A permanent holocaust exhibition in London's Imperial War Museum
was opened by the Queen on June 6, 2000 (http://www.iwm.org.uk/lambeth/holo-pers.htm). The exhibition is said to look at how and why
these things happened. It runs through familiar history - the Treaty of Versaille, interwar
hyperinflation in Germany, unemployment, the anathematisation of Jews in Europe.
The visitor experiences a crescendo of horrors, all accompanied by the voices of concentration-camp survivors,
telling their tales on videos and by the sound of Hitler rousing the German people to meet
their destiny. A ceramic dissection table, where bodies of mentally unfit were dissected and pictures
of gas vans, in which exhaust emissions were used to kill those locked inside, can be seen. Another room
displays the complex bureaucracy created by the Nazis to execute the Final Solution.
In the near future another holocaust museum is to be built in Manchester.
Holocaust museums and memorials have become almost as commonplace as city halls. Some of them are:
1. the big United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. http://www.ushmm.org/
2. holocaust museums in El Paso http://www.huntel.com/~ht2/holocst.html
3. in Tampa Bay
4. in Detroit
5. the Candles (= Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiment Survivors) in Terre Haute,
6. the Desert Holocaust Memorial in Palm Springs
7. the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles
Being a German teacher of English, born during the Second World War, I welcome the new awareness
of the holocaust because one must not forget and those things must never happen again.
I do hope, however, that British or American people distinguish between the Nazi state of the 1930s and
today's Germany. Unfortunately I have experienced unpleasant situations in Britain where my students were greeted
with the Hitler salute. And quite a few films on British TV deal with the 'stupid Nazi'. Both do not help establish and
maintain good relationships between the British and the Germans. Having taught English for more than 30 years and liking the British
a lot, I do deplore above mentioned incidences.
Neither can I understand the closures of many Goethe Institutes by the German government because it is them which
can represent and show the new democratic Germany.