Visting the Zekelman Holocaust Center
The Zekelman Holocaust Center located in Farmington Hills transports its visitors back in time to a heart breaking, yet paramount period in history.
However, in visiting the Holocaust Memorial Center you will soon discover that the focus is not only of the Holocaust victims’ and survivors’ personal stories of the tragedies endured by those leading up to and through World War 2. It also celebrates the courage, strength, resilience of the Jewish community, along with the history, religious culture, and impact on society contributed by the Jewish community over the past 4,000 years.
The Memorial Center was originally located on the Jewish Community Campus in West Bloomfield and was the first free-standing institution of its kind in the United States. It took nearly 20 years of planning and fundraising before construction began, with its doors finally opening to the public in 1984. When the organization outgrew its original location, it built a new museum and relocated in 2004 to the nine acre site where the Old Orchard Theater once stood. The fifty thousand square foot award winning building itself was constructed to resemble the appearance of a Nazi death camp in an intentional effort to stir the public consciousness of the atrocities committed upon the Jewish people during the time of the Holocaust. The plan was successful. In a 2003 front page article, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed the museum “may be the most provocative museum of them all.” In fact, the most common reaction from visitors after a trip to the museum is “the visit to the Holocaust Center changed our lives.”
There are hundreds of artifacts and eight core exhibits offered at the museum, as well as featured exhibits and an On-Demand Virtual Museum Experience provided on The Zekelman Holocast Center’s website. The core exhibits include: The Eternal Flame and Memorial Wall, The Boxcar (a WWII-era boxcar actually used to transport Jews and other “undesirables” to concentration camps), The Timeline (a history of milestones of the Jewish people), Museum of Jewish Heritage (the story of European Jewish culture and antisemitism), Descent into Nazism (a descent into the dark times reflecting upon the persecution and resistance of the Jewish community during WWII and the era of Adolph Hitler), The Camp System (a look into the thousands of camps used by Nazi forces to transit, imprison and enslave), The Abyss (a collection of news and military combat media), and The Postwar Period (the experiences endured by Jews following Hitler’s defeat as they searched for friends and family, or moved away to other lands in an attempt to start new lives).
Learn more about The Zekelman Holocaust Center exhibits below
Core Exhibits https://www.holocaustcenter.org/exhibitions/exhibits/
Featured Exhibits https://www.holocaustcenter.org/exhibitions/featured/
On-Demand Virtual Museum Experience https://www.holocaustcenter.org/inside-the-glass-case/
Another very special exhibit is centered around Anne Frank, including a replica of the window from the attic which she gazed outside upon a white chestnut tree - the only thing she was able to see to judge the seasons during her two years in hiding wherein she wrote her famous diary. The window here at the center gazes upon its own white chestnut tree. A white chestnut tree grown from one of eleven saplings taken from the very tree from outside Anne’s window.
The center also offers a free Library Archive to the public offering a large collection of media documenting the history, background, after math and impact of the Holocaust, as well as additional services. If you visit on a weekend, each Sunday at 12PM (when available) you can also learn about the Holocaust directly from a Holocaust Survivor as they reflect on their experiences.
To learn more about, or to plan your visit to The Zekelman Holocaust Center please visit https://www.holocaustcenter.org/
If you live in southeast Michigan, or plan to visit Farmington Hills, we highly recommend taking a trip to The Zekelman Holocaust Center. To date, more than one million visitors from around the world have visited the center, with roughly 100,000 visiting more per year, both virtually and in-person. Tens of thousands of school children also tour the museum each year. The immersive and educational experience provided by the center is one that comes highly recommended for those of all ages. Only through education can we learn to not allow history to repeat itself.
One of the largest benefits of buying a home in Farmington Hills and the surrounding area is a rich cultural experience such as this.