Charged with educating students and the public about the dangers of prejudice and hatred in society, Holocaust Museum Houston opened its doors in March of 1996. Since that time, impassioned notes, poems, artwork and other gifts, from school children and adults alike, attest to the life-changing thoughts generated by just one visit to this unique facility.
The Permanent Exhibition at the Museum is called “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” and it focuses on the stories of Holocaust survivors living in the Houston metropolitan area. A tour begins with a look at life before the Holocaust. Visitors then see the beginnings of Nazism and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. The displays progress through the disruption of normal life, to segregation, to imprisonment in concentration camps and finally to extermination. The roles of collaborators, by-standers, rescuers and liberators are portrayed through artifacts, film reels, photographs, and text panels. The main exhibit ends with the moving short films “Voices” and “Voices II,” which alternate daily in the 100-seat theater. "Voices" is shown Wednesday through Saturday, with "Voices II" on Sunday through Tuesday. These films are compilations of verbal testimony from area survivors.
World War II Holocaust Railcar
The Museum is proud to display a 1942 World War II railcar of the type used to carry millions of Jews to their deaths. The railcar was formally dedicated and opened to the public during 10th Anniversary ceremonies on Sunday, March 5, 2006.
Danish Rescue Boat
The Museum's Permanent Exhibition also includes a 1942 Danish rescue boat of the type used to save more than 7,200 Jews from almost certain execution at the hands of Nazi Germany.
Morgan Family Center
The Morgan Family Center comprises the administrative offices, two changing exhibits galleries, the HMH classrooms and the theater.
The Museum also includes two changing galleries for art and photography exhibits. The Central Gallery is naturally located in the center of the Museum building and leads guests to the library. The Josef and Edith Mincberg Gallery is a larger hall for more extensive displays. The changing exhibits are designed to complement and further explore the issues presented in the Permanent Exhibition.
Holocaust Museum Houston is also widely known as an education center and the facility includes two classroom areas and a research library. The Boniuk Library and Resource Center contains more than 4,000 titles relating to the Holocaust, World War II, religion and antisemitism. The video section contains more than 300 titles on related subjects and the tapes can be viewed in the Museum’s video room or checked out. A full-time librarian manages the center, and a full-time registrar is responsible for maintaining the Museum’s archives. Thousands of historic and original photographs, documents, letters, diaries and other artifacts from the 1930s and 1940s are cataloged in the archives. Researchers can examine these documents and artifacts by appointment.
Lack Family Memorial Room
Two other areas of Holocaust Museum Houston allow for reflection and meditation. The Lack Family Memorial Room is a quiet place for contemplation. It contains the three-part work of art comprising the Wall of Remembrance, the Wall of Tears and the Wall of Hope. The Memorial Wall in the room is a place where local Holocaust survivors can commemorate their lost loved ones.
Eric Alexander Garden of Hope
Outside the Memorial Room is a quiet garden known as the Eric Alexander Garden of Hope. It is dedicated to the eternal spirit of children and is in memory of the 1.5 million children who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
Houston Museum District
Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association.