Experience this powerful living memorial to the Holocaust on the National Mall.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will reopen on May 17. For more information regarding hours, timed entry and safety protocols, visit the museum's website.
What and where is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum?
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on the National Mall, just south of Independence Avenue SW, between 14th Street and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. Its official address is 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, DC 20024. The museum serves as a living memorial to the Holocaust, one of the worst tragedies the world has ever seen. Its purpose is to educate its visitors on the dangers of hatred and the atrocities of genocide, and how society can confront challenges to freedom and human dignity.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. every day of the year except for Yom Kippur and Christmas Day, December 25. Admission to the museum is free, but from March 1 to Aug. 31, timed tickets (subject to a $1 transaction fee) are needed to enter the museum’s permanent exhibition, which details the story of the Holocaust from 1933-1945. At any other time of the year, you can enter every part of the museum for free. Find out more info on acquiring tickets to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The easiest way to get to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is via Metrorail or the DC Circulator’s National Mall route. The closest Metro stop is the Smithsonian station on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines, just one block from the museum. The closest Circulator stop is no. 6 on the Mall route, which will take you directly in front of the museum. The facility is accessible to visitors who require mobility assistive devices.
What exhibits are inside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum?
The centerpiece of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is its permanent exhibition, simply titled The Holocaust. Covering three floors, the exhibit uses artifacts, photographs and film to provide a chronological telling of the tragedy, with each floor covering a different era. Along the way, you will see personal objects that belonged to survivors, as well as hear their eyewitness testimonies.
The museum’s other exhibits, which often rotate, further serve to educate visitors of the perils of discrimination and violence motivated by prejudice. Genocide: The Threat Continues brings attention to current situations that involve genocidal violence, while A Dangerous Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion examines the devastating and long-standing impact of a seminal anti-Semitic publication.
Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust shows how the Nazi party infiltrated communities in order to carry out the horrors of the Holocaust. The most family-friendly of the museum’s exhibits is Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story, which uses the perspective of a boy growing up in Nazi Germany to tell a harrowing and eye-opening tale. Children are invited to share their thoughts at the conclusion of the exhibition.
Cambodia: 1975-1979 focuses on the Khmer Rouge and their despicable actions that led to the deaths of nearly two million Cambodians, using photographs, film and contemporary artworks to illuminate this terror. In “I Want Justice!”, visitors can observe how perpetrators of genocide have been punished, from the Nuremberg trials after the Holocaust to the ongoing trails of members of the aforementioned Khmer Rouge.
The learning does not have to stop there. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website is also full of resources in order to further inform citizens about the damaging effects of prejudice and discriminatory violence, as well as how to confront such behavior and beliefs. The museum frequently hosts film screenings and events, including first-person testimonials from brave survivors of the Holocaust.