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Briana Alvarez
English 113B
Professor Lawson
11 May 2016
Project Space Final Draft
Word count: 1537

The Experience of Reliving History in The Museum of Tolerance


The holocaust in World War II was very upsetting and terrible event. It has greatly
impacted victims and the US soldiers that helped them. Therefore, its very important to
acknowledge and educate people about what happened and how they can prevent it from
happening again. The Museum of Tolerance is an American holocaust museum that serves its
purpose by acknowledging it and educating people about it. Theres so much the museum can
offer to the public and the jewish community that makes it different from other museums.
Anyone can enter a museum and leave with new knowledge of the past. However, the Museum
of Tolerance can not only expand your knowledge, but one can leave feeling inspired to change.
It has not only provided a place for recognition for the Holocaust, but it also shows the problems
around the world; present-day with terrorists, racism, immigration, and prejudice. The Museum
of Tolerance provides a place of remembrance for Jewish Americans and Holocaust survivors,
and it also informs the next generation, in an interactive way on discrimination and intolerance
during World War II and how it continues today.
The Museum of Tolerance opened to the public on February 13, 1993. Outside the
museum, its a predominately Jewish area of Los Angeles and very near to Beverly Hills. The

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location of the museum is significant because displays on how unite the community is and proud
and open to show their culture to other people. The community is full with men wearing
traditional kippahs. A kippah is a small hat that indicates whether if a Jewish man is religious or
not. Its significance is embrace one's inner sense of respect for God and their beliefs. The
neighborhood is full of Jewish Americans who are proud of their culture and display it by little
corner stores and business that are associated with the Jewish culture or owned by Jewish people.
Theres a lot of markets that sell kosher meals in the area and have a 99 cent store that sell items
that were Jewish cultured related. Since Jewish people have a certain diet because of their
religion, they are only allowed to eat certain things. Therefore, kosher meals are meals that pure
to their religion and ensuring its allowed for consumption.
However, the outside of the building it first gives rough exterior like a shell. The
building is placed on a corner with a variety square rooftop, that takes notice on how powerful
and protective the museum can be. But, as you enter the museum it sends a different message.
The museum gets really personal as you enter the building because the heart of the museum is a
spiral ramp with photographs. The photographs are of holocaust survivors who
volunteer or work there. The survivors give tours around the museum and some give their
personal testimonies on their past of the holocaust. Having holocaust survivors work there proves
that they are proud and not shamed to inform the world on what happened to them and let the
world know that the museum is reliable and meaningful to them.
Where the museum is placed, its very significant to the Jewish people. The museum was
placed in a predominately area for Jewish people because they want people to acknowledge and
remember what happened to the victims. Many people were being killed because of their race,
sexual orientation, age and disability, and it was all under of control of a man name, Adolf Hitler.

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Hitler told his audience and to the public what wanted they to hear after going through a
depression area. He scapegoated on the Jews for the downfalls in the economy. Not only did the
Germans believed him, but they stood by him because he was so powerful and persuasive as a
leader, they actually thought he was going to make the world better. Hitler also believed that the
ideal German person carried the characteristic features of blonde hair and blue eyes. People who
were gay, Jewish, young or old and with disabilities was sent to concentration camps and sent to
be tortured or killed for being who they were. This event went on for several years because
people and other countries were too afraid to interfere, so they became bystanders. A lot of
people suffered from the result of Hitler being elected and thats why its important to realize on
how the victims suffered and respect it what happened to them. This also shows how important
ones voice matters while voting and shows the young generation that their opinion does matter.
The museum holds two main exhibits, the Holocaust section and the Tolerancenter.
Both exhibits add an interactive way to engage the audience into the museum and as they go on
through the galleries. In the exhibit of the Holocaust section, it first starts off by a curator, giving
you card, with a childs picture and it reads, This passport is the key to the personal history of
[childs name]. The card and the information about the child gives the audience a chance to
be interactive by getting a child and learning the circumstances and dangerous time children had
to live through. One hopes the child they receive lives but one finds out towards the end of the
museum. The exhibit goes in order from the life of Jewish people before the war to after the war.
Before entering the first gallery there is a video on how the Jewish world was before the
Holocaust, the video showed how good their life was and there were some artifacts of nice things
they had. The museum opens an opportunity for people to get a chance to see how good their life
was and how it devastatingly changes so quick when the war begins. The exhibit has a narrator

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that describe on how World War II started and the rise of Hitler. Its purpose is to inform people
on how everything started and to display that it will go in chronological order on how the
holocaust went through.
The exhibit creates a serious mood by going through the galleries and having the narrator
discussing peoples real individual lives in detail during the war and how their lives ended. As it
goes further into the exhibit, the environment and the decoration starts to change. The
decorations start at first nice by showing how it was before the war. For an example, the floors
are nice hardwood floors and there are prototypes of cities and clothes that were every elegant
and well built houses. They showed posters of advertisements and the presidential election. But
during the war, the decorations and artifacts start to become scarier and destroyed. The artifacts
were uniforms of Nazi soldiers and uniforms of the victims in the death camps. The buildings
walls were destroyed and falling apart and the city was filled with Nazi graffiti and propaganda.
The room temperature and floors start to change when one enters the concentration camp and gas
chamber prototype galleries. Theres a sign on a brick wall falling apart, saying, millions passed
through gates like these; Never to return. Indicating millions of Jewish people and others
entered to these death camps and died. That sign depicts the terror of the effectiveness and main
cause of the Jewish genocide. The exhibit also displayed videos on how holocaust victims were
suffering and dying due to circumstances. This is significant because they want to create the
seriousness and fear of personal experience on what people suffered through
After finishing the exhibit, the temperature and floors changes back to normal. It ends by
playing patriot music with the U.S flag indicating the freedom after the war. The next exhibit,
Tolerancenter, informs on how discrimination and intolerance is still continuing today. There
are two doors before entering the exhibit; one that says prejudice and and unprejudiced. The

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unprejudiced door is locked to send a message to the public that people prejudice. When people
deny that they are not prejudice, are choosing to wrongly ignore history and their own
experiences. The exhibit proves it by showing the problems like: immigration, terrorist and
bullying. The exhibit displayed that discrimination and intolerance has never stopped and its up
to people to stand up and change. The museum displays theses problems by having hand on
activities and games to make it fun for the younger generation to learn.
This museum is beautiful but horrifying and interactive and that makes it different. The
purpose of this museum is to inform and educate the world on what happened in the past and
how its still continuing till this day. It gives a chance to people to realize that they can be the
change, the world can be. It shows great significance on how discrimination and intolerance is
destroying the world. As it hopes to leave and share non-discrimination ideas and prove to the
world that our human obligation is to love and accept because people matter regardless of who or
what they are.

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Works Cited
"Kippah: A Blessing On Your Head." Aishcom. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
"Our History and Vision." - Museum of Tolerance. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.