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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 15.3:
How do I get tickets to see the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum?


Opened in April 1993, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., summons all who enter its portals to rise to an important and extraordinary challenge: to remember and immortalize the 6 milion Jews and millions of other Nazi victims of World War II--Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, the handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses, political and religious dissidents, Soviet prisoners of war--who were murdered in the most horrifying event of our time: the Holocaust.

The main task of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is to present the facts of the Holocaust, to tell the American public as clearly and comprehensively as possible what happened in that darkest chapter of human history. To this end, the Museum has reconstructed the history of the Holocaust through multiple media: the meaningful arrangement of objects as well as the presentation of documentary photographic and cinematographic materials. This museum holds the world's largest and most diversified collection of Holocaust-related objects; but in its display it is a "conceptual museum" rather than a traditional, object-oriented one: it's primary purpose is to communicate concepts, complex information, and knowledge, rather than merely to display objects of the Holocaust, unrelated to the historical context of each individual exhibit.

A visit to the museum, or a tour through the virtual exhibition, can be an interesting and challenging learning experience but, at the same time, it also will be a thought-provoking, disturbing, and personally upsetting one. And so it should be.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a free, Federal Museum dedicated to presenting the history of the persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazi tyrrany from 1933-1945. No passes are required to enter the museum, except timed passes for the permanent exhibit. For that exhibit, timed passes can be obtained at the Museum on the day of your visit or in advance by calling at (800) 400–9373. Each day, the Museum distributes on a first–come first–served basis a large but limited number of timed entry passes for use that same day. More information can be found at

The Museum is open from 10:00-5:30 daily, except for Christmas (go figure!) and certain Jewish holidays (to be determined). The telephone number is (202) 488-0400. Their home page is available at

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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© (c) 1993-2002 Daniel P. Faigin <>