In this paper I’m going to tell about my visit to Holocaust Museum Houston. Every visit to different museums and historical places make me feel the atmosphere of those places and awake a variety of emotions in my heart. Recently I was interested in Holocaust and its history and having an opportunity to visit Holocaust Museum Houston I was deeply impressed by all exhibits.
This part of my paper will be an introduction to the Holocaust and it allows to plunge into the question with more details that will help me to be more emotional in my visit description. Describing the Holocaust in this part it is necessary to mention that for a long time the Holocaust was a “white spot” in history that people preferred not to speak about. But now situation greatly changed and many people want to know true with an aim to remember history and avoid such tragedies in future. I agree with the fact that the war was a terrible tragedy, horrific ordeal for everyone and even remembering this word people afraid of it. It is an open wound in the hearts of the bereaved families. It has been recently placed beyond a doubt that the tragedy of the Jewish people – is one of the most brutal and bloody pages of the war. Jews exterminated simply for being Jews. The Holocaust is the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis and their accomplices in the 1933 – 1945 years. In Israel and some other countries people also use the term Shoah for the Holocaust description. In my opinion the Holocaust – is one of the global catastrophe of the twentieth century, questioning the moral foundations of people and dehumanizing society, which gave the evil force to further spread across the planet. Thus, let me express clearly my impression from the visit to Holocaust Museum Houston.
“Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston’s Museum District.”(according to http://www.hmh.org/) It is rather easy to find this place and due to its architecture I was involved in the museum atmosphere from the first step in its territory. The Museum has a variety of different exhibitions and I had an opportunity to look at its current and permanent exhibitions during my visit.
The Permanent Exhibition at the Museum has the title “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” and it presents the stories of Holocaust survivors living in the Houston metropolitan area. This exhibition allows to see three historical stages of the Holocaust: the past or it will be better to say situation before the Holocaust beginning, when people lived with their normal life without segregation and division, the present or it will be better to say the Holocaust in its essence, when people were imprisoned in concentration camps and finally killed (exterminated) there, and the future – the life after the Holocaust full of pain and despair. Historical artifacts and photos, different things and stands brightly told me the story of the Holocaust without any words, only with symbols’ help.
The next exhibition that also deeply impressed me is World War II Holocaust Railcar that is considered to be an internationally important and widely recognized symbol of evil and oppression that was some time ago relocated from Germany to Houston, Texas. This Railcar is real and it was restored and transformed into a monument with an aim to remind that the Holocaust was real and people should clean own minds and hearts from discrimination and prejudice and become free of hatred to other people and nations. Being honest, I was afraid to look at this Railcar, because exactly it took people away from their families and was the Railcar of death. It even seemed to me that this Railcar like any thing has its memory and maybe due to its so awful history many people are so impressed by this exhibition.
The last exhibition that I’m going to describe is Danish Rescue Boat from World War II. I was greatly impressed by its size and its history. Comparing it with previously described World War II Holocaust Railcar I want to mention that Danish Rescue Boat is considered to be a symbol of hope and life, because it tells us not only the fantastic but also the heroic story of a three-week period in 1943 when ordinary people, Denmark’s Christians, were trying to save more than 7,200 Jews from their death at the hands of cruel Nazi Germany. This Boat is a symbol of humanism and it is placed in the right place on the Museum’s territory, because I found it installed next to the Holocaust railcar. These both exhibits teach us that people are responsible for their actions and decisions, moreover, I’m proud for people who risked with their lives for the sake of others.
Thus, ending the description of my impressions, I want to say that my visit in the Holocaust Museum Houston was a kind of the historical trip. In conclusion, I strongly believe that nobody may stay calm reading a poem by a 16-year-old Holocaust survivor, Alena Synkova of Czechoslovakia presented at a monument of blue granite:
“Though there is anguish
deep in my soul –
What if I must search for you forever?
I must not lose faith.
I must not lose hope.”
This poem forces us to be a human and not destroy, but respect other people. The international community must act to prevent the intention of aiming for a repeat of the genocide. While the world remembers the Holocaust, it will resist any new attempt to commit genocide against the Jews or other groups of people.