Thursday, December 29, 2005

Talking about wasting money. Yesterday I read that the Houston Holocaust Museum brought an old railcar all the way from Germany. It is not at all sure that this particular car was used to transport Jews to concentration and/or extermination camps during the Holocaust, but nevertheless it will be officially unveiled early next year in the presence of former President Clinton as " a powerful symbol ". This is what happens when you have Holocaust and Genocide Museums shooting up like mushrooms all over the world ( and particularly in the United States ). After all, each museum has to be filled and to attract visitors, and whether or not the objects on display are absolutely genuine does not appear to be very important. That the fragmentation of remembrance and research and this use of 'almost-or-maybe-somehow-genuine' objects make the work of Holocaust doubters and deniers easier ( and that so many Holocaust survivors in Israel - and elsewhere, I suppose, as well - live in poverty ) does not interest those who have to justify the existence of 'their' musea. Of course, it is important to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to get familiar with the details of the organized murder of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis and their helpers, but I wonder if that is what is the primary goal of some of those musea's initiatiors, and if this is the right way to make those details known.

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