The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC was established to serve both as a memorial for the victims of the holocaust and as an educational exhibit. The massive project of constructing a memorial museum was important for the future outlook of survivors, especially American Jews, and the rest of the people in the American society. This article will discuss the purpose and the impact of the monumental project on the people of the United States and the world at large.
After many years of negotiations, it was decided to create the largest holocaust memorial and learning centre in America. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was formed to lead the implementation of this vital task. The memorial had to be a national figure, displaying everything that the United States stands for as well as its culture.
The location of the museum is the first aspect that helps to achieve its functions and the purpose it was created for. The fact that it was created in Washington depicts the museum as a national memorial figure. Initially, there were plans to build it in New York, which has a high Jewish population. However, it was found that establishing it there would create an assumption of a Jewish museum. In addition, location of the museum in the capital city helped to preserve its purpose as a learning centre. Washington DC is the capital city and therefore, it attracts people from all communities in America and the rest of the world.
Moreover, in order to accomplish the educative as well as the memorial duty, the museum contains audiovisual programs, three-dimensional artifacts, and a great narrative presentation. The audiovisual programs add motion into the inactive display of the museum. Furthermore, the presence of more than one thousand artifacts appeals to the emotions of the visitors and at the same time triggers memories of the survivors. These artifacts include different items, such as children’s shoes and a boat used in the liberating Jews among others. Use of all these three aspects provides an important link for the success of the museum’s role and objectives to its visitors.
The structure and design of the museum convey an impactful message about the holocaust, thus helping to achieve its goals. It contains three major sections, which include the Hall of Witness, the Hall of Remembrance and finally, the Hall of Learning. All the three sectors incorporate the features of the Holocaust. They include the victims, offenders and the witnesses. The Hall of Witness is an entry structure. The Hall of Remembrance is a six sided structure signifying the Star of David. It is wholly dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Finally, the Hall of Learning provides learning facilities to the visitors, thereby fulfilling the museum’s goal of being an educational centre.
The scene that captures visitors as they enter the building helps to create an emotional impact on them. The sight of American soldiers rescuing Jews from the Nazi camps captures the visitors. This photograph is strategically placed to represent the American point of view on the museum. The overall museum’s experience is gratifying and provides an assurance of an eternal policy to respect human life irrespective of their race or other society inclinations. It ascertains that the memory of the Holocaust will become an everlasting component of the lives of the Holocaust survivors and the members of the American community.
Effective use of the museum as a narrative exhibit evokes not only the emotional apprehension but also makes to reflect on the negative consequences of mass brutality. It thus succeeds in retaining the memory of the Holocaust. The conclusive part of the narrative story of the Holocaust is concerned with the movement of the survivors from the concentration camps. The story of bitter period in history ends with a hope. The museum is indeed a remarkable national figure in the United States as it continues to effectively accomplish its purpose.