When the creation of a Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., was first
announced, many commented that the idea was strange. Who would come? Why
memorialize a tragedy? Is this some form of reparation for Jews?
Now, 20 years after the doors opened, these questions have been answered. Over 34 million visitors have come to witness the story told by this unique institution. Ninety percent of the visitors have been non-Jews; over 10 million were schoolchildren. The reach of the museum’s message has been global and non-sectarian, as those who dreamed up the idea hoped. Genocide prevention in all parts of the world is its goal, along with remembering this horrible example. Scholarship is augmented. Lessons learned.