The National Holocaust Centre and Museum – Journey Exhibition

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October 26, 2016 by Liat

Case written and delivered by: Tuva Nerland

The “Journey Exhibition” is one of the main exhibitions of National Holocaust Centre and Museum, which is located in the UK.

It follows the life of Leo Stein, a 10 years old Jewish boy, through the year of 1938. The visitors learn about the impact of Nazi propaganda, anti Jewish measures and anti Semitism. The Journey exhibition is mainly used for educating primary school students about the Holocaust.

The birth of the idea

The Centre was solely an idea that James and Stephen Smith along with their mother Maria came up with, shortly after their visit to Yad Vashem – Israel’s national Holocaust Centre. The visit made them realize that they had little knowledge of the Holocaust event, and found it important to spread their knowledge to people back in England. The education about the Holocaust at School’s and Universities had been lacking, and now they wanted it to be taught, discussed and understood by all, especially students.

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When was it made?

The Beth Shalom holocaust center (The national Holocaust center and museum) was founded the 17th of December 1995, after many years of dedicated fund raising and hard work.

How does the exhibition work?

The visitors go through a journey of seven different settings from Leo’s life. Each room has a story,   the storyteller is Leo Stein himself. Leo explains about how his life changed roughly through his last year in Berlin, during the Holocaust. Each visitor listens to the story through earplugs that they are given. Each room is designed just as they where, which makes the experience feel very real and emotional. The visitors are placed in Leo’s shoes which gives them an opportunity to experience and feel, just they way he did. The fact that he is the one telling the story, makes the holocaust event feel even more real, and probably more emotional.

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Statement of purpose – idea behind the Center

Their statement of purpose is: “ to provide a permanent memorial to the victims of the Holocaust; offer an understanding of the causes and events of the Holocaust through a range of age-appropriate exhibitions and survivor testimonies and to present programs of learning, based on the Holocaust, that encourage personal responsibility and the promotion of fairness and justice but also challenge learners to take positive action.”

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Reason why i chose this exhibition

The main reason I chose this exhibition is because it is one that creates a lot of empathic understanding and emotions towards the visitor. It forwards an important history event and theme, which everyone should have knowledge about. The exhibition also has a vast impact on the way people think, feel and act after their experience, which makes it successful.

The idea of going through different rooms and different experiences is something that I think would work well with the wheelchair exhibition. Another design opportunity is to transfer a real life situation or setting into the exhibition; in the same way they recreated setting from Leo’s life into an experience.

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Source:

Nationalholocaustcentre.net. (2014). The National Holocaust Centre and Museum | Journey Exhibition. [online] Available at: https://www.nationalholocaustcentre.net/journey-exhibition [Accessed 24 Oct. 2016].

 All pictures are taken from the same source.

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