Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Today I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. It was a beautiful day, but I had decided that on this trip east I would make a special trip down to Washington to visit this museum.  For the last few weeks I have been reading a book titled IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black, 2001. I have written a few of my remarks about this book in the post just before this one.

I liked what I saw, and I looked at everything including a special exhibit on the lower level called "State of Deception - The Power of Nazi Propaganda".  Like permanent exhibits this too was very well presented with photos, videos and enough written information to fill a book.

The architecture of the interior of the museum was not lost on me.  I am old enough and I have seen enough photos of the Holocaust to know what the architects were trying to achieve.  In my opinion, they were very successful.  I wonder if the younger generations realize why the architects used red brick, steel, glass and wood in the interior construction.  The feel of the place took me back in time to Germany in the 1930s.

One more thing.  This is just my opinion, but after viewing all of the exhibits, I personally don't think children younger than 12 years old should be taken to this museum.  Yes, I know there are many children visiting the museum with their parents and club leaders and school groups, but this museum packs a punch, and I am not sure young children are ready to absorb that punch. Naturally, children that are gifted or more mature than their contemporaries might be able to handle what they see at a younger age.

This museum packs a powerful message. A message not just about the past, but about the present and the future of humankind.

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