What impressed me the most was the diverse subject of tolerance. The museum was not just focused on the holocaust, as I originally expected, but rather it focused on almost every form of intolerance that humanity has suffered.
Interestingly, the subject of terrorism did not have a predominant focus. However, in view of the events of September 11, 2001, I believe the terrorism aspect in the Museum of Tolerance will assume a more significant prominence. Sadly, given the number of dead in such a short span of time, the events of September 11th as well as what is sure to follow, will become a prominent section of the museum.
The holocaust section is the most dramatic. The setting is rather dark, the scenes are meant to take the visitor back in time. I feel that viewing the section is better done in a small group. Seating is very limited. For some people it brought back painful memories. Tears were commonplace. The saddest scenes took place at the end of the Holocaust section, inside a gas chamber. One can only describe this section as chilling and heart wrenching. It is almost incomprehensible that this actually happened. What could possess a group of human beings to inflict such pain on fellow human beings?
My child passport was Agnes Lebovics, born on April 13, 1939 in Chust, Czechoslovakia. In March 1944 she and her sister were forced into the ghetto. In May 1944, they were forced into cattle cars and sent to the Auschwitz death camp. Agnes was one of 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Germans. I also had the privilege of hearing a survivor story. He was 15 years old when he and his family were sent to the ghetto. His mother was the first to die at Auschwitz. He was the sole survivor of a family of seven. In addition to his mother, he lost his father, sister and three brothers. He thanked us Americans for his liberation and said that until the day he dies he will never forget the American tanks and soldiers as they rolled into his camp. He was 17 years old when the Americans liberated them.
Everyone should witness the education offered by the museum! In view of our current events, people need to be educated against the commission of hate crimes. It is not up to us to single out a person or group and extract revenge on them for the deeds of September 11th. That kind of ?justice? is not justice, but a crime! If for no other reason that the educational aspect of the museum, everyone should visit this museum. Not only visit it, but also re-visit it two or three times more! (I got a parking ticket.)