A friend and I experienced the Holocaust Museum today. That’s really the only way to describe it. For the hours that you are there you are transformed and the amount of emotions that you go through is hard to describe. Sight, sound, smell, touch…you experience the plight of the Jews in so many ways.
I came away feeling:
A child’s cup, decorated so cutely with cartoon characters – this is what touched me the most.
It was taken from one of the children as he or she was stripped of all possessions before being taken into a concentration camp. On display were hundreds of those possessions: shoes, combs, silverware, thermoses, suitcases… That cup though. I couldn’t take it.
There was a picture of a family that had been massacred on the street, their bodies photographed and left for everyone to see. Lying next to her family, probably Ashlyn’s age, an innocent little girl. I broke down.
How the whole thing could even happen is shocking, unbelievable and the worst kind of horrible. But how one human being could do to a child what was done to all 6 million people is somehow even worse.
In the Hall of Remembrance was this verse:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely
so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen
or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
3 thoughts on “Experiencing the Holocaust Museum”
Thank you for sharing. The raw emotions you feel mixed with that level of structured extermination are hard to comprehend or explain.
I was fortunate enough to spend half of my childhood years living in Europe. When we read The Diary of Anne Frank, we were lucky enough to go on a field trip to see her home. As part of a vacation in Munich, my parents took us to the concentration camp in Dachau. The Holocaust and WWII are such an emotional part of our human history, on so many levels, for so many reasons.
This past September, 30 years after my experiences, I had the incredible opportunity to take my oldest, my 13-year-old son, on a two week trip with me to Europe. I remembered what Anne Frank’s house was like as a teenager his age, but I was not prepared for the emotion that hit me, or for the depth that it struck in my heart, to experience Anne Frank’s house as a parent, especially the parent of a child her age.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I hope that mankind never fails to forget the horrors of that time in history and that we never experience anything like it again.
We lived for four years in Stuttgart. I loved it. We were able to get up to Amsterdam once and toured Anne Frank’s hideout. I never went to Dachau. Europe is so beautiful now, it’s hard to imagine the destruction and death.