Even though you probably learned about the Holocaust in school, nothing is quite the same as visiting a memorial or museum to learn more about it. Yes, it can be an emotionally distressing experience, but being aware of what led up to the Holocaust and what happened during it and in the years following is the first step toward preventing the atrocities from occurring again. The local Holocaust Memorial Museum is set up in a way that lets those of most ages learn more about the Holocaust via information, artifacts, personal stories, and more.
Exploring the Exhibits
The Holocaust Memorial Museum in San Antonio is completely free with the goal of educating everyone. They do, however, appreciate donations. You can simply go on a self-guided tour whenever you want within the normal visiting hours. The Memorial Museum also offers guided tours led by docents for groups of at least 15. With these groups, you can also sometimes hear the story of a local survivor of the Holocaust. While these tours are typically geared toward schools, any group of the appropriate size can schedule a tour.
The Memorial Museum is divided into three main exhibits. It starts with how the Nazis rose to power, showing visitors some examples of print propaganda and hateful video. It then continues with maps, mementos, photos, and more to show visitors what life was like during the 12 years Nazis were in charge.
After this, you go to the “In America 1933-45; Response to the Holocaust” exhibit. As it implies, it takes a look at how America was involved in and reacted to the events in Europe related to the Holocaust and Nazis. This area has a small sub-exhibit that is among the most interesting in the museum. It’s dedicated to survivors who came to San Antonio as well as American soldiers who were there during the concentration camp liberation. These direct stories have the most powerful impact on most visitors. At the end, you can sit on a terrace that is the memorial portion of the museum. This serves as a quiet place to reflect on everything.
History of the Museum
Most young adults living in San Antonio remember coming to the Holocaust Memorial Museum at some point while in school since it opened in its current location in 2000. Even before that, however, the community has been working hard to include the Holocaust in history classes. This included the Holocaust History Project, which was free for the schools. You may remember it from your classes or your kids’.
Choose a day to go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and let your Ford take you there. Consider going after school so that you can take your kids with you and further explain the history that they are viewing. This time in history can be very challenging to absorb, particularly emotionally. However, it can also be very beneficial (and some would consider vital) to learn about.