Friday, December 27, 2013

Out and About--Holocaust Museum- D.C.

I took this photo today at the Holocuat Museum- downtown Washington, D.C
Somehow in all the years of living here I had one daughter who had not been there-
and a son-in-law here for Christmas had it on "his list".

This part below explains a bit of the story of this photo from the Holocaust website itself:


The building employs construction methods from the industrial past, and old-fashioned techniques are clearly visible in the Hall of Witness: steel plates, bolted metal, rivets. The raw brick is load-bearing, turnbuckles connect tie rods, and structure is exposed. This architectural “language” is an ironic criticism of early modernism’s lofty ideals of reason and order that were perverted to build the factories of death.
Overhead, a skewed and twisted skylight lets sheets of unfiltered but fragmented light pass through a tensioned ribbing of heavy steel trusses. The glass roof shears the building on a diagonal line. The skylight drops beneath the flanking brick walls to the third-floor level, pressing down on the open space below even as it opens the visitor’s view to the sky above. It is warped, deformed, and eccentrically pitched. The effect is to, Freed says, “tell the visitor something is amiss here.”
Above the skylight, visitors in the Hall can see spectral-like figures crossing overhead on glass bridges that connect the north and south towers, lending an unsettling air of surveillance. On the floor of the Hall of Witness, a glass-block incision cuts the granite in a rift that echoes the axis of the skylight above.
The fissure underscores a sense of imbalance, distortion, and rupture—characteristics of the society in which the Holocaust took place. Along the north side of the Hall, the floor abruptly stops five feet away from the wall, leaving a deep gap to be crossed by a bridge and to funnel light into the lower level below.

A moving part of the experience is to walk through the children's exhibit-
Daniel's Story.  
 We had Daniel with us- but he ran out of time to see this part.

As I walked through, I wondered if I would do better with just the children's information.

Think this weekend we will watch the Bonhoeffer movie.
 Certainly appropriate after our time here today.

And I pray that this museum reminder- now 20 years old, 
keeps us from ever toppling to ideals that are wrong -
 for the sake of the whole human race.

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