Holocaust Museum Houston
George Santayana once wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is precisely why a visit to the Holocaust Museum Houston is a must while you’re in Houston. Through its architecture and exhibits, Holocaust Museum Houston tells the stories of the six million victims, survivors, and heroes of the Holocaust. The museum also seeks to warn visitors of the dangers of prejudice, hatred, and apathy while reminding us that everyone has it in them to resist the worst in humankind.
A farewell card from Auschwitz, its shaky handwriting on yellowed paper accompanied by a black-and-white photograph, is one of the many exhibits in Holocaust Museum Houston. Authentic film footage, photographs, and artifacts are on display as well, taking the lessons far beyond a textbook. The impactful exhibits have made the Holocaust Museum Houston one of the most impressive facilities in town, and it is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. Discover how the museum’s exhibits and architecture helps recount the history of the Holocaust below.
View the World War II Holocaust Exhibits
The permanent exhibits at the Holocaust Museum Houston include Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers, which provides context on pre-war Europe, the Nazi movement’s propaganda, and the horrifying consequences of the “final solution.” The museum also examines the resistance efforts and stories of heroism. During your visit, you will see an authentic World War II Holocaust Railcar, as well as a Danish rescue boat used by Christians in Denmark who risked their own lives to save more than 7,200 Jews from the Nazis. The museum also commemorates the more than 340 Jewish communities that were decimated during the war with the Destroyed Communities Memorial. In addition to the permanent displays, the Holocaust Museum Houston hosts traveling and temporary exhibitions, so be sure the check its website before you visit.
Experience the Architecture of the Museum as it Relates to the Stories Told Here
The architecture of the Holocaust Museum Houston is quite impressive and adds to the experience of learning about the Holocaust. Ralph Appelbaum, New York architect and designer of the permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, designed Houston’s permanent exhibition in 1993. Appelbaum created an addition to the existing building that is a forceful collage of geometric shapes. The new wing is wedge-shaped with a dark and looming cylinder rising out of the sloping concrete surface with a field of names commemorating the destroyed Jewish communities of Europe. It represents the chimneys of the crematoria used by the Nazis to burn the bodies of their victims. The six columns at the entrance represent the six million Jews that were killed during the Holocaust. As you walk through the permanent exhibit, the ceiling starts high and gradually descends lower and lower as you move through the space, paralleling the looming threat of death for victims, and ends in the terminus cylinder.
Attend Special Events or Join in the Educational Outreach Programs
Book discussions, interactive conversations with experts, documentary screenings, and workshops make up the museum’s year-round events calendar. The museum also hosts many educational opportunities throughout the year for students, educators, workplace professionals, and law enforcement officers. Don’t miss a visit to the Boniuk Library and Resource Center, a trove of rare resources to further delve into the Holocaust and World War II.
This Houston museum goes above and beyond its mission of educating visitors on the Holocaust through its exhibits, architecture, events, and education. The important lessons it provides makes it an essential stop during your time in Houston.