I was in DC earlier this week with my girlfriend as she was there attending the Romance Writers of America conference. After some thought we decided to visit the Holocaust museum on the Mall. Our concern was that the museum would be overwhelming, and it was. The degree of inhumanity on display is truly staggering. So much so that at times I found myself questioning how such a horror could have been perpetrated when I knew full well it had. I’ve read chilling accounts by Christopher Browning in Ordinary Men, and others by Omar Bartov, Hannah Arendt, Eli Wiesel, and even the controversial thesis put forward by Daniel Goldhagen in Hitler’s Willing Executioners, and still it didn’t fully register. The enormity of the loss is beyond comprehension, and the museum has worked hard to counter this by focusing on specific aspects to both humanize and give a sense of scale to what is otherwise seemingly infinite suffering.
Should you visit DC and you’re up to the challenge, I would urge you to visit and see for yourself: http://www.ushmm.org/
I was there, too, at the convention! Next time we’ll all have to get together and have drinks or something… 🙂
Nerts, it would have been fun to meet. Did you have a good time? My agent was there and gave a workshop that I hear was a big hit. I’m not surprised, he’s a pretty astute cat when it comes to this publishing thing 🙂
I had a great time, thanks!
And, yeah, your agent’s workshop was *very* popular and his talks in the past have always been a big draw. 🙂
Hit submit too soon, but was also going to say that the Holocaust museum is a place I’d like to visit as well. Didn’t have time to go this past week, but I’m not sure I would’ve been in the right frame of mind anyway. Don’t want to rush thru that one…
You were wise to wait until you have the time and the proper frame of mind. The whole thing is so seemingly unfathomable that you need to take the time to truly absorb that it’s not just some grand fiction. To realize we live in a world where that happened, and still happens, is brutalizing to the senses.