Saturday I went with my church to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It was the first time that I had been there and it was quite an experience. The museum itself is really an architectural masterpiece. The architect used a lot of symbolism throughout the museum to represent different features that he saw when he visited the concentration camps in Germany, and from photos of the ghettos and the effect is really amazing. Our group had almost 80 people in it and we were broken up into 7 or eight different groups each with a tour guide. My group was lucky enough to have a survivor as a tour guide and her insight into the museum was priceless. She gave us a first hand account of her experience during "The Night of the Broken Glass" or "Kristallnacht" which was facinating. Built on four floors, you go through the museum like walking around in a circle with very few steps. (There are a lot of steps from the auditorium to the main floor, but not in the museum itself.) As we were getting deeper into the museum, I began to realize that the rooms themselves seemed to get smaller. It is a very moving experience. After our tour, we were treated to a first hand account by a survivor volunteer. He spoke to us for over an hour and his account was truly heartbreaking. He was a teenager in Poland during the war and he had to evacuate the town he lived in, walk with his family and their belongings to a relatives house, then they were moved to a ghetto and from there he was seperated from his family and moved to a concentration camp via the cattle car. He was eventually liberated from the concentration camp only to find out that the ghetto where his family had been had been "liquidated'. He made his way to the US and has been here for 60 years. His story has been video taped by Stephen Spielburg when he was working on "Schindler's List".
2 days ago