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Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Educational Tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum: Kristallinacht- Nena Dreadlow Reporting




The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of over six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. This happened between 1941-1951 Holocaust means “Sacrifice by fire”  The nazis came in power on January 1933.  They believed that they were superior to the Jews.  Jews were moved to concentration camps by train where most of them died.   Before any of this took place the “Kristallnacht took place.  Here you will find out what that means and how it plays a big part in the holocaust history.


When I first came to the Holocaust Museum I knew one day I would love to write about it and am very honored to be able to do so.  The Holocaust is such a big part of history and everyone should know about it. I was glad that second life was able to show some things that took place so that we could get an idea of the terror that went on in that time and educate us.
Can you imagine having to go through all that or what it felt like to not be able to do certain things just because of who you were? This Museum Focuses on "Kristallnacht" also called "Night of the broken class".





When you first walk into the museum, you enter a classroom. I would recommend that your sound and video is on at all times. It is an interactive museum and it makes the experience more realistic. In the classroom be sure to touch each of the bulletins boards as they will tell give you information about some of the things that took place.

  On November 9-10 1938 rioters destroyed synagogues, businesses, cemeteries, hospitals, schools and homes and killed at least 91 Jewish people.  It is called "night of the broken class" because of all the glass that was all over the streets. To get to the next area of the museum you must find the glowing folder. It leads to a wall that opens up to the city.



This city was replicated on accounts by some of the survivors of the Kristallinacht. The streets are lined with books and glass. The first thing you see is a store where at that time Jews had to put their names on their windows. Nazis would smash and destroy all their goods and would loot almost everything.  Later on the stores were closed and not allowed to be reopened unless run by a Non-Jewish.





There were many families affected by this tragedy.  The museum tells the story of the Hilsenraths family. They were just a regular family who owned a linen store. They had 3 children.  Like all of the Jewish children, Susan who is the oldest had to leave the school. Months later Susan and her brother where smuggled into France. You can hear the voice of Susan talking about her experience. How would you feel to have to be moved away from your parents and away from the home you ever have known? Her story will pull at your heart string.




On November 9 1938 months before the synagogues were demolished the Nazis destroyed the interiors of the synagogues and desecrated religious objects.  All over Germany, including Austria was vandalized, looted and destroyed.  In the museum they made a replica of one of the synagogues where you can observe how it would look after being destroyed. It is sad to know that the place where they prayed where thought of as nothing but trash.



Jewish children were expelled from German public schools after Kristllnacht.  Even the Jewish schools where closed. It is just sad that these children were not able to get an education just because they were Jewish. Not only where they banned from schools but also banned from museums, playgrounds, swimming pools and other places.



Visiting the Museum is such a somber experience that everyone needs to come to at least once here on second life. It is sad to know that human beings had to go through such horrific things. The purpose of this museum is to show a glimpse into what took place in the beginning of a very tragic event and help prevent history from repeating itself with senseless act of terror and crimes against humanity.
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