TITLE: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

ACCESS: http://www.ushmm.org/

It is no easy task to plumb the depths of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum web site. In addition to the usual announcements, calendars, contacts, etc., the site features an impressive array of deeply moving multi-media resources. One section entitled "Historical Topics" covers subjects such as pogroms, refugees, and ghettos. In each presentation, the text is enhanced by careful use of links to picture files, sound files, photographs, interviews, film footage, and other text files. Researchers and librarians will also appreciate the extensive "Collections & Archives" section from which it is possible to search an extensive collection of online photographs, as well as the archives themselves. There are also links to the Museum Library, which has its own online catalog, and to related resources such as the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Committee on Conscience, each worthy of its own review.

The reviewer was riveted by "Do you remember, when" in the "Online Exhibitions" section of the site. The exhibition centers on a small hand-made book created by Manfred Lewin, a young Jew who was active in one of Berlin's Zionist youth groups until his deportation and murder in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Lewin's illustrated entries in this small book reflect the turbulent times in Berlin and also his affection for his gay companion, Gad Beck. The book was a gift to Beck who now lives in Berlin. The exhibition allows the reader/viewer/listener to turn the pages of the little book, one at a time, and to view accompanying translations with a simple movement of the mouse. The presentation also includes video and sound files and even film footage from an interview with Beck himself.

The Museum site is beautifully presented against quiet, tasteful backgrounds that stand in stark contrast to the horrifying subject matter. Multi-media are seamlessly integrated throughout and are an integral part of the presentation. A check with the site administrator confirmed that having a 4.0 browser or above and the latest version of RealPlayer installed will insure optimal use of the site. Java and JavaScript should be enabled. Flash is also used sparingly on the site. Do not miss this remarkable resource!

Tom Nichol
College of St. Benedict & St. John's University
tnichol@csbsju.edu


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