A Changed World: The Continuing Impact of the Holocaust
Hadiya Adam Ahmed lives under a tree in Chad after fleeing from Darfur, Sudan, 2004. She had been shot twice by a Sudanese soldier to prevent her reaching a well. Jerry Fowler for US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic stands trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal, The Hague, 2001. Courtesy of ICTY
Carl Clauberg (far left), a research gynecologist, conducted cruel experiments at Auschwitz, mostly on Jewish prisoners in 1943–44, with the aim of developing an inexpensive method of mass sterilization. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Panstwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau w Oswiecimiu
Refugees in the Iridimi refugee camp in Chad live in makeshift shelters constructed from local materials and sheeting provided by relief groups. Jerry Fowler for US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Jewish refugees from Europe aboard the RMS Mataroa hold a Zionist flag as their ship legally enters the port of Haifa, July 1945. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Israel Government Press Office
Pope John Paul II places a prayer in the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his historic trip to Israel in 2000. Courtesy of “A Blessing to One Another”
The Holocaust was a watershed event in human history. In the aftermath of World War II, the world—from individual nations to the United Nations; from religious leaders to professionals in fields as diverse as law, medicine, and science; from presidents and prime ministers to private citizens—confronted its legacy. Many of the issues raised by this cataclysmic event continue to have an impact on our lives and the world in which we live.
View the Museum brochure A Changed World (PDF).
Listed below are significant changes that have occurred in light of the moral failures that allowed the Holocaust to happen, and related links to learn more.
NATIONS PLEDGED TO PREVENT AND PUNISH THE CRIME OF “GeNOCIDE.”
Criminal trials established that government officials who commit crimes against humanity could be held accountable by international tribunals
- The Nuremberg Trials and Their Legacy
- War Crimes Trials (Holocaust Encyclopedia article)
- Justice and Accountability
International protection of human rights expanded dramatically
The idea of “informed consent” influenced ethical approaches to medical experimentation on human beings
Protections for refugees were broadened
- Staring Genocide in the Face
- Voyage of the St. Louis (online exhibition)
- Refugees (Holocaust Encyclopedia article)
- Varian Fry (Holocaust Encyclopedia article)
The idea of a Jewish homeland gained urgency
- Life Reborn: Jewish Displaced Persons 1945–1951 (online exhibition)