Over the weekend, Kiefer and I visited the Holocaust Museum. It wasn’t my first visit (I went in middle school), but I’ve been wanting to return for awhile now, hence why it’s on my 30 Before 30 List.
Upon entering the museum, you are given an Identification Card. This card tells the story of a real person who lived during the Holocaust. My person was Magda Hellinger.
So much of what I learned from the museum was shocking, but here are just a few things:
- The Nazi party was extremely organized. Once Hitler was in power, antisemitic laws passed extremely quickly. One exhibit shows a list of new laws passed nearly every day.
- 33,371 people were murdered in just 2 days at Babi Yar.
Over Babi Yar, the wild grasses rustle. The trees look ominous, like judges. And everything is one silent cry. Baring my head, I feel myself turning gray. And I am one massive, soundless scream above the many thousand buried here.—Yevgeny Yevtushenko
- The medical experiments people endured made me sick to my stomach. (Check Ms. FnkyBee’s post from yesterday.)
- When prisoners at the concentration camps were freed, their struggle still wasn’t over. Many still died in the first couple weeks after rescue because their bodies were so undernourished their stomaches couldn’t handle the food they received.
The museum has a lot of pictures that really break your heart: bodies piled upon bodies and people so skinny that it makes the children on those $1-a-day commercials almost look well-fed.
When he left, Kiefer asked, “How can people not believe this really happened?” Which made me wonder, Do people still question whether or not the Holocaust actually took place?
If you have some free time today, why don’t you read a story of a Holocaust victim?