AAA Editor Notes
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is at 9603 Woods Dr. Dedicated to remembering the Holocaust and educating people about hatred and genocide, the eye-catching, 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art museum is filled with multimedia displays and exhibits of historic clothing, books, documents and photographs. One half of the museum is dark gray, the other half is white. Visitors start by entering the dark wing where an introductory video explains the Holocaust, and from there they proceed through rooms that detail increasing persecution by the Nazis.
The next series of exhibits describe the outbreak of World War II, the creation of Jewish ghettos and the 1942 Wannsee Conference during which the Nazi “Final Solution” was formulated. Between the museum's two wings is its centerpiece exhibit: an early 20th-century German railcar like the ones used to transport millions of Jews to concentration camps. Visitors then pass through the railcar to the lighter wing, which describes the war's end and tells the stories of liberation, immigration and renewal that followed.
The cylindrical Room of Remembrance on the third floor houses a book containing the names of Holocaust victims, and the curving walls are painted with their first names written in English, Yiddish and Hebrew. A catwalk leads to the Hall of Reflection, a brightly lit, airy space with 12 seats representing the tribes of Israel. The museum also features a fine art gallery and an exhibition for children ages 8 to 12. Rotating exhibitions offer visitors a new perspective on contemporary issues such as race, refuge, ethics and culture.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 2 hours, 30 minutes minimum.