Holocaust Museum Houston
The Holocaust Museum Houston opened in 1996 with the mission of educating the public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society. To teach people of all ages and backgrounds that humans can resist the worst in humankind.
The Holocaust Museum Houston is one of only three Holocaust museums in the country and one of only four Houston museums that are accredited by the American Association of Museums, the highest national recognition possible for a U.S. museum.
What surprises a lot of visitors is that the Museum was created by Houston-area Holocaust survivors and all the artifacts are personal items donated by local survivors. HMH is the only Holocaust Museum that tells the story of local survivors through its Permanent Exhibition called, “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers.”
The tour starts from the transition from normal life devolving into segregation, imprisonment and systematic extermination. Short films end the exhibit with a collection of survivors testifying about their experiences. The Permanent Exhibit also includes a World War II Holocaust Railcar of the type used to carry millions of Jews to their death, and a Danish Rescue Boat of the type used to save more than 7,200 Jews from the Nazis.
Special exhibits being shown during February 2017 include:
“A Celebration of Survival” by Barbara Hines features the faces of children displayed on diaphanous silk veils so visitors may “pass through as if among them,” and “Portrait Walls” with 16 of the 26,000 “Righteous Among the Nations,” non-Jews who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust. As the Museum’s most technologically advanced exhibition in its 20-year history, visitors can host a “virtual conversation” with the hologram of Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, an eyewitness to history who can answer direct questions about his experiences in real time.
“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1944:” Between 1942 and 1964, the Emergency Farm Labor Program allowed roughly 4.6 million Mexican nationals to come to the U.S. to work on short-term labor contracts. Photographer Leonard Nadel documented the exploitation of bracero workers. The images were acquired by the Smithsonian and are the visual focus of this exhibit.
The average visit to the Holocaust Museum Houston is around two hours, but visitors often wish they had more time.
Do not miss the “Voices” movie and utilize the guided or audio tours to help get the most of the experience.
Due to the nature of these exhibits, cell phone use is not permitted in the exhibition and memorial areas, and photography is not permitted inside of the Museum.
HMH is free each Thursday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Be sure to check the website page to see upcoming events and lectures.
Holocaust Museum Houston
Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, Texas 77004