Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
September 8, 2009
From journal Our Nation's Capital
Queens, New York
July 16, 2007
Oh my God, what a place! Upon entering the museum, I expected what one would generally expect from a holocaust museum, general facts, gruesome pictures,and a lot of anti-Semitic propaganda from the past, but this place was completely different. Now luckily, my brother is a police officer and got all of us in ahead of everyone else with his ID, but I believe the museum is free regardless, they just have you wait on line for some minutes while they hand out passes. After receiving our passes, we headed over to the permanent exhibition area and were told to get passport looking ID cards before entering the elevator. There were two pamphlet holders on each side of the elevator lobby filled with male and female ID cards. The IDs contained information about a real person in the Holocaust; what they did before it and, if they died, how they died or how they were rescued. A small portrait came along in my passport of a little boy from Poland who was forced to wear a golden clothed star to identify that he was Jewish and how he and his family were gasses at the Belzec camp in 1942. An extremely sad story, but what makes it worse is that it is completely true and happened to millions of people. There was a sign inside the museum, "there weren’t six million murders, there was one murder six million times." I don’t want to give too much away about this place, but it was intense and informative. I think we spent just about two hours inside walking through the exhibit, seeing recreations of the bunks were people slept in, the ovens that were used, the train cars used, and anything else you can think of. There was one part that had tons of human hair, because the Germans would cut the hair off and sell it in 40 pound bundles for different purposes. Also, the experiments done to people to see how different things would effect the German soldiers in different scenarios was unnerving. Well, the whole place is unnerving and it's shocking that this happened in the first place. One thing that I found especially interesting was that the Allied forces knew where Auschwitz Concentration Camp was but didn’t bomb it for fear that another, worse camp would open doing more long-term damage. One of the greatest parts of this museum was the Darfur exhibit near the exit. Acknowledging that the situation in Darfur could, and most likely will, lead to a museum being setup in the same fashion of the Holocaust Museum, this exhibit is great. It opens up our eyes to the fact that we can make a stand now instead of seeing things in perfect 20/20 hindsight. So, if you find yourself in or around D.C., please stop by the Holocaust Museum, it is totally worth it and I swear that you won’t regret it.
From journal A Day in DC
by Shady Ady
Hinckley, England, United Kingdom
September 2, 2006
From journal Tales of a Travelling Englishman (Part 8 - Washington D.C., USA)
New York, New York
July 1, 2000
From journal What to do in DC.
July 9, 2000
From journal Day trip to Washington DC
June 30, 2005
The museum itself is designed to resemble an early 20th-century factory--an analogy, I think, to the factory-like mechanization of death the Nazis developed. As you enter, you are encouraged to pick up a "passport" that corresponds to a real victim of the Holocaust. Cues in the museum tell you when to open your passport and find out who you are, what your life was like prior to the Holocaust, and your fate. The museum recounts the rise of the Nazis, the beginings of the "Final Solution", and implementation, and well as the liberation and what followed. The experience is sobering and shocking. Two items in particular struck me: one a image of a fetus cut from its mother's womb and tossed in a mass grave, the other a model of the gas chambers, showing each step from the entry of the victims into the undressing rooms to their deaths. The sculpture clearly gave individual victims expressions of terror and pain in the gas chamber. Although not fun in the slightest, this is an important museum to visit, "lest we forget".
From journal An Eight-Day Vacation in Washington, D.C.
by Amber Autumn
May 11, 2005
To get on the upper levels, you had to call Pro Tix (800/400-9373) to get a timed pass. My classmates and I were shoved into this tiny, cramped elevator after we received small blue booklets with the U.S. seal and "For the dead and the living we must bear witness" printed on top. The booklets contained a person through the Holocaust, and on each floor we saw what happened to the person. A small movie theater on the third floor introduced how Hitler came to power and blamed the Jews for their debts. Through the floors, I saw how the Jews were tortured with the gas chamber, labor camps, the prisons, and cruel medical experiments. I was a little disturbed by some of the images, but they made me remember this actually had happened long ago.
The museum did a wonderful job recapturing what happened. You were intrigued about what was around every corner. What really got to me was a room of shoes. Each shoe represented the hundreds of people who died. Depressing and enjoyable, the museum is a reminder of what hate can do to a country. The end of the floors is walking down a long staircase to the Hall of Witness, where Daniel's Story is. The exhibit was a hands-on exhibition, telling what happened to this boy and his family. I didn't know there was a gift shop, so I stood looking around at this enormous hall with millions of people. This museum has truly remembered what was on the booklet: "For the dead and the living we must bear witness."
From journal Sightseeing in the Nation's Capitol
Charlotte, North Carolina
January 12, 2005
When you first walk in, you take an elevator to the display area. The museum is pretty crowded, so expect a wait. You can pick up an identification card booklet that tells of the life of a real person who lived during the Holocaust.
A warning: This museum is not for younger children. Please do not bring them. It is hard enough for an adult to digest this. Graphic photographs and newsreels are shown all over the place. I didn’t make it without crying, so make sure to bring Kleenex. But these are not the kinds of images younger children need to see.
It is a hard museum to visit. You will see actual uniforms and other items donated by survivors or victims families. It is a somber reminder of one of the darkest times in history. One of the last things you will see is a freight cart that was used to take people to the camps. Upon entering, you get an idea of the hopelessness that people went through once they were onboard. If you have asthma or allergies to mold or mildew, you might want to pass on this. I have both and had an asthma attack.
Downstairs you will find the hall of remembrance and the children’s wall. Here you will find an eternal flame in remembrance to all the victims. The child wall remembers the 1.5 million children murdered, with over 3,000 tiles painted by American schoolchildren. This is the only place inside the museum you can take pictures.
There are also various special exhibits going on. You can visit their website at www.ushnn.org to see what is going on when you’re in town. I was lucky enough to see the exhibit "Anne Frank: The Unfinished Story". It was being held in honor of the museum’s 10th anniversary. On display were the actual writings and photographs from Anne. This was the first time many of these documents have been seen outside the Netherlands.
You do need a time-stamped ticket to get inside the major displays. They are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 7:30 that morning. Or you can get advanced tickets by calling 800/400-9373 or by going to www.tickets.com. There is no fee for the ticket, but there is a $2 charge per person for processing. I highly recommend buying them in advanced during the busy times if you don’t feel like waiting in line.
From journal Summer fun in D.C.
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
by Lulu Byrd
December 5, 2000
From journal "Washington DC: Crossroads USA"