Monday, April 20, 2009
MUSEO DEL HOLOCAUSTO
As a Jew, there is a certain sense of obligation to Never Forget what was done to the Jewish people during World War II. This obligation is two fold: Not only that the Jewish people never forget, but also that the rest of the world never forget. In this way, the people who died in the Holocaust are remembered and the hope that the atrocity of genocide never be repeated. We seem to be doing OK on the first count, but on the second count...well, Planet Earth does seem to be for slow learners.
It is with this sense of obligation, as well as curiosity, that I ventured out to the Museo del Holocausto. I wanted to honor those who died but also, I was curious to see how a county, who allowed so many Nazi war criminals to emigrate after World War II, handled the topic of the Holocaust.
It was a small museum and to someone who is familiar with the history of pre-World War II Europe and the events of the Holocaust, there was nothing enlilghtening to offer. But to those who may not know, or who know little, it was a pretty accurate accounting of what happened. It wasn't graphic (which allows people of all ages to more easily go) but I also didn't find it terribly emotional either. Mostly it felt like history, just the facts. They didn't try to hide the fact that Argentina accepted post war some of the worst of the Nazi war criminals: Joseph Mengele, Adolf Eichmann, Eduard Roschmann, Walter Kutschmann and Klaus Barbie just to name a few. They also gave no explanation, excuses or appologies for that fact either. Again, just the facts. It left me feeling a little chilled.
Fake Passport of Adolf Eichmann
It's not an award winning museum by any stretch of the imagination but it is Buenos Aires' attempt to help the world to Never Forget.