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“Like Walking through a Text Book blended with a Documentary”

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Tickets are only needed from March 1 to August 31 to visit the Museum's Permanent Exhibition, which tells the history of the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945. Exhibitions Include: Permanent Exhibition: The Holocaust Spanning three floors, the self-guided Permanent Exhibition presents a narrative history of the Holocaust and features historical artifacts, photographs, and film footage. Personal objects and the concluding eyewitness testimonies highlight the stories of individuals. Recommended for ages 11 or older. The Portal: A Real-Time Conversation with People Forced to Flee Persecution The Shared Studios Portal allows you to have a face-to-face conversation with someone in another part of the world-as if you are standing in the same room. Through this installation, visitors will be able to converse in real time with displaced persons or refugees in Iraq, Jordan, and Germany Remember the Children: Daniel's Story Representing the experiences of many Jewish children during the Nazi era, "Daniel" narrates through his diary the history of the Holocaust in ways that children can understand. Recreated environments present life in a middle-class German home, in a Jewish ghetto in occupied Poland, and finally at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The exhibition is explicit without being graphic. Recommended for ages 8 or older. Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust addresses one of the central questions about the Holocaust: How was it possible? The central role of Hitler and other Nazi Party leaders is indisputable. Less well understood is these perpetrators' dependence on countless others for the execution of Nazi racial policies. Within Nazi Germany and across German-dominated Europe, circles of collaboration and complicity rippled throughout governments and societies wherever victims of persecution and mass murder lived.
Reviewed October 13, 2005

Wanted to put in a quick tip. There are two security checkpoints on opposite sides of the building. The lines are not usually the same length due to tour groups that show up and fill the line on one side. If your line seems long, send a traveling companion around the building to see if the other line is shorter. The delay is not admission, it is the metal dedectors, so either door is just as good.

The museum is an attempt to let you absorb a huge tragedy in a short period of time. Its not overly graphic, which it could have been, so its ok for younger teens. That being said, the museum is full of long signs of reading. Along the way, you are given the opportunity to watch a half a dozen or so 10 to 15 minute videos. Both of these quirks cause the museum to be constantly crowded as hoards of people cram into the video room, and then all come out and start back reading each and every sign. I'm not talking about small signs that say "Camera from wherever, 1942" I'm talking about 10 paragraph signs that take 2 to 3 minutes to read every 5 or 10 feet! Which means you spend the entire time (its a four floor museum) shuffling along in a herd. Don't try and see this museum with a short time window.

14  Thank ArcticLlama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9,118 - 9,122 of 10,291 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2005

I went to this museum in the summer of 2000.

It was obvious from my first steps inside that a great deal of effort had been put into not only recording the histories of Holocaust victims/survivors and those associated with the tragedies of WW II and pre-war Germany, but that a great deal of thought had been put into using the setting/props to evoke empathy from visitors (by giving one a passport, identity, and history...by herding one into a cattle-car with their family...by having documents and pictures side-by-side with camp artifacts and films of experiments performed on Jewish children).

Of course, the experience is a traumatic one, especially for one like me whose family suffered in Dachau, but what really marred my visit was being herded into a room by security officers with guns, because a white supremacist group had called in a bomb threat.

I plan to go again, next week, if I can handle it.

My top suggestion: the museum is often crowded and exhibits flow in a linear fashion, so if some members of the group get ahead or behind, it is easy to become separated...so have a plan of where to meet with your companions!!

Also, I'm sure security is pretty tight, so be mindfull of what you bring with you, and don't come fresh off a plane with a backpack full of stuff.

10  Thank Elspeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 27, 2005

I only had time to visit one museum while in DC and I picked this one...I wasn't disappointed. It is laid out very well by floors so that you are walked through the chronology of Hitler's rise to power through to the liberation of the Jews. It is a very sombre place inside the exhibit (despite the hubbub in the entrance area) that leaves you feeling like most of humanity failed these people.

It is very popular so in the summer months it is incredibly helpful if you book your free tickets in advance on the internet. Otherwise you will be forced to start lining up at 8:00 in the morning to hope that you get a same-day ticket when it opens at 10:00.

16  Thank GoCanucks2233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 17, 2005

nobody in my family was affected by the holocaust so i was skepticle on whether or not i wanted to go. this museum is a life changing experience. the most moving parts of the self guided tour was walking through the railroad car and walking down the aisle with all of the shoes and pictures. a seriously moving experience. do not miss the exhibit. you leave changed forever. this museum was my favorite attraction throughout the trip.

12  Thank DannyV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed May 6, 2005

I recently visited the museum on May 1st 2005. This museum is clearly astounding in the way that it presents this dark chapter in history. I was very moved by the exhibits from an emotional point of view. My father was a World War II veteran and was at Pearl Harbor. Then later Guadalcanal. He made it back home Thank God. My dad fought against tyranny in the Pacific Theatre of war so I thought about him many times while going through the museum. He told me about some of the horrors he witnessed on Guadalcanal. How can this be? We watch monsters in horror movies so we know they are not real but those monsters who committed so many awful attrocities in that period of time they were quite real. Unfortunately there are still monsters that exist today. We are all human beings and not garbage. Not to be murdered and thrown out in the trash as the Nazis did to the Jewish People during the time of the Holocaust. I highly recommend visiting this museum in our Nations Capital to better understand the vital importance of history in our lives.

12  Thank Footprints5466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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