This trip to the museum impacted me more than I originally thought it would. I had visited previously when I was much younger, however, I didn’t have the mind set to appreciate it to its full extent. Coming to the museum with only my six year old thoughts of the place in tow, I was surprised with how much I appreciated and learned from the experience. It’s one thing to read about the Holocaust in a classroom from a history textbook, but being able to see it set up in front of you is completely different and so much more powerful.
The Virginia Holocaust Museum’s goal is to educate the public so that the atrocities are never forgotten. The museum is committed to promoting knowledge, acceptance, and understanding. They deal with such a sensitive topic that it can be challenging to find the right ways to appropriately present the stories and artifacts. The Virginia Holocaust Museum accomplishes this by handling such personal and painful topics with clarity and devotion. Seeking to make sure that future generations “never forget” is paramount and is part of the effort to fight genocide wherever it occurs.
Throughout my tour of the museum I could not help but notice the measure they took to commemorate and respect all of the survivors and their families. The holocaust is a tragic period in history that has influenced survivors from all over the world. There was not an exhibit in the whole place that did not mention in some way the lasting impact that the holocaust caused. They have movies, plaques, art, and whole rooms dedicated to these people and their suffering. Their interactive exhibits highlighted the tragic loss that the sufferers endured. While the museum uses the Holocaust as a framework to discuss the dangers of intolerance, and the complex issues of discrimination and ethnicity, they keep their message current by also looking at areas in danger of genocide, or where genocide is currently happening – such as in the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Syria.
The Virginia Holocaust Museum is free and open to the public Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Visit them online.