Located on the museum's first floor, our core exhibits narrate the complex and sobering history of the Holocaust. As visitors progress through these exhibits—and chronologically through the events of the Holocaust—they are presented with a glimpse into the systematic destruction of European Jewry and the dangers of intolerance. Three hundred artifacts and the testimonies of local Holocaust survivors expand upon this history, representing the tangible and personal realities of this tragic event.
The unique Children’s Memorial, an exhibit honoring the memory of the 1.5 million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust, opened in 2022. It is a significant addition to the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s permanent collection.
Using mirrors and somber lighting for dramatic effect, the Children’s Memorial creates a stunning visual of an infinite panorama of empty classroom desks representing the unfathomable number of children and their unborn descendants who were victims of the Nazi’s Final Solution to exterminate Jews from Europe.
The exhibit was made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Donald S. and Beejay Brown.
Featured Special Exhibit:
'Halt! Remembering the Holocaust! | Artwork By G. Roy Levin
While serving on the faculty of Goddard College in 1980, G. Roy Levin received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities which resulted in a book containing interviews with documentary filmmakers. Through this research, he came upon the documentary Shoah directed by Claude Lanzmann. He began to create artwork based on images from the film using various mediums.
Levin started with paintings in color using discarded fruit and vegetable crates with wire and unframed canvases. He eventually switched to black and white photographs on boxes, reminiscent of the railroad cars that carried passengers to the concentration camps. The light in his paintings has a shimmering quality so that remembering becomes an “act of empathy and compassion for the unspeakable pain that was endured by so many.” Levin wanted his paintings to not necessarily show what the Holocaust was like, but to stimulate the viewer’s imagination to think about what it was like.
In 1991, G. Roy Levin founded the low-residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Visual Art at Vermont College. He remained director of the program until he retired in 1999. He passed away on July 22, 2003.
Auschwitz/Oswiecim is a traveling exhibit created by the Virginia Holocaust Museum to commemorate local survivors who endured this notorious camp.
Located on our second floor, illustrates the significance of Auschwitz within Nazi ideology: the three camps that made up the Auschwitz complex represent Nazi policy in a microcosm.
As World War II ground on and the Holocaust proceeded relentlessly, Auschwitz came to serve the SS as the centralized hub, and the experimental crossroads for each phase and virtually every aspect of the Holocaust. In each of the three main Auschwitz camps virtually every inhumanity inflicted by the SS upon its victims was introduced, refined, and expanded into a lethal calculus that transformed Auschwitz into the single most important site of the European Nazi Holocaust. In its most expanded form, at some point in 1944, the inmate population in the three main camps combined exceeded 200,000, making Auschwitz into a Nazi city of suffering, and a place where, along with the crammed death traps that were the ghettos in Warsaw and Lodz, the Holocaust exacted its greatest toll.
The Virginia Holocaust Museum is proud to be the permanent home of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame exhibit. Over 50 Jewish American men and women ― who have made important contributions in all fields of endeavor ― have been inducted since 1969.
The large artistic plaques have been created by outstanding sculptors, many of whom have won the American Numismatic Society’s J. Sanford Saltus Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Art of the Medal and/or the American Numismatic Association’s Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture.
As people gaze on the portraits of Albert Einstein, George Gershwin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joseph Pulitzer, Dr. Jonas Salk, et al, it is hoped that visitors will reflect on what contributions to humanity might have been made by the six million Jews (and their descendants) whose lives were viciously taken in the Holocaust.
For further information about the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, you can visit www.amuseum.org.