We have used a variety of historical sources that included documents, artwork, posters, monuments and buildings to interpret and remember events and places. Scroll down to study a collection of photographs from my visit to the Houston Holocaust Museum. Analyze the Train Car and the Danish fishing boat as historical sources and explore what these artifacts tell us about the Holocaust that a book cannot. It is an emotional exhibit as one mode of transport saved Jews while the other carried them to their death (Above Photo: Train cars just arrived at Auschwitz from Hungary).
I included photographs of the museum’s interpretive information in stone and also a transcription of a Holocaust Survivor (from online) and her experience in a train car. How does the combination of an oral history help interpret these artifacts? If there were not these words with the train car, do you think that would impact its ability to tell us about the Holocaust? What emotions rise up when you read and look at these images?
THE TRAIN CAR:
Anna W. was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and spent her early childhood traveling with her parents and five siblings as part of a Gypsy theater troupe. In 1938, they were forced to settle in Leipzig, and were prevented from traveling or attending school.
“In early 1942, we were taken to a camp near Leipzig and… told… we were to be resettled in Poland. …We were lucky we were put on a passenger car instead of a cattle car. …The children were excited about the train ride. …We had heard nothing of Auschwitz before. …We were the first transport to arrive at the Gypsy camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. …All the barracks were empty, there was no fence yet. It was muddy. We sank into the dirt to our knees… but each day more and more arrived. …They had barracks for 500 people and forced 1000 inside. …All my relatives, they all died there. Not one of them survived except for my cousin’s family. …”
THE DANISH FISHING BOAT:
Click here to watch this fascinating story that describes how Danes rescued their Jewish population. When you read the interpretive plaque below what does that tell you about the actual process of ferrying 7,200 Jews out of Denmark? Where do you see examples of courage and faith today like you see in these heroic Danes?
How do these vehicles help your understanding of the Holocaust? What do you think the museum wants you to take away from their exhibit? Post a link that shows how other museums interpret the Holocaust.
- Auschwitz is as much about the future as it is about the past (medicalhumanities.wordpress.com)