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Holocaust Museum in Washington DC - Essay Example

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Summary
In this paper, the experience of visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington is described. The writer concludes that skin tone, religion, beliefs, and lifestyle etc. should not be used as the bases for discrimination against people or groups of people…
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Holocaust Museum in Washington DC
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Holocaust Museum in Washington DC

Download file to see previous pages... School children and heads of state are among those coming to learn about the ravages of a global war with the official website attracting on the average around 25 million hits in 5 years. My reason to visit was due to my interest in history and the curiosity to see for myself what was capturing the interest of people around the world. The museum has over 12,750 preserved artifacts as well as 49 million pages of text and 80,000 photographs. Names of 200,000 survivors are also recorded here as well as taped interviews of some of them. Visiting the museum is the perfect opportunity for any history fan to get to see the way of life from those times. I had already done a bit of browsing on USHMM’s official website and wanted to see the place in flesh and blood, or bricks and mortar, in this case. Despite being familiar with the place’s background and what it stood for, I was not quite prepared for the melancholy and eerie air that permeated the building. The structure seems to resonate with the presence of human souls, a rather accurate term since the USHMM was designed by Holocaust survivor James Ingo Freed to be a resonator of memory, as my guide informed me. The most startling feature of the museum is the octagonal Hall of Remembrance, a huge, silent space to memorialize the 6 million victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Visitors can light candles or visit an eternal flame in silence homage to the departed souls. In the Hall of Remembrance, even the air feels heavy with the weight of history. Before you actually come to visit the place, the reality of the Holocaust and the fact that these people actually lived, laughed, cried and loved does not actually sink in. Sitting in contemplation in the Hall of Remembrance, you are made aware of the fact that every single name on display was a living, breathing human being, with dreams, hopes, and aspirations. The USHMM was built not just as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It was also constructed to familiarize newer generations with the horror and futility of war. It was meant to pass on the message that hatred should not be allowed to prosper. And I must confess it did have this effect on me. A visit to USHMM is not just about learning about this calamity. The place helps one connect with their innermost feelings of compassion, sympathy, and empathy. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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