Virginia Holocaust Muesum

Lizette and I visited the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.

Cannot say it was a “fun” experience because there is nothing fun about walking through memories of atrocities and pain. It was, however, insightful and necessary.

I traveled to Poland years back and I visited Auschwitz concentration camp. I remember it clearly because it made a deep impression on me. I was expecting to feel some of the same emotions when I went to the local museum. I was pleased to find this less painful. However, in some ways, it hit a little closer to home because the gallery is filled with stories from local survivors. In fact, the audio from the guided tour was recorded by a Richmond survivor himself, who told his own story along the way.

In my opinion, everyone should visit their local Holocaust museum at least once in their lifetime. We owe it to ourselves to remember what happened. If you live in RVA or visit this area, I recommend this place. Admission is free. The layout of the building is user friendly, taking you easily from one section to the next without the need to backtrack. It will take about an hour to walk through the loop and you can either use their audio guide or simply read the information and go at your own pace.

A tribute to heroes who protected and cared for the persecuted

A tribute to heroes who protected and cared for the persecuted

Life size reproductions of pictures of those being liberated and replicas of American soldiers

Life size reproductions of pictures of those being liberated and replicas of American soldiers

Life-size replica of a scene during the Nuremberg trials, with actual footage playing in the background.

Life-size replica of a scene during the Nuremberg trials, with actual footage playing in the background.

Nazi flag, conveniently placed on floor so everyone can step on it.

Nazi flag, conveniently placed on floor so everyone can step on it.

Unbroken

Let me start by saying that this is one of the best books I have ever read.

UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, is #1 in New York Times’s Bestseller list and will soon become a motion picture. It is a biography of Louis Zamperini, an airman who suffered the unimaginable in the hands of the Japanese, as a prisoner of war.

Top 4 reasons why I loved this book:

  1. This remarkable and well-written story was extensively researched and documented during the course of seven years.
  2. It enlightened me about the role of Japan in the war, which has been far less written about than Germany. The horrors were equally as devastating.
  3. One could expect this book to be dreadfully depressing or over-500-pages-of-boring. It’s neither. It kept me fully engaged, and even though there were times when I felt I couldn’t take any more devastation, I persevered because I expected redemption to come (as expressed in the title). Indeed, the book cover reads: “Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”, and that is exactly what shines through the story, in powerful fashion.
  4. I was rooting for Louie Zamperini from the very beginning of the narrative. During the course of the book, I was rooting for the many others who surrounded him and who made their way into the story. Last night, as I finished the book, I found myself crying out loud and thanking God for the good that can come out of evil.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars! So go and buy it, or downloaded, or whatever you do to get a hold of your copy. Hurry!