At VHM we honor the memories of the victims everyday - we embrace and celebrate the survivors - and we commit to keeping alive the promise of “never again.”
Your tour begins outside in front of our building with a German Güterwagen - an authentic “goods wagon,” or "box car," just like those used by the Third Reich to transport millions to their death (shown in the banner above).
As you walk to the front door, notice the shattered glass - a nod to Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), which foreshadowed the fate of German Jews.
On either sides of the vestibule leading to our front doors are granite cobblestones. The cobblestones were originally from Poland's infamous Warsaw Ghetto. Next to the cobblestones are steel train rails. These rails are authentic also and once led led directly to the Treblinka extermination camp.
Once inside the museum, stop at the reception desk and pick up a copy of our tour booklet that will give you background on each exhibit. Although the Museum is free, we suggest a donation of six dollars per person to all you who can afford it. Your donations help offset the costs of operating the Museum and keep it open to the public seven days a week.
Next, step into our Visitors Media Room and watch a 15 minute film that runs on a continuous loop. The film shares what the Holocaust was like through the first person accounts of some of Virginia's very own Holocaust Survivors.
After the film, follow the train tracks on the floor through our core exhibits which narrate the complex and sobering history of the Holocaust.
Inside the Museum you will meet the Ipson family, who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust, survived, and eventually relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where they restarted their lives and thrived. Jay Ipson, the youngest member of the family, is one of the original founders of Virginia Holocaust Museum.
The Ipson family, Edna, Jay and Israel.
The shattered glass surrounding our vestibule symbolizing Kristallnacht.
Cobble stones from Warsaw Ghetto and a train rail from the Teblinka extermination camp.