Married to the Empire

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dallas Holocaust Museum

Steven has been on vacation all week, and he really wanted to go to the Biblical Arts Center in Dallas and the Holocaust Museum. The BAC was out because it's shut down from a fire that destroyed much of it. But the Holocaust Museum is still very much open.

I'd been before, but I was looking at this from a slightly different perspective this time. I've been reading Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It's a fictional book about religious persecution in China. I'll admit that I've been ridiculously blind to the difficulties of fellow Christians (or really people of any religion) around the world. I like to think that the horrors of World War II could never be repeated, but some of the atrocities are still going on today.

A few of the images that stuck with me:

Looking at how much of Europe was under Axis control, it's really amazing that the Allies won.

The Stars of David that the Jews were forced to wear:

In case you can't read the card, it says, "The Star. Keep it for ever for the coming generations, the shame of Germany."

This picture really hit me. I guess because a wedding day is supposed to be a day free of worries and concerns, and politics shouldn't be a part of it. And yet, this happy couple had to mar their beautiful bridal clothes with the ugly reminder that they were second-class citizens in the eyes of the state:

This photo reminded me of the book I'm reading about the persecution of the Chinese church. The Chinese Christians meet illegally for prayer and worship. Obviously, the Jews in much of Europe were forced to do the same. But what conviction to do so in the face of severe punishment if discovered!

This one just broke my heart. By the way the kids are bundled up, it was obviously a cold day. To see a child going barefoot in the cold hurts. This is a photo from one of the Jewish Ghettos:

This photo was of great interest to me for a couple of reasons. One, it's a boat full of Jews trying to gain entrance to Israel. Their sign, which is cut off in the original photo, says, "Germans destroyed our families and homes. Don't you destroy our hope." The irony is that while Britain helped free the Jews from the Nazis, Britain had the means to let the Jews into Israel or not. They turned many away. The second reason it's of interest to me is that we've been studying the Old Testament with our middle schoolers at church for the past two years. Throughout there is a constant cycle of the Jews being taken into captivity, then taking control of their land again. This is the modern-day version of that:

And finally, this photo is actually the first thing you see when you enter the museum, but I wanted to put it at the end because I think it's an excellent reminder of what happens when good people do nothing. Albert Einstein was a smart man about more than just science:


Becky S. said...

Have you read "Number the Stars", the Newbery Award-winning book by Lois Lowery? Though a juvenile level book, it is one of my all-time favorites and deals with the responses of Danish citizens to the Nazi occupation of their country.

Ewokgirl said...

Becky! It's good to "see" you!

Yes, I've read Number the Stars. It's a great book! What's even more interesting to me is that what is portrayed in the book is pretty typical of how the Danish treated their Jewish neighbors. It was the one country that really worked to save the Jews, and they kept their neighbors' things for them, rather than stealing them, unlike the rest of Europe under Axis control.