Home Community Never again is truly now in Israel and around the world

Never again is truly now in Israel and around the world

(Above/below) Photos from new VHM exhibit, "Memorial Without Witness."

By Samuel Asher, Executive Director, Virginia Holocaust Museum

“Israel was not created in order to disappear- Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy, and it honors the sword of freedom.”

John F. Kennedy

As I write these words in late November, it has been nearly two months since Hamas militants infiltrated Israel and slaughtered 1,400 innocent men, women and children and took more than 240 people hostage. Our hearts mourn the dead and ache for all those who are living through the single largest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

At Virginia Holocaust Museum we honor and remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust every day – and we fight hate, antisemitism, and indifference.

Our mission of preserving the history of the Holocaust and educating about the dangers of prejudice and indifference has never been more needed and important. We hope you will join us by teaching these crucial lessons in your own homes. Never again is truly now in Israel and around the world.

If you have not visited us in a while, now is a great time to do so. The renovations to the front part of the Museum are almost 100% complete.

Our new Museum Shop and Bookstore are brimming with unique books and gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

And our collection of mezuzahs, menorahs and other Judaica is second to none. Please come and see for yourself.

New Exhibit

It is also a wonderful time to come to the Museum and refresh your knowledge of the Holocaust. To help, in our Weinstein Gallery, we just opened a new featured exhibit about Auschwitz called: “Memorial Without Witness. “

As background, in July 1987, Dr. Charles W. Sydnor Jr., VHM’s Senior Historian, accepted an invitation to speak in Frankfurt. His colleague, Professor Joachim Russek, suggested a trip to Poland to visit Auschwitz. While there, he experienced the former killing center as few tourists have – a nearly empty memorial site.


For several hours, Sydnor walked among the ruins of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by himself. With only his camera and the ruins to keep him company, he took hundreds of black and white photos. “Memorial Without Witness” features a curated collection of Sydnor’s images, enlarged to wall-size panels so that the visitor can see and feel what it is like to walk alone among the rubble and decay of the Nazi’s most notorious death camp, Auschwitz.

Today, the site is open seven days a week. Two million people from all over the world visit each year.

But on a warm afternoon in July of 1987, Dr. Charles Syndor walked the sacred grounds alone capturing a “Memorial Without Witness.”

We hope to see you soon.