United States Holocaust Memorial
Americas only national memorial to the Holocaust, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum was created by a unanimous act of congress. Not recommended for children under 12.
Visiting the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is one of the most moving experiences
imaginable. It is not unusual for visitors to be emotionally overcome by the poignancy of
the exhibits. Each visitor is given an "identity card" that gives the real
biographical information of a victim of the Holocaust. This lends a sense of immediacy and
gives perspective to the staggering statistics of Nazi genocide. The result is that
it is not unusual for visitors to become emotionally overwhelmed.
Interspersed with video documentaries, photographs, and oral histories, the numerous
exhibits include a freight car used by the Nazis to transport Jews to the Treblinka
death camp and a Danish fisherman's boat that carried 900 Jews to safety in Sweden.
The permanent exhibits start on the fourth floor where visitors learn about Jewish
culture in Europe during the 1930's. The museum then details the rise of the Nazi party
and the Holocaust through exhibits like a mountain of shoes that were taken from
4,000 people who were gassed, and re-creations of crematoriums like those used
at Auschwitz. The second floor is "The Aftermath", featuring the video
testimonials of survivors. Next door, The Hall of Remembrance is provided as a place of
Due to the graphic nature of some photographs and videos, the museum is not recommended
for children under 12.