Holocaust center opening at Cincinnati Museum Center

CINCINNATI -- The recently remodeled Cincinnati Museum Center is going to have a new feature: The Holocaust & Humanity Center, a 7,500-square-foot exhibit dedicated to "using the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action today."

The lobby will have a 60-foot mural with vignettes of local eyewitness stories. A theater with a 50-foot screen will show a video presentation.

"It will be narrated by a Holocaust survivor who arrived in this building in 1941 with their family after traversing 7,000 miles across Europe to escape the Nazis," executive director Sarah Weiss said.

The largest space will host the Holocaust gallery.

"This has 17 different installations that covers different aspects of the history, the progression fo events — media, art, artifacts all the way throughout," Weiss said.

The new location has a historical connection: More than 1,000 Jews who survived the Holocaust arrived at Union Terminal in the 1940s to start a new life.

"We've always thought of trains related to the Holocaust as trains of destruction, trains to death," Weiss said. "But we have the opportunity -- this duality of history -- to talk about trains to freedom and trains to the future and trains of hope."

The center started moving from Kenwood to the museum center Friday, which was also the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, "the night of broken glass," when Nazis in Germany began their campaign against the Jews. 

"We know thousands of Jewish homes, synagogues, Jewish businesses were looted, destroyed," Weiss said. "As you know, it got its name because of the shattered glass that littered the streets. Thirty-thousand Jewish men were rounded up and taken to concentration camps."

The Holocaust & Humanity Center is scheduled to open Jan. 27.

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