My visit to the Virginia Holocaust Museum was a valuable experience as I could learn and even experience several essential things. I would consider my participation to be rather active and effective as I managed to see numerous artifacts and contemplate over the most striking and meaningful (at least, in my opinion) ones. I paid specific attention to various objects, as I believe that those artifacts can tell a lot. Of course, letters and survivors’ accounts were central to my experience. I think it is impossible to understand certain events without ideas and even feelings of those involved. The most moving part of the visit is related to such artifacts as the rail car, and the courtroom as those two experiences made me think of social justice and different ways people use to treat each other. I also believe that my participation was effective as I first looked at artifacts (read them, entered them, listened to them). I started discussing those things only after I had developed my own opinion. I wanted to make sure that I could listen to myself and truly feel what the Holocaust was for humanity and is for me.
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As has been mentioned above, the rail car and the courtroom left me with the strongest impression. I had known a lot about the Holocaust before the visit. However, I had not had a chance to feel the Holocaust. The rail car enabled me to feel the fear, anxiety, despair, and hope experienced by those who had to travel in those inhumane conditions. I was quite surprised to feel hope. However, on second thoughts, I realized that the feeling was rather natural as all those people understood the major outcome of their travel but still hoped that they would survive. In the courtroom, I felt nothing but disgust. I despised the defendants who treated so many people like animals. At the same time, I felt disgusted by the system as well. I felt it was a huge example of people’s hypocrisy as it all had started much earlier than the war.
Nevertheless, all nations observed and did nothing, which mad the Nazi belief that they could do anything in the world. I also felt quite emotional when I was looking at all those objects associated with the Holocaust. I felt depressed when I saw those labels that divided people into certain groups.
I believe the visit was an eye-opening experience that contributed to my understanding of social justice issues. The artifacts helped me understand what the Holocaust was and what people should do to develop truly just societies. I now believe that some things can never be a part of our life. The labels that divided people into good citizens and some outcasts can be regarded as symbols. I felt outraged that someone could think they had the right to create those groups. I felt very sad when I realized that various labels exist in the modern world and American society. Some think it is not labeling but differentiating between different groups to create the platform to meet their needs more effectively.
Nonetheless, labeling can lead to horrible events. At present, labels still exist, and I fear that they may be used again someday. We all should ensure that these labels will have no place in our society to ensure complete social justice. We should try to stop thinking that this is a tiny vice necessary to maintain the order. However, the tiny vice can soon turn into another Holocaust.