Monday, June 8, 2009

National Portrait Museum and the Holocaust Museum

On Saturday, we headed out to the National Portrait Museum which is in Chinatown (which is hardly Chinatown at all besides the "Made in China" labels on clothes!) The museum was cool for about the 1st hour but I think we preferred to go look in all the shops. So we did. The only thing I found really cool about seeing all these portraits, and I don't know why Im so intrigued by this, but I love seeing what dates these portraits were painted...some from the 1500's and they were all originals of course. Its cool to see the characteristics of the paint after it's been on a canvas for that long. Weird I know. They also had a portrait of Brigham Young.

In the modern art wing of the museum they had a Aztec themed tinfoil exhibit. I heard by another guy that it was a homeless man that did this but the description didn't say anything about it. Also they had several animals that were made in the 1950's out of old bottle caps- the man sure loved his tonic water and coke.

On Sunday everyone rode the metro out to the Holocaust Museum. It was incredible! It obviously was such a somber and heavy atmosphere. I've always been so intrigued by the Holocaust and survival stories, not so much the medical experiments that we're performed on the Jews. I always wondered what was Hitler's reasoning behind this event and one quote that I remember from him was that he believed Jews to be a parasitic race that thrived off of others and he was quoted in 1942 saying "we will regain our health by eliminating the Jews." So after being named Chancellor of Germany, he killed at least 6 million men, women and children. He would tell his army to kill mercilessly and reflect no emotion.

As you enter the museum, they give you a small 3-page booklet of a male/female. Mine was Channa Morgensztern and she was a mother of 5 children who lived outside of Warsaw. Her community was taken over by Nazi's, her son managed to escape to the Far East but her and the rest of her children were deported to the Treblinka concentration camp. It makes it so tough emotionally to put a background to one individual and her family and to read what she had to go through herself and her not knowing what would happen to her family. I didn't find out if she lived or died but maybe if I do a little research, Ill find out. This is "the Tower of Faces." full of pictures that were seized from homes that were invaded by the SS.

There were TONS of shoes from both old and young, hair brushes, eating and kitchen utensils. Inmate uniforms, some were small children sized. It was very sad. For anyone that hasn't read "Night" by Elie Weisel I highly recommend it, he was a survivor and also lost his father to the Holocaust. Its a great book! I also watched Valkyrie with Tom Cruise- it's about an assassination attempt on Hitler. Did you know there were 15 assassination attempts on Hitler, all by his own Reich (army.)

Walking out of the museum, it feels like a million pounds is lifted off of you. My body literally hurt. I can't imagine how the survivors felt walking out of the camps after liberation.

"the world must know." -Brown Little

1 comment:

  1. that's so cool that you get to see all these famous museums! I bet it was a bit overwhelming, huh?? That tower of pics is cool/sad. I love you lay lay, thanks again for my card, I love it. I really wish you were here 2day to go to the beach w/ me, it's blazin hot and the water is super clear. I'm thinking of you! xoxoxo.