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.
Defining the Museum
Here, the visitor will understand the goal of a visit to this museum. An important reason for studying the Holocaust, a devastating period of human history, is to learn how to make things better in the future. The goal of this station is to focus our view on the Holocaust itself, only a part of the entire WWII picture, and understand that the reasons we must learn this history and hear the testimonials is not only to memorialize those who were murdered, but also to spark our awareness 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 the introduction of Adolf Hitler, and the factors that led to the rise of the Nazi party. We are also introduced to Nazi terminology, and and Nazi organizational entities such as the “Gestapo”, “SS” and “Hitler Youth”.
The Holocaust officially begins on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. We also explore the idea through the eyes of today's children.
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 their 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, called "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.
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.
Fighting Hate and Genocide
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 racism and future genocides 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 the survivors to tell their story even after they are gone. Take the time to get to know a survivor story, or two.
Jewish tradition honors keeping the memory of loved ones alive through ritual practies. The recitation of the Kaddish prayer and the lighting of a “Yahrzeit” (remembrance) candle not only when the person dies, but also each year on the anniversary of the death are common practices. Thus it is not surprising that there are so many Holocaust memorials and museums to keep the memory of the millions who died alive, and to honor those who tried to help them. Museums, as well as some cities and counties, host educational and memorial programs for teachers, and the community at large.
For centuries Jewish life flourished in Euorpe, especially in Poland, a country which 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, whose Jewish population was nearly decimated.
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 instead are called Upstanders. Our mission is to mission is to “WAKE UP” - Witness, Act with Tact, Know, Empathize, Upstand and Prevent - and never stand idly by and watch hate in action.