The Holocaust is the iconic narrative of man’s inhumanity to man, of unspeakable cruelty to men, women, and children, of horrors multiplied infinitely by the systematic, scientific nature of that state-sponsored genocide.
But we do need to speak of it. This year commemorative events for Holocaust Remembrance Day (“Yom Hashoah”) are being held on Sunday April 27 and Monday April 28, but genocide, wherever it occurs, and whomever its victims, needs to be confronted daily—as does the hatred, the racism, the othering that can spiral out of control.
A visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is an opportunity for a deeply-moving, challenging, energizing experience any day of the year.
The importance of the museum lies not just in its powerful exhibits, its artifacts, films, and photos, but in the dedication of the museum to educating people around the world concerning genocides—not just the best known Holocaust but also genocides in Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Burma, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, the Sudan and South Sudan, and Syria. Other valuable contributions to the confronting of genocide are its online encyclopedia and its outreach programs—for example, to Rwanda.
If you get to Washington DC, you should visit the museum; also check out Holocaust museums in other cities around the world.
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology