Explore the stations of the museum.
CHAIM uses 18 informational and interactive exhibits to takes it visitors from the darkness of Nazism and the resulting abyss of human behavior to the heights of humanity in the selfless acts of compassion exhibited by those willing to stand up to the darkness.
A Call to Remembrance and Action
Here, the visitor will understand the goal of a visit to this museum and the answer to the questions Why this? Why now? An important reason for studying the Holocaust, a devastating period of human history, is to learn how to make things better in the future. To do this we take a look at the Holocaust,a part of the entire WWII picture, and understand the reasons we must learn this history and hear the testimonials is not only to memorialize those who were murdered, but also to inspire us to action, to “WAKE UP” - Witness, Act with Tact, Know, Empathize, Upstand and Prevent - and fight hatred wherever it may be.
Before the War
We begin our Holocaust timeline looking at what life was like prior to WWII, particularly Jewish life.
The Rise of the Nazis
The timeline continues with asking the question how could the Nazis take power of a democracy like Germany. We are introduced to Adolf Hitler, the factors that allowed the rise of the Nazi party, Nazi terminology, and Nazi organizational entities such as the “Gestapo”, “SS” and “Hitler Youth”.
The Holocaust officially begins on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. We explore how Kristallnact was allowed to happen.
Here, we examine how the persecuted members of society were increasingly isolated from the mainstream.
The catastrophe to befall the Jews begins in earnest with deportation, the forceful removal from their homes, and into ghettos, cattle cars, and concentration camps.
The Final Solution
At the Wannsee conference, the Nazis formulated their systematic methodology to murder all the Jews, the plan referred to as "The Final Solution."
Resistance to the atrocities of the Nazis came in different forms. From the sheer will to survive of the prisoners to the non-prisoners who were willing to risk their lives to save lives and to do what was right.
Once the tide of the war turned, it still took the 'allies' several years to liberate all the countries that had fallen victim to Nazi capture and release the prisioners.
For the newly liberated prisoners, there was no going back to what was; it took most several years until they found 'home' again.
Is it possible for justice to be served for such a horrendous crime as genocide? The Nuremberg trials attempted to do so.
After the Holocaust, humanity cried out 'Never Again' shall genocide occur. Yet, here we are in the 21st century and we still hear of genocide after genocide. The only way to prevent the hate that leads to genocide is to teach our young to “Wake Up” - Witness, Act with Tact, Know, Empathize, Upstand and Prevent. WAKE UP is our remedy for the hate that allows racism and genocide to occur.
Art as a Witness
The living aren't the only witnesses to crime. From poetry and paintings to photographs and film, art forms are primary source witnesses to the Holocaust. Art helps express what words perhaps cannot.
Meet a Survivor
The best way to try to understand what it was like to live through the Holocaust is to hear a survivor speak. As we come closer to the post-survivor era, reading and hearing survivor testimonials allow us to become the witnesses to tell the survivor story even after they are gone. Take the time to get to know a survivor or two through their fascinating stories of resistance and luck.
Jewish tradition honors keeping the memory of loved ones alive through several ritual practies. Thus it is not surprising that there are so many Holocaust memorials and museums to keep the memory of the millions who died alive, to honor those who tried to help them, and to remind us of the need to WAKE UP. Museums, as well as some cities and counties, host annual educational and memorial programs for teachers, and the community at large.
For centuries Jewish life flourished in Euorpe, especially in Poland, a country where 3 million Jews called home prior to WWII and where core Jewish knowledge was born. Today most Jews live in the US and Israel, and most of the Jewish villages have disappeared. Nevertheless, Jewish life is slowly coming back to Europe, even in Poland, despite the persistant anti-Semitism.
Children: Victims and Leaders
How were children killed? How did they survive? What should a Holocaust library for children contain? At this station you’ll find answer to these questions, as well as an array of children’s books.
Now that the story of the Holocaust has been told, it is important to take action. Genocide, hate and intolerance still flourish in this world; yet as brutal as the Nazi actions were during this time, there were many acts of virtue as well and it is from these that we must learn. People who made the choice not to stand by and follow the crowd, but to do what was right are called Upstanders. Can you take on the “WAKE UP” mission - Witness, Act with Tact, Know, Empathize, Upstand and Prevent - and never stand idly by and watch hate in action?