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. The Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition begins in 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 interactive Make a Difference! Harvey L. Miller Youth Exhibition is designed for children ages 8 to 12. Rotating exhibitions offer visitors a new perspective on contemporary issues such as race, refuge, ethics and culture. Special programs throughout the year—film, live performances, guest lectures and panel discussions—open meaningful dialogue on issues of social justice and human rights and how to effect change in our communities and the world.
The Take a Stand Center moves visitors from Understanding to Inspiration to Action. The 72-seat Abe & Ida Cooper Survivor Stories Theater uses groundbreaking, three-dimensional technology to tell Holocaust Survivor stories in an incredibly life-like way. The technology combines high-definition holographic interview recordings and voice recognition technology to enable survivors to tell their deeply moving personal stories and then respond to questions from the audience. The Goodman Upstander Gallery takes visitors on an interactive exploration of 30 historical and contemporary Upstanders who have fought against injustice and stood for worthy causes. The Take A Stand Lab allows visitors to get involved and make their voices heard before they leave the museum.
Guided tours are available.