Saturday, May 2, 2009
At the Holocaust Museum
We visited the Holocaust Museum on Thursday. I remember that Lou wrote about her visit there. It's a place that's hard to describe.
Some of the things that moved me to tears were the Tower of Faces. This is a three-story tower within the building, and is lined with about a thousand photographs of everyday life before the Holocaust in a small Lithuanian village. There are photographs of family groups, weddings, picnics, swimming parties, sporting events, holiday celebrations, gardening, bicycling and other aspects of daily life.
Before the war, the shtetl population was about 3,500, almost all Jewish. In September 1941, German SS rounded up the people of the shtetl, along with about a thousand Jews from the surrounding area, and systematically killed
And then there are the shoes. There seem to be a thousand shoes that were taken from those who were brought to concentration camps. The shoes are in the open air, and their musty smell is quite clear.
There is a Hall of Remembrance as you exit the Permanent Exhibit. This is a place to remember and reflect upon what you've seen. There is an eternal flame lit at one end of the hexoganally-shaped room, and quotes written on the walls.
It was here that we both held each other, filled with so much emotion over what we've seen.
Such a horrific thing that was done to six million humans. And yet genocide continues in this day and age. We each signed a pledge to do what we could to promote humanity for all and to live our lives with love and not hate.
I would recommend visiting this museum if visiting the DC area. And plan to spend several hours there so that you can see the entire exhibit. I think that anyone who does think about what they saw, will come away a different person.