The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is a museum in Skokie, Illinois, which is located near Chicago.
Its core mission is to “Remember the Past” and “Transform the Future,” as well as to preserve the Holocaust legacy by memorializing the experiences of those who perished and teaching universal lessons that battle hatred, prejudice, and indifference. The Museum accomplishes its mission through exhibition, preservation, and interpretation of its collections, as well as through educational programs and initiatives that promote human rights and the abolition of genocide.
The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, which operates the museum, began in 1981 as a small retail shop along Main Street. The foundation and small museum were founded in response to a Neo-Nazi march through Skokie, where several Holocaust survivors had settled in the decades since the horrific acts.
On April 19, 2009, the new museum building was dedicated to the public in the presence of keynote speaker Bill Clinton and special guest Elie Wiesel. President Barack Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres both spoke via pre-recorded video messages.
After the shooting at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 10, 2009, the museum’s security measures were strengthened even further.
Additionally, the museum is staffed by volunteers from the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace and the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service (since 2009).
Take a Stand Center
The Take a Stand Center, which opened in 2017, was the museum’s latest addition. It was the world’s first museum to use a cutting-edge technology that enables visitors to engage with spoken hologram representations of Holocaust survivors. An exhibit connected to the holograph theater contains information on organizations and individuals who have worked to promote human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and individuals such as Ruby Bridges and Malala Yousafzai, among others.
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