I have 8 minutes left before midnight, when Holocaust Remembrance Day will end, so let me tell you the 8 things that I remember most vividly from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
1. The entire museum is suffocating. It’s quiet and somber and can sometimes feel like you’re mourning the loss of all of humanity at once. It feels like a crypt, an urn, where 6 million people are interred.
2. The Holocaust didn’t start with Hitler screaming rabidly about filthy Jews. It started when Hitler slipped dangerous rhetoric into his speeches, blaming crime and unemployment on them.
3. There’s a three-story tall room where every inch of the walls are covered with pictures. Little kids smiling cheesily and older couples sitting next to each other, families. The only thing they have in common? Their lives were exterminated during the Holocaust.
4. A man nicknamed the Angel of Death did medical experiments on children. CHILDREN. He gouged out their leg muscles and introduced life threatening infections just to see how their bodies would react.
5. There’s a boxcar that you’re made to go into on the tour. It’s a real part of a train that transported thousands to death camps. It’s cold and it’s cramped, and the tiny windows don’t give nearly enough light to let you feel relief from the nauseating claustrophobia that creeps on you.
6. There was a children’s transport camp called Terezin, where an art teacher helped the kids express their frustration and terror through their art. They have it hanging on the walls there. It’s normal kid stuff. Butterflies and houses, people performing on stages. Underneath, the name of the child is written, and their date of death. 90℅ of them didn’t make it past 1945.
7. The worst room, by far, are the shoes. It’s a simple exhibit. Both sides of the room have containers simply filled with shoes, old and rotten. It’s not objectively sinister. Until you read the caption and realize that every last shoe came from someone gassed to death. That’s when you start noticing the petite flats and the heavy work shoes, the tiny toddler Mary Janes, faded red. You notice that each shoe had a pair of feet attached, and each pair of feet had a body attached, and each body had a life, a story, a personality, a soul, attached. And you read the poem above, which bitterly notes that the only reason that these shoes weren’t burned with their owner was because they were made of leather and not flesh and blood.
8. You end in a memorial Hall. It’s made of bright marble, and each wall bears the name of a concentration camp. There, you can light a candle. It’s small, it’s insignificant, it does nothing to stop the atrocities committed, but helps. You look above it, and you read: “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.”
Googling “Did the Holocaust happen” leads to numerous
top-ranked search results from white supremacist and Holocaust denial
This includes a top-ranked result from online neo-Nazi site Stormfront, the Guardian reported Sunday.
The Stormfront thread appears before the Wikipedia article on
Holocaust denial and a list of common FAQs on the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum’s website.
There is no dispute among
academic historians the Holocaust happened, resulting in millions of
innocent deaths, and its intentionality is supported by extensive
eyewitness testimony and documentation kept by the Nazi regime itself.
In a statement to Fortune, Google suggested it would not be taking action to direct users away from Holocaust denial content. Read more
Teens Who Graffitied Historic Black School With Swastikas Sentenced To Visit Holocaust Museum
More than $70,000 was raised to restore the school.
A group of Virginia teens convicted of spray-painting an historic black church with swastikas and “white power” have been sentenced to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Ashburn Colored School opened in 1892 for black students who had been forbidden by law to attend school with white students. The school remained open until the late 1950s after the Supreme Court banned segregated education. Prior to the defacement of the building in September, local students were working to restore the school and open it as a museum.
Graffiti of racist slogans, swastikas, and male genitalia… So typical for racist scumbags! It is so sad to see historical sites destroyed, definitely, this was a hate crime… Too disgusting! Because this is our cultural heritage!
I’m very glad to notice this Historic Black School is going to be restored! And this Black History Month is truly magical!
Gorka, who is of Hungarian descent, was a professor and Breitbart’s national security editor before joining Trump. A regular fixture on Fox News, he also has ties to the anti-Muslim right. (Talking Points Memo)
He recently suggested (CNN) the Trump administration uses — and will continue to use — the term “fake news” to describe media outlets that are critical of the president. Read more (2/13/17 10:00 AM)
Shalekhet (Fallen Leaves), Menashe Kadishman’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and all victims of war and violence in the Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum) in Berlin.
