from The New York Times:

Bearing Witness Beyond the Witnesses

Is the Holocaust too much with us? Or if not the Holocaust, then Holocaust museums?

It can sometimes seem so. The Association of Holocaust Organizations has 293 institutional members around the world, each at least partly devoted to commemoration. The association counts 16 major Holocaust museums in the United States, in Richmond, Houston, New York, Washington and other cities to which Jewish survivors immigrated after World War II. And they are still being built. Two years ago the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center opened near Chicago. And last fall the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust opened here in a new $15.5 million building. It is actually the city’s second such museum; the other, the Museum of Tolerance, examines the Holocaust’s connection to its main theme and welcomes 350,000 visitors a year.

But the answer to these questions is not easy for it seems that while almost all of these institutions have developed out of the desires of survivors to offer testimony, command remembrance, educate the young and ensure that nothing similar occurs, at the same time exaggerated and wrong-headed Holocaust and Nazi analogies have proliferated at an even greater rate than the museums themselves.

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