Holocaust Memorial Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was very moving and heartbreaking. Unfortunately, the beginning section was so congested, I wanted to leave and come back in the winter. However, it did relax some as people spread out throughout the museum. I did find myself being stepped on, pushed, and walked into. Hopefully, I can go back one day where it is less crowded and truly do a justified photo and video session.

The best way to secure entrance into the museum is to pay a processing fee of $1 and hold tickets for your day on the museum website. Otherwise, the museum usually has very limited space to accommodate walk-ins.
Right inside of the main doors, past security, was this quote:

"This museum will touch the life of everyone who enters and leave everyone forever changed—a place of deep sadness and a sanctuary of bright hope; an ally of education against ignorance, of humility against arrogance, an investment in a secure future against whatever insanity lurks ahead. If this museum can mobilize morality, then those who have perished will thereby gain a measure of immortality." - William J. Clinton, 42nd President of the United States.

As you enter the main area with your ticket and prepare to board the elevators to the fourth floor, there is a male and female stack of identification cards.

My holocaust identification card was Faiga Grynbaum. She was born CA. 1913 in Starachowice, Poland. Faiga was one of nine children born to religious Jewish parents in Starachowice, a town in east-central Poland. Their small one-story house served as both the family's residence and their tailor shop. Faiga worked in the shop sewing women's clothes; the tailoring was often done in exchange for goods such as firewood or a sack of potatoes.

1933-39: In 1935 Faiga married Haskel Ochervitch. She moved to Kielce, a larger town some 25 miles southwest of Starachowice, where her husband worked selling meat to the Polish army. The couple had one daughter before Haskel emigrated to America in the late 1930s. He purchased a shoe factory in New York City. When he sent for Faiga and his daughter to join him, World War II had already erupted, making emigration impossible. Faiga had to remain in Poland.

1940-45: Faiga and her daughter returned to Starachowice and lived with Faiga's family under the German occupation. In October 1942 SS guards forced the town's Jews into the marketplace. Faiga, who was already a forced laborer at a nearby factory, was lined up with the "able-bodied" workers. Her mother and daughter were selected for deportation together with others who were young or elderly. Faiga was marched with others to a nearby forced-labor camp, where prisoners made German uniforms.

In mid-1943 Faiga was shot and killed during a mass escape attempt from the camp. Her mother and daughter perished at the Treblinka extermination camp.

This is the "Tower of Faces." It is a three-story tower that displays photographs from the Yaffa Eliach Shtetl Collection. Taken between 1890 and 1941 in Eishishok, a small town in what is now Lithuania, the photographs depict a vibrant Jewish community that existed for 900 years. In 1941, an SS mobile killing squad entered the village and within two days massacred the Jewish population.

"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers from Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam. And because we are only made of fabric and leather, and not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the Hellfire." -Yiddish poet Moses Schulstein

The shoe room will forever stick with me. The smell of pure rubber, almost like being in the tire section of a store, made my stomach turn. 

"The 4,000 shoes were just one category of belongings the Nazis systematically confiscated from their victims at the killing centers of Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Chełmno, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Vast quantities of clothing, eyeglasses, kitchen utensils, hair- and toothbrushes—every kind of personal item—were seized and shipped to Germany or distributed to the local populations. Leather goods, including shoes, were to be repaired by concentration camp prisoners or broken down to be recycled for other purposes.

When Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps, they discovered huge mounds of shoes, hundreds of thousands of pairs, but very few living prisoners. At the sight of these inanimate witnesses, veteran CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow commented, “One shoe, two shoes, a dozen shoes, yes. But how can you describe several thousand shoes?”

The 4,000 shoes displayed in the Permanent Exhibition are on loan from the State Museum of Majdanek in Lublin, Poland, and represent a tiny fraction of those found at Majdanek in 1944."

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as God Himself.
 - Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor

Night by Elie Wiesel was one of my first college book essays and I instantly loved the work. It was so moving and truly spoke of the horrors of the holocaust from a survivor's view. Elie Wiesel died one week later from this photo and my visit to the museum. He was 87 and wrote over 50 books.

 The final quote of the museum right before the exit is:

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
- Martin Niemoller, Lutheran Minister and early nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler's regime. 

The Holocaust museum was moving beyond words could describe.

On Sunday, my family and I went to see "Finding Dory" in theaters. It was adorable, hilarious, and heart-warming. Dory as a baby was one of the cutest Disney characters... ever.

Monday came with bags under my eyes and a long day ahead. I went to work and on my lunch break, had to say goodbye to my first car which was hit by a boy a few weeks ago who failed to stop at a stop sign and yeild to traffic. He tried to make a left turn and beat the car, but he hit it.

I loved this car. I plan on writing one final letter to it someday soon and posting it on here.

After this, I finished the work day and quickly went straight to my second job. Moving around for 15 hours without a relaxing break took its toll on me, as I ended up breaking my Starbucks daily visit count at three trips. It also did not help that I was soaked from a rain storm as I left work.

On Tuesday, after my final on-campus class of the summer, I visited Barnes and Noble while waiting for my doctor appointment time. I ended up buying "Hamilton: The Revolution" and "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life." I will write more on these later.

Wednesday came with more work and a trip out to my closest Disney store to pick up my pre-ordered Star Wars DVD that I had not picked up for over a month. 

The next day began with me running late and, as fate would have it, ended up helping me at the end of the day. I was asked to pick up a shift for my retail job as a co-worker was feeling ill. I then worked that evening and was once again exhausted when I arrived home.

Friday was intense as the storms rolled over the sky and I worked to clean my room that looked like the storm had been swirling inside of my room. The storm made Roxie, my eldest dog, very nervous as she hates thunderstorms. There was also quite a bit of hail.

I ended the vlog this week with the following prompt:

The Frozen Ever After Ride opened this week in Norway, EPCOT, Walt Disney World where Malestorm used to be located. The opening day saw a stand-by line that reached 300 minutes.

Would you wait in that long of a line for an opening day attraction... or just in general?

See the week here:

Hugs, kisses, and thanks for watching and reading!


No comments :

Post a Comment