I imagine the many sounds that walking across this sea of iron faces must evoke: the rustle of fallen leaves, yes, but also the tinkling of falling rain, the crunch of littered bones, the clanking of innumerable manacles, footsteps through frozen snow, the clatter of chains.
Eighty years ago this month, the United States competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, and 18 African-American athletes were part of the U.S. squad.
Track star Jesse Owens, one of the greatest Olympians of all time, won four gold medals. What the 17 other African-American Olympians did in Berlin, though, has largely been forgotten — and so too has their rough return home to racial segregation.
“Determination! That’s what it takes,” one of the athletes, John Woodruff, said during a 1996 oral history interview for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “A lot of fire in the stomach!”
Woodruff won the gold medal in the 800-meter race — and he did it in Adolf Hitler’s Germany.
“There was very definitely a special feeling in winning the gold medal and being a black man,” Woodruff said. “We destroyed his master-race theory whenever we start winning those gold medals.”
Photo: Bettman Archive/Getty Images Caption: At the 1936 Olympics, 18 black athletes went to Berlin as part of the U.S. team. Pictured here are (left to right rear) Dave Albritton, and Cornelius Johnson, high jumpers; Tidye Pickett, a hurdler; Ralph Metcalfe, a sprinter; Jim Clark, a boxer, and Mack Robinson, a sprinter. In front are John Terry, (left) a weight lifter and John Brooks, a long jumper.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Washington’s Holocaust Memorial on Monday to hail a rare hero of Japan’s brutal World War II past.
Previously, Abe has faced criticism for his allegedly revisionist views of Japan’s own war-time behavior.
But, on the eve of a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, Abe solemnly marked the genocide while hailing Japanese envoy Chiune Sugihara, who helped Jews flee Nazi-occupied Europe.
Sugihara was Japan’s Imperial Consul in Lithuania, where he issued at least 2,000 visas allowing Jews to flee Nazi pogroms between 1939 and 1940.
“As a Japanese citizen I feel extremely proud of Mr Sugihara’s achievement,” Abe said as he toured the memorial.
“The courageous action by this single man saved thousands of lives.” As he visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum 70 years after the end of World War II and the liberation of Auschwitz, Abe said “my heart is filled with a solemn feeling.”
Ben Carson amped up the gun rights rhetoric this week by saying if German civilians were better armed, Adolf Hitler’s chances to pull off genocide “would have been greatly diminished.” Now, Keith Ablow, a Carson booster and regular Fox News contributor, has taken Carson’s views even further. Blow portrays the Jewish population in Europe as passive at best and complicit in their own destruction at worst.
Indian Foreign Minister Visits Israel -
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj lays a wreath in the Hall of Remembrances in the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, 18 January 2016, during a ceremony honoring the six-million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust of World War II.
A nation builds museums to understand its own history and to have its history understood by others, to create a common space and language to address collectively what is too difficult to process individually. Forty-eight years after World War II, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in Washington. A museum dedicated to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks opened its doors in Lower Manhattan less than 13 years after they occurred. One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, however, no federally funded museum dedicated to slavery exists, no monument honoring America’s slaves. “It’s something I bring up all the time in my lectures,” says Eric Foner, a Columbia University historian and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” “If the Germans built a museum dedicated to American slavery before one about their own Holocaust, you’d think they were trying to hide something. As Americans, we haven’t yet figured out how to come to terms with slavery. To some, it’s ancient history. To others, it’s history that isn’t quite history.”
Join us on Thursday, April 3, from 9:30 to 4 pm at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC for an all-day Archives Fair! Enter through the Special Events Entrance on 7th St. and Constitution Ave. The DC Caucus of MARAC and the National Archives Assembly are co-hosting this all-day Archives Fair. Archives-related groups and will be using the area outside the McGowan Theater as an exhibit hall.
President Barack Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., with Sara Bloomfield, museum director, and Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor, April 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)