chapter  25
14 Pages

What Do You Want? On Witnessing Genocide Today: Bridget Conley-Zilkic


The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s permanent exhibition, “The Holocaust,” begins with an ascending elevator and a voice stating these things “just don’t happen.” It ends with voices of individuals describing the sometimes-painful, sometimes-beautiful realization that they had survived. In between is a relentless and overwhelming presentation of the history of the Holocaust. “This happened,” the exhibition intones with the searing injustice of millions of shattered voices. Those who enter this space are asked to become witnesses, not merely exhibition visitors.