The final place on my walk through Battery Park was to the Museum of Jewish Heritage , which is also known as A Living Memorial to the Holocaust .
On the day that I visited the museum wasn’t that crowded early in the morning , but later in the day, it got crowded as it was a school vacation week here in the city .
Before you enter the museum , look at the front of it.
The design has six sides.
The number six seems to dominate this building, from the six sides on the Star of David to the painful reminder that six million Jews that died in the Holocaust .
You will also see pictures of men and women not only on the doors but on the windows as well.
These are survivors of the Holocaust and you’ll learn more about them in an exhibit on the third floor called “Eyewitness”.
The museum has three floors and unlike the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC , which asks you to “remember what you saw”, this museum gives you two verses from the Old Testament in the bible, “Never Forget ” and “There is hope for your future.
The floors in this museum are duvided into three eras of Jewish life.
The first floor tells you about Jewish life from 1880 until 1930.
The second floor is from 1930 until 1945 and is known as “The War Against the Jews”.
The third floor is Jewish life from 1945 until the present.
Unlike the museum in Washington, which suggests that you start on the third floor and work your way down, you can start on any floor you wish.
You may take pictures, but no flash.
I didn’t know what to expect really, but the exhibit on the first floor at the Kalikow Memorial said it all for me.
It was dedicated to the non Jews who risked their lives and in some cases, paid the ultimate price for saving the lives of Jews.
If you wish to reflect on what you saw at the museum or what you’re about to see, go to the exhibit on the second floor known as The Garden of Stones .
On the day that I visited the museum, it started off cloudy , but then the sun came out and standing among these huge peaceful rocks, admiring the view of New York harbor and the museum was beautiful .
I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see on the third floor.
They have programs for children and there was even an exhibit for children which was titled, “The number on Great -Grandpa’s Arm.”
The exhibit is about a young boy who asks his great grandfather about the number on his arm and his experiences at Auschwitz.
It’s hard enough for a 65 year old woman like myself, to comprehend how someone would try to wipe out an entire group of people by rounding them up and sending them to gas chambers, now imagine trying to explain this to a child and expect them to understand ?
While I saw many parents with young children in the museum , I honestly would strongly advise parents not to bring children to this museum under the age of 9 years old, and even then at that age, I just wouldn’t .
On another area of the third floor, there was an exhibit by Polish photographer Henryk Ross, who at great risk to hinself, photographed Jewish life in his hometown of Lodz
, Poland .
Looking at the pictures, I wanted to cry and at one point, I found myself wiping away a tear.
It was very personal for me as a few of my uncles fought in the war and this was going on not that long before I was born.
As I left the museum, I would never forget the pictures and documents that I saw, such as identification papers that Jews would have to carry when they went anywhere or the badge that every man, woman or Jewish child would have to wear on their chest.
I will never forget that.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
A Living Memorial to The Holocaust
36 Battery Place
Edward J. Safra Plaza
New York , NY 10280
Sunday , Monday , Tuesdays 10am – 6pm
Wednesday – Thursday 10am – 8pm(free admission 4pm-8pm)