"The IWM’s new permanent exhibit lays bare an unspeakable atrocity through the small, human details"

Jonathan Freedland from the Guardian reviews Imperial War Museum new galleries

11
Oct
2021

"The Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries literally and figuratively, bring global and personal stories of humanity and inhumanity, into the light." - Museums and Heritage Awards judges

“the Holocaust gallery opens with a room that depicts Jewish life across Europe in the years before Nazism, through photographs and sound – including laughter – and through a handful of life-sized “totems”, slim glass pillars bearing the image and story of named individuals. The effect is powerful: the instant you connect with this child from Germany or that man from Poland, feeling their loss, you are reminded that they were only drops in an ocean of blood.”

"The Holocaust gallery is not dark and brooding but brightly lit. Which is unexpected but right: the Nazis persecuted the Jews in daylight. Plenty of people saw it clearly enough. A room dedicated to the killing places, including the sites of mass shootings, includes huge screens playing contemporary footage of what is now bucolic scenery. The trees are in bloom, the birds are singing. The echo is of Claude Lanzmann’s documentary masterpiece Shoah, with its lingering shots of the Polish countryside. The point is that the Holocaust did not take place on another planet and it does not exist in some black-and-white past. It is part of our present."

Read Jonathan Freedland's full review here

The effect is powerful: the instant you connect with this child from Germany or that man from Poland, feeling their loss, you are reminded that they were only drops in an ocean of blood.

Jonathan Freedland

View project:

The Holocaust Galleries
Imperial War Museum, London
The Holocaust Galleries
Imperial War Museum, London
The Holocaust Galleries
Imperial War Museum, London
Opening soon
The Holocaust Galleries
Imperial War Museum, London
Opening soon