Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall, memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Designed by architect James Ingo Freed, it opened in 1993. Using a stark, harsh architectural vocabulary of industrial forms and unadorned materials, the building itself serves as an oppressive structural reminder of the period of the Holocaust. The museum's permanent collection uses environments such as a boxcar and a barracks, artifacts such as shoes, eyeglasses, suitcases, and concentration camp uniforms and insignia, and photographs, recorded oral histories, and documentary films to follow the Holocaust's stages of isolation, deportation, and extermination and immerse viewers in the lives and fates of victims. Exhibits concentrate on the six million European Jews who died but also include materials relating to Romani (Gypsies), homosexuals, the disabled, political and religious dissidents, and other victims. Memorable and harrowing, the museum has become one of the most visited in the capital. It also has extensive library and archival facilities, which are open to the public, and maintains a Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, which supports scholarship and publications, and an Academy for Genocide Prevention, which trains foreign policy professionals.

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