Educating students and the public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society
Charged with educating students and the public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society, Holocaust Museum Houston opened its doors in March of 1996. Since that time, impassioned notes, poems, artwork, and other gifts, from school children and adults alike, attest to the life-changing thoughts generated by just one visit to this unique facility.
In 1981, Siegi Izakson, a Holocaust survivor and long-time Houston resident, had an epiphany. After attending an international gathering of Holocaust survivors in Israel, Izakson realized his peers were getting older, and as they passed away their stories and memories of unchecked prejudice would go with them. He returned to Houston, convinced that the city needed a Holocaust education center and memorial that would preserve for future generations the memory of those who had perished and the stories of those who had survived.
On March 3, 1996, just 13 years after Izakson first dreamed of the idea; Holocaust Museum Houston was officially opened for admission with Izakson proclaiming, “This means the Holocaust story will not go away.”
“Bearing Witness,” the Museum’s permanent exhibit with personalized testimony and artifacts donated by Houston-area Holocaust Survivors, will expand with modern, interactive exhibit designs and increase the information within each unit. Both the Danish Rescue Boat and German World War II Railcar, currently displayed outdoors, will be moved inside the climate-controlled structure for preservation to ensure future generations of visitors and students will learn from these valuable artifacts.
The expanded Museum will feature a permanent exhibit on Anne Frank and other youth diarists to educate visitors about the very personal stories of the Holocaust. Students will be able to access and utilize electronic diaries. Working with renowned diary expert Alexandra Zapruder and using numerous digital resources, this exhibit space will open doors of inquiry to HMH visitors of all ages.
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