The holocaust memorial museum in Washington DC was established to serve both as a memorial site for the victims of the holocaust and an educational exhibit. The massive project of constructing a memorial museum was important for the future outlook of survivors especially American Jews and the rest of the people in the American society. This article will discuss the purpose of the monumental project to the people of the United States and the world at large.
After many years of negotiations, the idea was to create the largest holocaust memorial and learning centre in America. The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was formed to lead in implementation of this vital task. The memorial site had to be a national figure, displaying everything that the United States stands for as well as its culture.
The first aspect of the museum that helps it achieve its functions and the purpose it was created for is its location. Creation of the museum in Washington depicts it as a national memorial figure. Initially, there were plans to have it in New York which has a high Jewish population. However, it was found that establishing it there would create an assumption of a Jewish museum. In addition, location of the museum in the capital city helped to greatly preserve its purpose as a learning centre. Washington DC is the capital city and therefore, it attracts people from all communities in America and the rest of the world.
Moreover, in order to accomplish the educative as well as memorial duty, the museum contains audiovisual programs, three-dimensional artifacts and a great narrative presentation. The audiovisual programs add motion into the inactive display in the museum. Furthermore, presence of more than one thousand artefacts appeals to the emotions of the visitors and at the same time, triggers memories of the survivors. These artifacts include items such as children’s shoes and a boat used in the liberating Jews among others. Use of all three aspects provides an important link for the success of the museum’s role and objectives to its visitors.
The structural design of the museum provides an impactful message about the holocaust and an added advantage to the achievement of its goals to the visitors. It contains three major sections which include the Hall of Witness, the Hall of Remembrance and finally, the Hall of Learning. All the three sectors incorporate the features of the Holocaust. They include the victims, offenders and the witnesses. The Hall of Witness provides the entrance to the structure by visitors. The Hall of Remembrance is a six sided structure signifying the Star of David. It is wholly devoted to the memory of the victims of the holocaust. Finally, the Hall of Learning provides learning facilities to the visitors thereby fulfilling the museum’s goal as an educational centre.
The scene that captures visitors as they enter the building helps to create an emotional impact in them. The sight of American soldiers rescuing Jews from the Nazi camps captures the visitors. This photograph is strategically placed to represent the American point of view of the museum. The overall experience in the museum is gratifying and provides an assurance of an eternal policy to respect for human life irrespective of their race, or other society inclinations. It ascertains that the memory of the holocaust will become an everlasting component of the lives of the holocaust survivors and the members of the American community.
Effective use of the museum as a narrative exhibit evokes not only the emotional apprehension but also the negative consequences of mass brutality. It thus succeeds in retaining the memory of the holocaust. The conclusive part of the narrative story of the holocaust is concerned with the movement of the survivors from the concentration camps. The story closes with a hope after a bitter period in history. The museum is indeed a remarkable national figure in the United States as it continues to effectively accomplish its purpose.