The new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum opened its doors Wednesday offering visitors transformative learning experiences.
With a renewed dual focus on the Holocaust and other human rights violations throughout history, the museum highlights abuses endured by Holocaust victims as well as genocide victims worldwide. The museum provides learning opportunities throughout the expansive 55,000-square-foot, three-floor facility.
“We now have the much needed space and opportunity to deliver our expanded mission of advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference.” said Mary Pat Higgins, museum President and CEO.
Guests journeying through the museum start by learning what it means to be an ‘upstander,’ someone who stands up against injustice to ensure human rights are upheld.
Next, visitors tour the current special exhibition, ‘Stories of Survival.’ The gallery displays belongings that genocide victims and refugees carried with them when fleeing from Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, Sudan, and Syria to escape persecution. It teaches visitors how ordinary objects can symbolize the memories of loved ones and the search for a new home in the United States.
After a video orientation, visitors explore three permanent exhibitions.
The Holocaust/Shoah wing allows visitors to learn about the events that occurred during the genocide and to memorialize the 6 million victims murdered. One significant artifact is a restored boxcar that was used by the Nazis to transport Jews to concentration and death camps. Visitors can also listen to the biographies of 68 local Holocaust survivors.
The Human Rights wing opens with an installation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Then, guests learn about 10 worldwide genocides throughout history each with its own space and graphic novel, representing the Ten Stages of Genocide as identified by Gregory Stanton.
The Pivot to America Wing explores civil rights struggles in the United States, taking visitors on a journey through America’s history. It features a replica of the Piccadilly Cafeteria in Dallas, where protesters gathered for four weeks after a black man named Clarence Broadnax was refused service there in 1964.
The new museum also features interactive technology that creates an immersive experience for visitors, such as the Dimensions in Testimony Theater. It is one of only two theaters in the world that allows visitors to have a one on one interaction with Holocaust survivors through a hologram. In the theater, visitors can ask questions to 91 year old Dallas Holocaust survivor Max Glauben, receiving answers in real-time to simulate a genuine conversation.
Before leaving, visitors are called to action with interactive installations that help them to confront their biases and find ways to get involved in their communities.
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is located in Downtown Dallas at 300 N. Houston Street and is open daily, recommended for ages 12 and over. Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students. For more information, visit DHHRM.org.