Visit an incredibly poignant holocaust museum in Los Angeles, founded in 1961 by holocaust survivors.
The must-see Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is a solemn experience, documenting the greatest atrocity in history. The poignant stories in this museum will stay with you for years to come.
This FREE museum is located in the Fairfax District across from The Grove shopping mall, in a modern architectural building. There are nine rooms with audio and video presentations that document the history of the holocaust, starting with the rise of Nazism and onset of WWII.
The lights gradually dim as you venture deeper into the building, a metaphor for mankind descending into its darkest point in history. The most dimly lit rooms are at the lowest point of the building, and deal with Deportation and Extermination, and Labor/Concentration/Death Camps. There's a sense of optimism as you ascend from this part of the building to more brightly lit rooms, dealing with more hopeful topics like World Response/Resistance/Rescue.
This free museum is located at 100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Check hours. This is quite an emotional journey, and you will be deeply moved by everything you see.
10 things to see at Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
1. The Tree of Testimony captures the stories of 51,000 holocaust survivors, liberators and rescuers. The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust does a great job of bringing history to life, with these incredible first-hand accounts.
Visit Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
2. View fascinating exhibits on Jewish life before WWII, with photos and different household artifacts.
3. See an original letter from Albert Einstein to New York businessman Hyman Zinn, praising him for helping Jews escape Hitler's Germany. It warns of the growing danger to the Jewish community, mere months before WWII began.
4. Venture down into the Labor/Concentration/Death Camp room at the deepest point in the building, at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The audio-visual displays deal with harrowing topics like the crematoria, burning pits and gas chambers. You can also hear first hand accounts from survivors at Death Camps like Auschwitz, Treblinka, Chelmno and Beltzec in occupied Poland, and Dachau in Germany. These camps were established primarily for the extermination of Jews.
It's difficult to leave with this room without feeling deeply, emotionally affected.
Guide to Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
5. The displays also show the different European countries that Jews were uprooted from, to be transported to concentration camps, including Poland, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Italy and Slovakia.
6. The Labor/Concentration/Death Camp room has the original striped uniforms from concentration camps.
7. An exterior wall at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, has a list of donors, and in memoriam for families that perished.
8. There's a nearby wall with 1.2 million holes, representing each of the children that died during the holocaust. Visitors can roll-up a handwritten note and insert it in one of the holes, to commemorate these children.
9. Attend a talk by a holocaust survivor at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust regularly invites survivors to share their harrowing stories with visitors. These shocking events are brought to life by first hand, detailed accounts of children who miraculously survived the holocaust.
10. Sign up for a docent-led tour for a more in-depth walk through the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
Know before you go
- Address: 100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (across the street from The Grove outdoor shopping mall).
- Admission: free (donations appreciated).
- Hours: here.