I saw so many parallels between the thinking of the Germans in the 1920s and the thinking/rationale of many of the white nationalists who voted for president shithole in 2016. Germans blamed Jews for the deteriorating economic conditions they faced. Similarly, many people in the rust belt and in other parts of America blame black and brown people and of course immigrants of all races for the same thing.
Economics was the impetus to religious and ethnic cleansing conducted by the Nazi/Aryan supremacists. Racial superiority and pure evil caused Nazi Germans led by Adolph Hitler to commit mass genocide of Jewish people.
If you have not visited the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., I highly recommend it. The exhibits were highly engaging, jaw-dropping, educational, and I would be less than honest if I didn’t say quite depressing. There were times when I felt I needed a mental break. There were moments when I felt I had processed enough information. One such exhibit that caused me to tear up was the replica of the gassing of Jewish men, women, and children. Prior to being led to a holding area they were forced to remove their clothing before going into a gas chamber where lethal gas flowed into vents killing hundreds at a time. Afterwards, the murderers took the bodies to a room to search for gold in the mouths of the dead. Afterwards, bodies were cremated in masses.
For me, there was also a connection between the Holocaust and the immigrant/DACA debate that is currently playing out in America. Many Jews were taken from their communities and forced to live in interment camps. Jews also fled to neighboring countries becoming refugees. Nations all over the world including America debated the impact of allowing Jewish refugees to enter their country. They discussed and drafted policies that would allow them to screen for “more desirable Jews.” Sound familiar?
There were so many eerie similarities. It made me realize how fragile democracy really is, especially the one we all reside in.
Like the National African American Museum in Washington, D.C., you’ll need more than a day to absorb all of the information and exhibits. It’s a beautiful, large museum made up four floors of exhibits including artwork from the youngest Holocaust victims, the children.
There’s no admission fee, within walking distance of other museums and monuments, and worth every minute of your time.