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Cultural Experience Essay

1. The museum I visited was the Smithsonian mem orial holocaust museum in DC. http://www.ushmm.org/

2. The museum had very informational facts of the challenges faced for victims of the holocaust. There are many educational pieces all throughout the museum.

3. Upon entering the holocaust museum, you will notice the dim lights and eerie sounds coming from the speaker. Also, the walkway is actually a timeline beginning with WWI. There are many artifacts of victims on display.

4. Walking through the museum, I felt a lot of remorse and emotions for the victims of the Holocaust. The most influential moment of the tour is a pile of shoes worn by the victims. The shoe pile is stacked very high and ranges in many sizes. I was emotional of the encounter because it showed me a real example of men, women, and children innocently killed for a radical idea.

5. During week two of our class, we had read about the differences of religion and the culture it brings. We also discussed about the challenges people would face based on their religion. I think this tie in with my topic for this report. The challenge Jews had faced during the holocaust had left an imprint in history. They were out casted in most of central Europe during the Nazi rule.

I also believe that the Holocaust ties in with the discussion of humanities because it is a life lesson that had a major impact in history. It has taught us the significance of what a radical idea can do and how it affects people.

6. Here is a link to the “ID cards” used in the museum but can also be found online. http://www.ushmm.org/remember/id-cards

Collection of shoes found in the Smithsonian Holocaust Museum.

7. This experience had really affected my feelings toward genocide victims. I felt lots of remorse and sadness for the people who had to endure the pains of the holocaust. With this experience, I view the human culture of the past to be different of todays. I believe as time progresses, and the learning of past mistakes, we try to and become more positive of ethics.

8. Although this experience does not directly affect me, I understand more of what is going on around the world. My experience here as opened my eyes to genocide and the horrid effects of what it can do to a population.

During WWI and WWII, there were many deaths because of a radical ideological man, Adolf Hitler. He was the supreme leader of the Nazi forces and had envisioned to rule the world. Aside from the deaths of combat, there was a mass genocide of innocent Jews which accounted for more than five million deaths. Many of the victims ranged from the youngest to the eldest with executions of the most horrid way imaginable. Many Holocaust memorials were built around the world to remind people of the cruel event to which the Jews had to endure. My experience in the Smithsonian Holocaust Museum was very interesting. I have only heard of the Holocaust in grade school and textbooks. However coming here, I was hit with a big impact of emotions from the display of antiques from the victim. In the museum there are authentic photograph and artifacts used and worn by Jews during the genocide.

With tons of information and videos, I felt like I understood more and more the anguish the victims had to endure. I also learned of the torture devices used by soldiers to kill the victims. Cold blooded methods such as gas chambers, fire pits, and death squads are only a few of the many tactics used during the mass genocide. Walking through the museum, I found the most influential section to be a room filled with old shoes piled high. I was particularly focused on it because the shoes were worn and used by actual victims in concentration camps.

The shoes were collected after the executions and were reissued to other prisoners who would cycle through. It was a hard sight to see because some of the shoes had dried blood which signified the torture they had gone through. I was literally speechless with the sight. Genocides are still happening today all over the world. Although the ban of genocide is an international law created by the Geneva Convention, mass killings have since continued after the holocaust. The most notable places are in rural Africa. Many victims are living in constant fear because of their belief in their religion.

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