The question cards are designed to support a visit to the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition The Holocaust by encouraging observation and dialogue between students, teachers, and chaperones both at the Museum and in the classroom. When student groups arrive at the Museum, students receive one of five different color-coded question cards that encourages them to focus on a particular theme as they walk through the Permanent Exhibition. Each card features a historical image from the Museum’s collection with a question relating to its theme. On the reverse is a question common to all the cards, encouraging students to identify an image or object that had special meaning for them.
Encourage students to use the cards during their visit as they walk through the Permanent Exhibition. Students may go through the Permanent Exhibition either individually with a single card or with a partner in order to discuss the themes from their cards along the way.
PDF versions of the cards are also available, and group leaders may want to show their students examples of the cards and what they will receive at the Museum during their visit.
It is highly recommended that the group leader facilitate a follow-up discussion with the students after the visit.
Make a mental list of the places you see bystanders or observers in photographs. What are those observers looking at and what are they doing?
What policies and actions did the Nazis implement to remove Jews and other “enemies of state” from society and later to eliminate them?
In what ways did the victims of the Holocaust respond to Nazi oppression?
What effect did newspapers, editorial cartoons, newsreels, and radio have during the Holocaust?
How did the United States and other countries respond to the events of the Holocaust?
As you go through the exhibition, which photograph or artifact has special meaning for you about the Holocaust?
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum honors the memory of the victims of the Holocaust by teaching the history to subsequent generations. These question cards and your visit to the Museum can serve as a springboard to many of the fundamental questions raised by the Holocaust relating to individual responsibility in fighting hatred, antisemitism, and racism. The Museum provides powerful lessons on the fragility of freedom and reminds visitors that vigilance and responsibility are crucial to preserving democracy. While the Holocaust came to an end, the scourge of genocide has not, so the Museum honors the memory of those who suffered in the Holocaust by confronting genocide and threats of genocide in our own time.