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“Living History Lesson”

Holocaust Memorial Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus opened in 1984. Local Holocaust survivors, with community support, founded the museum to teach about the senseless murder of millions, and why everyone must respect and stand up for the rights of others if the world is to prevent future discrimination, hate crime and genocide. As Michigan’s only Holocaust museum, the Holocaust Memorial Center annually touches the lives of more than 85,000 individuals, who leave the museum profoundly affected with a newly acquired sense of history, social responsibility and morality. The Holocaust Memorial Center’s exhibits create a call to action, teaching visitors through the examples of those who risked their lives to save others, and asking its guests to react to contemporary challenges such as racism, intolerance, bullying and prejudice.
Northville, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Living History Lesson”
Reviewed March 15, 2012

This is one of the most educational places I have been. Takes you back to the time of the Holocaust and you can actually feel like you're living it. Exhibits are sobering but very good. Have a rail car our group squished into to get a feeling for the way individuals were transported to the camp. Occassionally you can listen to and ask questions of a survivor of the camps.

1 Thank Gail P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

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West Bloomfield, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Call first to go when thee is a docent to take you around”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

There are many tours and one should call there 248 553 2400 to they make sure to
see the Holocaust center with as docent. There is a slight fee.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank grammy42808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bingham Farms, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Less any of us ever forget!”
Reviewed February 5, 2012

First of all I am Presbyterian. In fact, I was in the Clergy years ago before becoming a psychotherapist. I was also very fortunate to study Hebrew and Greek in Seminary, and even more blessed to travel around Israel during a three month archeological study in Caesaria Maritima.

While in the Holy Lands, we travelled as a small consortium of The Albright Institute of Archeology to Yad Veshem, the powerfully stunning and painfully honest museum dedicated to those lost and those most impacted during the Holocaust. One can simply not enter Yad Veshem without being impacted and changed. And it is important that NO person ever forget the horrors that 'man can perpetrate upon another, as demonstrated during the European wide slaughter of Jews.

The Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield, while far smaller and less appointed with as many historical artifacts as Yad Veshem, provides nonetheless a deeply moving historical journey of this most shameful of human times. It is well worth the visit... and re-visit... and re-visit...

2 Thank DrThought
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
354 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,235 helpful votes
“Moving Memorial, Spoiled by a One Note Tone -- Not Welcoming to Non-Jews”
Reviewed January 6, 2012

This is a moving memorial; however, if you are not Jewish, you may not feel welcomed here. Unlike the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly (see my review dated Sept. 26, 2011) which was very inclusive for both Jewish and non-Jewish, this museum was not.

No one can deny that the primary target of the Nazis were the Jews; however, a memorial to Holocaust victims that makes no mention of the many non-Jewish victims (gays, Gypsies/ Romany people, disabled, certain Polish groups) seems lacking. The tone of the museum tends to be excessively pro-Jewish and anti-everyone else. For example, in discussing, British familes that took in Jewish children from Europe prior to WWII (e.g., Kindertransport), the non-Jewish British familes were characterized as wanting the children to act as cheap servants, forced to convert to Church of England, etc. Although this happened on occassion, there was little or no recognition of the positive efforts of British familes to help these children.

Although this museum is desginated as a holocaust memorial, about half the space is dedicated to a more general Jewish history. The first room you enter is a large circular room that depicts the history of the Jews. From there, there are several rooms, that provide a overview of Jewish traditions, life, art an culture. I visited the museum by myself, but followed a docent who was leading a group of high school students; some interesting claims made by the group leader:

1. In the history time line room, the leader claimed that Jewish slaves built the Egyptian Pyramids (this myth has been debunked by almost all archaeologists as the builders were peasant farmers that typically were conscripted for a couple of months each year to buld the Pyramids).

2. Jews represent less than 2/10th of 1% of the world's population, but have received over 25% of the Nobel prizes, etc.. There were also various other presentaion about the large role that Jews have in movies, etc. There were various statistics about how Jewish literacy in certain countries (Russia, etc.?) was higher than the average population. This message that Jews are better than others (that prevades the museum) ironically dilutes the Holocaust message.

There were also presentations about anti-Semitism, but no recognition of the horrors of other discriminations (against the Romany, blacks, etc.).

Overall, the museum is well-laid out and provides a moving presentation of the horrors of the Holocaust. With a little more balance, e.g., recognition of the other victimsof the Holocuast, this could be better. Unfortunately, I did not feel that Memorial did not accomplish its goal of presenting the full-story of the Holocaust.

Visited January 2012
25 Thank CynthiafromOhio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not so good, Sad.”
Reviewed December 31, 2011

Was terrible, They only talked about how important jewish people were, The holocaust was terrible tragedy, but they put on a real guilt trip, made everyone feel terrible about themselves.

13 Thank Henry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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