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Holocaust Musuem is well worth visiting

By by dianna wray/
Aug. 3, 2011 at 3:03 a.m.


WHAT: "Hank Williams: Lost Highway"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m., Sundays through Sept. 4.

WHERE: Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, Houston

COST: $23

WHAT: "And Then There Were None"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m., Fridays; 2:30 and 8 p.m., Saturdays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., Sundays. Through July 31.

WHERE: The Alley Theatre, 615 Texas St., Houston

COST: $21-$55

WHAT: "Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting"

WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; and 12:15-7 p.m., Sundays Through Aug. 14.

WHERE: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonet St., Houston

COST: $13-$17

WHAT: "Ancient Ukraine - Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations"

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Monday, through Sept. 5.

WHERE: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston

COST: $12-$18

Holocaust Museum Houston

Morgan Family Center

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 5 to 8 p.m., first Thursday of each month

Where: 5401 Caroline St.


Contact: 713-942-8000; website,

Admission: Free

The Laurie and Milton Boniuk Resource Center and Library is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Library is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

The museum is closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For other holiday hours, visit the "Events" tab on the museum's website.

The Holocaust has always bothered me. Of course, "bothered me" is a grotesque understatement, but I'm not entirely sure there are words to cover how I feel about a time when millions of people were persecuted and killed for what they were.

I've always loved history, and, as a kid, I read "The Diary of Anne Frank," and I looked at pictures in dry history textbooks.

They described evil I couldn't comprehend. It was too big to grasp, and the horror of what went on, of what people were capable of, was something I instinctively shied away from.

The Holocaust Museum of Houston has been open for years, but I avoided going. I didn't want to understand what evil really looked like, so I stayed away from it.

It wasn't until I was saw "Schindler's List" - yes, it took Hollywood to get me to pay attention - that I began to understand it, got the faintest glimmer of what it really meant.

I watched Liam Neeson, as Oskar Schindler, a man who saved more than 1,000 Polish-Jewish refugees, burst into tears, tearing the Nazi party pin from the lapel of his suit and gasping about how he could have saved two more lives by selling this pin. His agony in that moment, when a man who saved so many was shown heartbroken over not trying to save more, lodged in my emotional gut.

Men and women could be angels or monsters, could do unimaginable things to each other, or risk everything to save a life - the most ordinary-looking people were, flawed, fallible and human, were capable of infinite good and evil.

I was finally willing to look at the Holocaust, to go to museums and face the horrible things that happened decades ago. To my surprise, in the midst of so much tragedy and wasted human life, there were tremendous things. I won't even go into them here, but, if you've been avoiding the Holocaust Museum the way I did, step past it and go take in the stories contained in those walls. Life is full of ugly, horrible things, but even in the darkest places, there is hope.



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