanted to read and see all the pictures and artifacts and short films they had.
The Holocaust has always amazed me...i feel like i can never learn enough about it, there are so many facets to it. and it is a very emotional subject, to be sure. so many groups of people were targeted by the Nazis, not just Jews, although they were the largest group to be exterminated. Even the word extermination...we associate that with bugs and vermin, so did the Nazis. One theme running throughout the exhibits was the idea of how Hitler could get a whole nation to agree to genocide...well in truth, he didn't have to do anything as grand as that. He just had to get them desensitized to the plight of the Jews (and other groups), just get them to not really care, be enough past feeling, that when they did realize the true scope of what the Nazis had planned, what they were doing, there was nothing they could do to stop it.
The hardest part for me, besides the sheer numbers of people killed, was the children. Over 1 million of the people who died were children. Who could look at a child and have no regard for their innate worth and goodness and not want to save them, help them? plenty of people did help, you learn about them too, in the museum. It was an overwhelming experience, but I am so glad we went.
Another amazing aspect of the build up to what Hitler and his followers called "the final solution" (meaning killing those they viewed as not worthy to reproduce etc.) was how short of a time it took Hitler to gain pretty much absolute power in Germany. He was appointed as a Chancellor (I believe) and then 6 months later, he had completely obliterated the fragile government they were trying to build back up in Germany and was controlling everything and pushing ahead with his own agenda. Really amazing and definitely a lesson in how much damage corrupt leaders can do, how much impact they can have.