Houston – Holocaust Museum
Educating people about the Holocaust is very important so that nothing like this terrible genocide when 6 million innocent Jews were killed ever happens again. It is incredibly important to remember the past, live the present and trust the future. The aim of the people who set up the Holocaust Museum Houston is to teach the public about the dangers of apathy, hatred and prejudice.
The museum opened its doors in March of 1996 and since then visitors (adults and children) have shown how the museum has affected their lives through artwork, poems, impassioned notes and other gifts.
Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers
The permanent exhibition in the museum is called "Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers" and its main focus is the stories of Holocaust survivors from the Houston area. The tour begins with life before the Holocaust and visitors gradually see how the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism destroyed normal life leading to separation, concentration camps and finally extermination. Photos, films, artifacts and text panels are used to show the roles of collaborators, bystanders, rescuers and liberators. This exhibition ends with either of two films (depending which day you visit the museum), "Voices" or "Voices 2". These films are compilations of verbal testimony from survivors from Houston.
What else is in the museum?
The museum has a 1942 World War II railcar which actually took millions of Jews to their deaths and on a more positive note there is also a 1942 Danish rescue boat on display.
There are two changing galleries for various art and photography exhibits which can be found in the Family Centre together with the administrative offices, classrooms and a theatre.
There is also an Education Centre which has classrooms and an extensive research library.
The staff at the Holocaust Museum Houston have thought of everything. There is even a place for contemplation which has a special Memorial Wall made up of three parts – tears, remembrance and hope. This room is named after the Lack family and many survivors hold commemoration services for their lost loved ones in front of the Memorial wall.
The 1.5 million children who lost their lives during the Holocaust are remembered in the Eric Alexander Garden of Hope which is located outside the Memorial Room. The idea of the garden is to keep the children's spirit alive.
Important to Know
If you are planning to visit the Holocaust Museum Houston it is important to know that:
1. Admission is free but a $5 donation per person is suggested.
2. The Museum is not recommended for children under 10.
3. Plenty of free parking is available.
4. No photography is allowed. All cameras have to be left at the front desk.
5. Large bags also have to be left at the front desk.
6. No eating or drinking is allowed in the Museum. There are restaurant facilities nearby.
7. Using a cell phone in the museum is prohibited.
8. The museum is wheelchair-accessible and there are some wheelchairs available on a first-come first-served basis.
9. The museum closes at 5 p.m. Please allow at least two hours to see the Permanent Exhibit.
10. There are a number of other museums nearby including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Children's Museum of Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Health Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Weather Museum.
And finally, two useful links for your trip:
Houston Hotels – Find hotel rooms in Houston via HoustonHotels.net
Holocaust Museum – The official website