Religion, Period 4
4 January 1999
Museum of Tolerance
On a Wednesday during Christmas Vacation, Coley Delaney, Danielle Miller, and I drove down to the Museum of Tolerance to remind ourselves of the great suffering that the Jews endured during the Holocaust.We met at Coley’s house at around 11:15 a.m. and prepared ourselves for some things we have never seen before. On our way up to the museum, we made as many jew jokes as we could think of before we felt really sorry for them.
It was around 1:00 p.m. when we arrived at the museum. It was nothing I had expected from the outside. I expected it to be much bigger than it actually was and to be honest much nicer. It was a newer building, or at least it looked as if it was newer, and it was around many old buildings. As we pulled into the parking garage I began to feel nervous of what I might see.
We walked into the building and bought our tickets, we got the student discount. Our tour time would be at 1:15. To waste a little time we decided to walk around a little and look at the displays. There were many Jewish items that I had never seen before but Coley pointed out most of them and explained what they were and what they were used for. It didn’t take very long for our tour guide to show up and lead us to the main tour. There was a short, maybe 15 minute tour with a tour guide, then a two and a half hour audio tour.
The tour guide led us to two doors and told us to choose one. Above each door was a label one with the word “prejudice” and one with the word “unprejudiced.” I tried to go through the unprejudiced door only to find out it was locked. When I asked the tour guide why it was locked she told me that everyone has their own prejudices at one time or another no matter how big or small the prejudice is. When I got to thinking about it, it’s true. At least at one point in your life, you have a certain hate for someone just because they are different than you.
We walked around for a while and looked at all of the games. The purpose of the games was to prove to the people that everyone has their prejudices. We walked down a hall until we reached a door that had a sign above it that said “10 more minutes.” As the clock ran down I got more and more nervous. The silence among Coley, Danielle, and I was incredible. I think we were all feeling the same nervous feeling. We sat down and waited.
The clock finally read “0 minutes” and we walked through the door into another long dark hallway. In the hall was a series of different displays. The different displays were used to educate people on what happened during the depressing period where thousands and thousands of innocent Jewish people were brutally murdered.
As we walked through the tour and heard all of the depressing stories I began to feel sorry for them. Then I began to think about all of the other kinds of people that have been victims of prejudice, the Blacks, the Chinese, the Indians, and many more people. I found myself wondering how someone could believe the great lies that Hitler told his fellow Germans to get them to literally volunteer to kill innocent Jews.
We then were told to pick up a card. The card had one of the Jew’s faces on it. During the tour, we came to two machines. The first told us what they did when they first cleared the Jews and segregated them from society. The last told us what happened to them and their family. I got a young girl that was killed along with the rest of her family in the concentration camps.
Going to the Museum really gave me a new perspective on the great and inconceivable prejudices that these people faced and the prejudices that we still are faced with today. I learned a valuable lesson: No matter what we do or how we try to stop it, prejudice is inevitable and the more you try to stop it, the more it will come out of people.
As we walked through the museum, I began to realize the great reality of the Holocaust. When I stuck the card into the machine and saw that the girl I had was killed along with her entire family reality really began to sink in. My stomach began to ache and I felt a tad bit nauseous. It also gave me a feeling of today’s prejudice. Although there are many laws and prejudice is supposedly legally protected, people will continue to hate for the soul purpose of a person being different from another. I was overwhelmed by the cruel things that the Germans did to the innocent Jews.