Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
New York, New York
July 9, 2000
From journal Day trip to Washington DC
March 27, 2003
The museum is an intensely educational experience, walking you through the experiences leading up to the Holocaust, and the Holocaust itself. The main exhibit is a mostly chronological walk through the rise of the Nazi Party and of Adolph Hitler, the roots of and rise of anti-semitism in Germany during the first half of the twentieth century, and leading you through increasing limitations on the lives of the Jewish inhabitants of Germany and German-controlled lands, and the emprisonment, torture, and mass murder of six million Jews and others.
Some of the "highlights" of the museum, for me, included the passport that they give you, which tells you the story of one person as you walk through the exhibit - you read what happens to this person. It really personalizes it for you. Another really affecting thing is the tower of photographs, which were taken from a town in Poland that was completely wiped out by Nazis during the Holocaust. A reproduction of a beautiful synagogue, what it looked like before and after Krystelnacht.
But the most moving thing for me is a glassed-off room on one floor, which you enter by stepping over a "street" paved with gravestones from a Jewish cemetary, where you can sit and just listen to the recorded voices of Auschwitz survivors telling their stories.
This is not a comfortable, fun museum, but it is an important one. I have since been to Buchenwald and Auschwitz (and have written them into journals here) and being there, standing on that ground, was moving, very moving, but this memorial seems to have more to teach.
There is often a special exhibit or exhibits available.
There is also the memorial itself, on the ground floor. I recommend that you see the exhibits before you spend time in the quiet meditative area of the memorial.
Be advised that you have to get tickets to that museum. You can get them at the ticket window in the morning of the day you want to go. It is harder to get them on weekends and in summer or during Cherry Blossom time. Another option is to get them in advance through Ticketmaster. Although the tickets are free, Ticketmaster does charge a handling fee.
This museum is much too intense for children under 12, but they do have a gentler exhibit following the life of one boy through the experience, specifically for children. I don't think you need tickets for that.
The closest metro is Smithsonian, on the orange and blue lines, but don't exit the station toward the mall, take the other exit. The Holocaust Memorial is next door to the Bureau of Engraving and printing.
Their web site is at ushmm.org.
From journal Wonderful Washington DC
July 1, 2000
From journal What to do in DC.
Washington, DC, Virginia
October 25, 2002
Arrive early for tickets and either immediately enter the permanent exhibit or ask for a visit at a later hour. The permanent can get easily crowded during the peak midday hours and it becomes difficult to read or view some exhibit items. While entry time is set, visitors are encouraged to stay as long as they please.
The actual architecture of the museum is a work of art. The main hall replicates the look and feel of an industrial building (concentration camp) with exposed brick and ominous structure. Large overhead skylights, however, flood the main hall with sunlight throughout the day.
Perhaps the most humbling room in the exhibit is the Tower of Faces, a photographer's lifetime work of a small Jewish village's occupants almost completely wiped out during World War II. The photographs cover daily life, special events, and posed subjects crowded and so numerous it is difficult to see each individual picture.
Other humbling exhibit highlights include a section on Kristallnacht and extensive coverage of international actions (or inactions) throughout the time period. All exhibits are presented as a chronological narrative divided into three sections: "Nazi Assault", "Final Solution", and "Last Chapter".
At the end of the permanent exhibit, visitors are invited for a moment of silent reflection and to view the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance.
The museum hosts 2-3 special exhibits at a time. Current exhibits include a new Schindler exhibit, the Berlin Olympics, and the artwork of Arthur Szyk. Special exhibits are often created by the museum and are available to other museums worldwide.
From journal Washington DC at a Glance
February 2, 2002
The items in the museum as well as the form or archetecture of the museum make it great. The design and layout of the building are supposed to create a form and function.
There is a Hall of Remembrance that is a hexagonal room making solemn, simple space lit with sunlight unlike the rest of the museum. It is used for public ceremonies and private thoughts.
From journal Washington, DC haunts
August 31, 2000
From journal My Trip to Washington DC
by Lulu Byrd
December 5, 2000
From journal "Washington DC: Crossroads USA"
Charlotte, North Carolina
September 23, 2000
The years leading up to the Holocaust: You will see perspectives and articles from events such as the book burnings, the Nurembourg Laws, the Kristallnacht, propaganda and more.
The Final Solution: This covers everything from the Jewish ghettos, mobile killing squads, deportation, and camp life. You will walk through rooms dedicated to whole communities that were eliminated (with pictures of the people), through authentic train cars that were used to transport Jews, an exhibit on medical experiments and a section on the equally gruesome plight of the mentally challenged under the Nazis and by a variety of narrated films, and articles from these days. Very powerful and moving and not for the faint of heart.
The Final Chapter: This section of the museum covers the rescuers, the Jewish resistance and the liberation of the Jewish people. It was nice to see that some people (at great personal risk) had the courage to help save many Jewish people. Unfortunately, you will walk away from the museum knowing that not nearly enough was done given the sheer numbers of people killed during the Holocaust.
Several Special Exhibits: A series of rooms allow you to see certain aspects of the Holocaust in more detail such as the Nazi Olympics, the Ghettos, and Daniel's Story (Remember the Children).
The Wall of Remembrance (the children): Over 3,000 tiles were painted by American children in remembrance of the children killed during the Holocaust. Very moving.
Hall of Remembrance: In this room you will find a flame that is always burning in remembrance of those who died that is meant to remind people to never forget what happened.
This is definitely a museum that everyone should see. I learned many things and will encourage everyone I know to go here.
From journal A City of Memorials
Greensboro, North Carolina
September 30, 2009
From journal History and Fun
September 8, 2009
From journal Our Nation's Capital