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  •  On the Carter Camp essay and the Holocaust Museum (5+ / 0-)

    I completely understand what Camp is saying about the Museum of the American Indian, but what he says about the Holocaust Museum is wildly inaccurate (see below):

    Congress in its wisdom awarded one site to a very politically powerful (and deserving) Jewish applicant and another to the very politically powerful Smithsonian Institution, their 'keeper of the loot'.

    (snip)For the Jewish museum no thought at all was given to using it to show the world ancient Jewish culture and artifacts. They could have displayed scenes of ancient Jewish life: hunting, tanning hides and pastoral living.

    (snip)It wasn't done that way for one reason...The Jewish people were in charge and they decided for themselves what aspect of their history to show the world. They decided with one voice to use the rare space as a shield to protect their people against a repeat of the Nazi holocaust. Jewish politicians funded and protected Jewish intellectuals, artists, historians, Rabbis, and survivors as they crafted a way to commemorate their dead and to use their past to protect their future. They refused to allow the dreams of others to distort the truth of their horror, and now their museum is a powerful testament to a Jewish dream, not a gentile revision of reality.

    Reading this, one would think Congress chartered a "Jewish museum" and then Jews chose to make one about the Holocaust. As someone who worked at the Holocaust Museum, I knew this was false. Here's a summary of the history from wiki:
    On November 1, 1978, President Jimmy Carter established the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, chaired by Elie Wiesel, a prominent author and Holocaust survivor. Its mandate was to investigate the creation and maintenance of a memorial to victims of the Holocaust and an appropriate annual commemoration to them.

    On September 27, 1979, the Commission presented its report to the President, recommending the establishment of a national Holocaust memorial museum in Washington, D.C. with three main components: a national museum/memorial, an educational foundation, and a Committee on Conscience.

    The charter from Congress was ALWAYS, from the start, focused on the Holocaust.

    Additionally, the museum is not designed, as Camp argued, by Jews to "protect their people against a repeat of the Nazi holocaust." Although obviously the museum tells the history of the Holocaust, it is designed, at its core, to prevent all genocides going forward. The first sentence at the museum's "About the Museum" page reads:

    A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.

    I do not intend to hijack this terrific post on the Washington football team, or this thread about the Museum of the American Indian. I respect Camp's take on that museum completely. I did some quick research and couldn't find evidence that he was involved in any significant way with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. I don't know where he got his information, but it is incorrect, and reading it was very jarring, to say the least. I thought it important to correct that here. Again, I respect what he has to say about the Museum of the American Indian, I just wish he'd have refrained from offering inaccurate information on the Holocaust Museum.

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