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The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust presents the history of the Holocaust as objectively as possible. For this reason its exhibits presents as many original artifacts as possible and displays them in a way that allows them to tell the individual stories they contain.
The Museum’s architecture and layout play significant roles in how you experience your visit. You will notice the rooms descending and decreasing in light as you progress towards the darkest part of history; from there you will ascend and return to a world of normalcy and illumination.
Technology functions as a tool to enhance your experience, rather than as an end in itself. It takes several forms throughout the Museum. Audio guide players, for example, allow you to listen to the many narrative explanations found throughout the Museum. Be sure to pick up one of the printed guides depicting the personal life stories of several individuals whose experiences are told in stations throughout the exhibits.
A powerful and affecting interactive Memory Pool in the World That Was will help you build your understanding of Jewish life throughout Europe prior to World War II. You can explore a virtual photo album featuring photos from the Museum’s collection and the wealth of material in a data base gathered by Centropa: The Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation.
Other interactive exhibits, such as the 18 displays in the combined Deportation & Extermination and Labor/Concentration/Death Camps room, depict the breadth, depth and severity of the world the Nazis created. Monitors displaying actual footage taken during the Holocaust era present unforgettable images of a tragic history as it unfolded.
Wall displays throughout the Museum provide critical background to the history of the Holocaust. Images in The Rise of Nazism make up a pictorial timeline of the events from 1933 to 1938. Photographs and text along the wall of the Deportation & Extermination and Labor/Concentration/Death Camps retell the fates of Jews in several countries. Elsewhere, such as in World Response/Resistance/Rescue, highlight several of the rare but heroic efforts made by non-Jews to save Jewish lives.
Several exhibits depict the victimization of Catholics, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, political dissenters, and others targeted by the Nazis.
Three models detail specific aspects of Holocaust events. A model of the Hartheim Castle in Onset of War/Ghettoization/Extermination shows where the Nazis collected handicapped and mentally ill people and performed grotesque medical experiments on them.
As you pass from that room into the combined camp rooms, you will see a recreation of one of the train cars used to transport victims to the camps. A video monitor inside the car shows a scene of prisoners as they disembarked.
In the combined room you will see a scale model of the Sobibor death camp. Created by Thomas Blatt, one of the few Sobibor survivors, you will be able to watch video of Mr. Blatt explaining how the camp operates and how he and other prisoners staged the uprising that ultimately saved his life.
Other exhibits detail the challenges facing the relatively few survivors as they struggled to rebuild their lives after liberation. The Rotating Exhibit Gallery presents music of and about the Holocaust and artistic depictions of it and responses to it.
We invite you to visit our Museum. We trust you will discover your own highlights: images that provoke you; interactive experiences that will cause you to see history in a new way; facts that will astound you. Most importantly, though the Holocaust is the most tragic event in history, we believe your visit to the Museum will strengthen your personal commitment to making your world a better place.