Remembering the Holocaust

Earlier this month I visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. It was a harrowing but also rewarding experience. The mood and lighting was dark, as befitting the subject matter. The exhibits were laid out in a logical and accessible manner:

  • The first floor explored the rise to power of the Nazi Party, the beginning of persecution, and life in Nazi society. While the museum is predominantly dedicated to the lives of Jewish victims, it also remembers other persecuted groups, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, people with disabilities, and homosexuals.
  • The second floor examined the wartime evolution of Nazi policy, from ghettoisation to mass murder in killing fields and gas chambers.
  • The final floor addressed the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the liberation of the Nazi camps, rescue and resistance efforts, and the aftermath of the Holocaust.

The exhibits were a powerful reminder of the darkness of humanity. They also highlighted the frightening ease with which ordinary people can become complicit in or tolerant of the darkness.

Included here are photos of exhibits that most resonated with me. I hope they will resonate with you as well.

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