I had seen this Museum in the movie Freedom Writers and ever since have been wanting to go. I'm really glad I did.
You are not allowed to take a camera in. Therefore, the pictures in this post have been taken off the Internet so you can get a little bit of an idea what it is like inside. I also scanned some things I brought home with me.
There are several areas of the Museum. The one that touched me the most was the Holocaust Exhibit.
As you enter into the exhibit you are given a card of a child who had been through the Holocaust. You can stick this card in machines along the tour and find out information about the child. At the end you will find out the outcome of that child.
The above picture is a scan of my card on Marga Frank. She was 7 years old and lived in a small German town close to the Dutch border.
The above photo shows one of the rooms in the exhibit where film clips are shown. Photos from the Holocaust are very hard to look at. Listening to the stories being told brings a heaviness to my heart.
It's so hard to believe the stories are real. How can anyone do the things that were done to these people? It makes me wonder if anything like this will ever happen again. I don't know. Just as I'm sure the people back then never expected anything like this would ever really happen to them, I don't expect anything like this would happen here in the USA. But, the truth is...we just don't know if it could or ever would.
This is another area where you listen to conversations that may have taken place as things were just starting to unfold. It takes place at an outdoor cafe in Berlin where people are discussing their concerns of the impending take over by the Nazi in Germany.
At the end of the conversation you hear what happened to each person. Some joined up with the Nazis, some were killed by the Nazi's for helping the Jewish people to hide or escape and one, who was a Doctor, did experiments on some of the people in the Concentration camps.
After we finished that exhibit we went into this room and listened to two different Holocaust survivors. One was a lady and one was a man. Both were children when things first started to happen and were teenagers by the time they ended up in the camps.
The lady was taken from her Mother, sister and Aunt. She found out later that they were killed in the gas chambers. She told of being packed into trains with so many others that some could not even sit down as there was no room on the floor. They had to use a pot to go to the bathroom and it was over flowing by the time they got off the train, three days later.
She told how they were made to strip down naked and then have their heads shaved. They were given black and white striped clothes to wear and even though it would snow they had no jackets.
They would sleep 7-8 in a bed made of wood and were stacked three bunks high. Even though they had no room in the bed they were happy to be in there with so many others as it was the only way to keep warm.
They ate a slice of bread and rotten cheese for most meals. Sometimes, they would get a bowl of soup that had to be shared with 5 people. No spoons were given so they had to sip out of the bowl.
No bath or shower for months at a time and they never knew when they would be called to go to the building they could look at and see smoke coming out and had a stench that was burning flesh. They were forced to listen to the people over there screaming, as they died.
Let's not forget this is a child we are talking about having to endure all this.
Thankfully she was able to escape and shortly after doing so the war was over and the men and women were finally released from the camps and able to go home.
The man told of the suffering and torture he witnessed and about how they got a number tattooed on them. To the Nazi they were not human. They were just a number. Someone with worth less then a bug.
There is so much more I could tell you but I don't want this post to go on and on for days so I will just close with this...These were people, like you and me who didn't do anything wrong other then being born to the wrong family.
We like to think the Nazi were mean and evil people and were the cause to this whole ordeal. But the truth is they just started it. The good people didn't stand up to them to help out. Yes a few did but most just looked the other way. After all, it didn't really effect them.
Even today we hear about horror stories where crimes happen and people refuse to stand up and help for fear of getting hurt too. But what if you were the one who needed help. Wouldn't you hope someone, somewhere there would be a man or women brave enough to step in and say "Stop it!"
Yes, the Holocaust was many years ago. But what if something like this was going on in your own city. Would you just look the other way or would you be some one's hero and step up to help out? I like to think I would be the one to stand up, yet, I can't say for sure as I've never been faced with something this large and this scary.
If this post as done anything, I hope it makes everyone who read this stop and think. What would you do?