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Viewing the Impossible: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The belief that some things are not possible allows humankind to proceed historically, to comprehend a presumed totality, and to imagine events as they happen. Insofar as there are things that are not possible, the things which we do understand as possible make perfect, rational sense. What, then, of the sudden appearance of the impossible as possibility? This is the essence of catastrophe: a catastrophe that radically interrupts and disrupts the historical plane that we often simply presume as stable. It is precisely such a catastrophe that confronts our collective consciousness, shattering our ability-as individuals and as a society-to comprehend the impossibility that is the Holocaust.