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First Holocaust Museum In The Country Gets New Home In Pan Pacific Park, Opens Today

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Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (Image via Belzberg Architects)

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (Image via Belzberg Architects)
Never again will the country's oldest Holocaust museum be without a permanent home. First Xanadu, and now this. Way to be inclusive, Pan Pacific park.

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) was the first Holocaust museum in the country, founded in 1961 by survivors learning English at Hollywood High School. They began assembling a collection of personal photos and items and that collection grew into the country's first Holocaust museum. Today, the last living founder of LAMOTH celebrates the grand opening of its new home designed by architect Hagy Belzberg.

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Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (Image via Belzberg Architects)
Approximately six million European Jews (about two-thirds of the Jews in Europe at the time) were systematically murdered by Nazi Germany in WWII. LAMOTH executive director Mark Rothman remarks in the LA Daily News, "This museum gives people the understanding of tragedy, and the power to reinterpret it for good."

By way of comparison with the other Shoah-centric hotspots in town, the Jewish Journal notes, "If the Museum of Tolerance (completed in 1993) was, as founder Rabbi Marvin Hier is fond of saying, designed for 'the MTV Generation' then the new Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (completed in 2010) is, for better and worse, the museum for the children of Facebook."

Visitors will be issued an iPod Touch at the door, even those on docent-guided tours. According to the Jewish Journal, unlike the Museum of Tolerance, "where every visitor experiences the museum in largely the same sequence, visitors to the new Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust will be able to choose their own paths through the exhibits...nearly every photograph, artifact or replica on display is labeled with a number that must be dialed into the museum’s iPod to access audio explanations of its significance."

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