I was pursuing both educational and personal objectives when making a visit to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. It should be noted that there are many museums dedicated to the tragic and horrifying topic of the Holocaust. Still, it is one of the places in which a person can truly immerse in all the particularities and details of the genocide. In terms of the educational objective, I aimed to learn the aspects and details of the Holocaust through the artifacts, objects, and things that belonged to people experiencing these events’ atrocities. Whereas my objective was to evidence and analyze the danger of prejudices and indifference and their consequences, which was vividly displayed by all the museum exhibits.
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It is important to emphasize that this museum is an institution, the task of which is to show people and deepen their knowledge of the events that occurred during World War II. The museum has an educational center, multiple archive documents, a photo archive, a special program for children, and many items that belonged to the people who went through the horrors of that time. Importantly, it was not a very long visit, and more time would be needed to pay particular attention to all the aspects.
The atmosphere in the museum down to the fine details is intended to immerse visitors in the Holocaust experiences. For instance, the attendants can see the ghetto and cemetery; the exhibition parts enable us to see the faces and hear the voices of Auschwitz prisoners and observe the wagon in which Jews were transported to the camp and crematorium where innocent people met their death. This place is a multimedia museum with many exhibits that affect the understanding of humankind’s history, reverberate the most complex feelings, and raise people’s awareness.
The experience obtained after attending the museum evidenced that the Holocaust means broken families, traumatized children, horrific events that destroyed millions of people, and left incurable wounds in the souls and bodies of those people who managed to survive. In the beginning, the visit aroused painful feelings, and I had a strong desire to leave so as not to pass these horrors through myself. At first, I did not want to believe that real people had to go through it, and at this point, I began to understand those who seek to deny the existence of this phenomenon. However, the victims of Nazi concentration camps strived by all means to pass a true picture of what had happened to future generations. Thus, the feelings I experienced further were compassion and a desire to share the deep grief brought by the Holocaust to innocent people.
The visit to Virginia Holocaust Museum has affected me greatly as well as my understanding of historical events. One of the most important conclusions is that society needs to inculcate tolerance in children and strengthen the essential values in them. In comparison to the earlier insights, I realized that the Holocaust did not occur immediately. It emerged from the assumption that one race was more valuable, and that this evaluation was correct at its core. Nevertheless, social justice requires that all people, regardless of their background, be equal, and every individual is valuable. Thus, society cannot allow the re-extermination of any race, and the Holocaust is not an excuse for the genocide of a nation. It should also not be considered on the national level only but the level of the entire world. These events are significant for the development of humanistic people. Centuries ago, human life meant little as people could be burnt, many were killed in wars, and, in general, murders accompanied humankind’s history. However, the more humanity develops, the more actively humanistic values should be cultivated. Therefore, modern society’s goal is to protect every person’s rights and raise tolerance in children for a safer world in the future.