The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is the Unites State’s official memorial to the Holocaust. It is located in Washington, D.C. near the National Mall monuments. The museum was established as part of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust by President Carter, on November 1st, 1978. The commission was chaired by Elie Wiesel, a Jewish author and Holocaust survivor aimed to submit a report “with respect to the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust.”
The museum was to be composed of a national museum/memorial, an educational foundation, and a Committee on Conscience. The USHMM was to become an institution with enormous efforts of education and outreach and global involvement. This is evidenced by the first visitor to the museum: Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Since then, the USHMM has had over 40 million visitors and it’s website is extensive and filled with resources.
It’s outreach and programming efforts continue to be strong thanks to the federal funding it receives as a National Museum. The museum’s permanent exhibition: The Holocaust examines the “chronological narrative” through a variety of media. It includes the Wall of Faces (pictured below) which aims to document victim’s lives through photographs, rather than emphasize their deaths . The USHMM describes itself as: “A living (their emphasis) memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.” A clear emphasis on other genocidal and cultural conflicts can be seen through its other current exhibitions, namely Cambodia 1975-1979 and Genocide: The Threat Continues.
All information about the USHMM was acquired from it’s website https://www.ushmm.org/ and in the sections history, about, current exhibitions, and more.
One thought on “United States Holocaust Memorial Museum”
It seems like there is much to be learned at this museum. It exposes the horrors of the holocaust and is an opportunity to educate people on this time in history. Filled with trauma, it has the ability to send powerful messages such as the dangers of uncontrolled hatred and “need to prevent genocide” as said by https://www.ushmm.org. This is a museum that should not be taken lightly, full of meaning, respect needs to be given and these horrible experiences needs to to be recognized.