16 Reasons You Should Visit Holocaust Museum in Houston, Tx

The Holocaust Museum, Houston is located in the Museum District in Houston, Texas. The Holocaust Museum Houston, which opened in 1996, was made possible by the efforts of Holocaust survivor and long-time Houston resident Siegi Izakson, who sought a method to preserve the tales, memories, and legacies of those who lived through the Holocaust.

According to George Santayana, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is why a visit to the Holocaust Museum Houston is a must while in Houston.

The new three-story building houses four permanent galleries highlighting the horrors of the Holocaust, human rights throughout history, written testimonies from young people who have experienced war and genocide, and the artwork of Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak. It is ranked as the nation’s fourth-largest Holocaust museum and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Along with two galleries for changing exhibits, the museum has classrooms, a research library, a café, an indoor theater with 187 seats, and an outdoor amphitheater with 175 seats.

Here’s a helpful visitor’s guide to everything HMH has to offer.

Location: Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline Street, Houston, TX 77004

Hours: Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 5pm; Sunday Noon to 5pm

Phone: 713-942-8000

Website: [email protected]

Hours & Admission: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, noon – 5:00 pm
The Museum is closed Mondays, except for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day.

AdmissionTickets are $19 for adults; $15 for AARP members, seniors 65 and up, and active duty military; free for ages 18 and under.

Parking: Paid parking is available in the parking lot next to the Museum on the corner of Binz and Caroline St.

16 Reasons You Should Visit Holocaust Museum in Houston, Tx

1. Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers

The permanent Holocaust Gallery features objects provided by Holocaust survivors, descendants of the liberators, and other collectors, as well as testimony from Holocaust survivors who later settled in the Houston area. Visitors will also learn about Jewish and non-Jewish resistance actions, such as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, prisoner revolts, sabotage, the partisan movement, displaced persons camps, and life after the Holocaust. The collection features a World War II railcar and a Danish rescue boat from the 1940s. Many of the displays in Bearing Witness offer questions that enable a deeper, more serious analysis of the events, influences, motivations, and repercussions that contributed to the resultant atrocity and harm to human rights.

The USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony project, which uses cutting-edge holographic technology to present conversations with actual Holocaust survivors, is also featured in this section. Visitors are able to “speak” with the survivors by asking questions about the Holocaust and receive replies in real-time by interacting with the HD video screens that are shown on throughout the exhibition.

Finally, visitors experience the aftermath of the Holocaust by seeing how Jews sought to rebuild their lives after the war and watching videos that display the Nuremberg Tribunals, which resulted in the conviction of some of the Holocaust’s perpetrators.

2. Lester & Sue Smith Human Rights Gallery

Visitors can learn more about how world governments came together in the aftermath of the Holocaust to construct the United Nations Charter in order to reaffirm human rights and promote the prosperity of all humanity.

Timelines in the Lester and Sue Smith Human Rights Gallery highlight how exemplars like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malala Yousafzai have asserted, threatened, and defended human rights.

The exhibition enables visitors to interact with one another and with the outside world in order to better understand their calling in relation to these social problems and the choices that a single person can make to help change the tide and overcome intolerance and prejudice. 

This lovely, peaceful setting invites meditation and reflection, urging guests to take the time to calmly consider the issues we face as well as the compassionate answers we can find.

Recognizing that acting in the name of defending human rights can be a tough individual process, the Holocaust Museum Houston offers advice on how each of us can do our part to be better informed, equipped, and engaged in the quest of social justice for everyone.

3. The Rhona and Bruce Caress Gallery-And Still I Write: Young Diarists on War & Genocide

This is a permanent exhibit that includes pages from the diaries of children and teenagers who lived throughout World War II, including Jews living in Nazi-era Europe and a Japanese-American teenager whose family was forcibly moved to Wyoming’s Heart Mountain Internment Camp. Visitors can engage with the diaries through touch screens in the gallery, reading through entries, viewing images and drawings made by the young writers, and immersing themselves in their stories.

4. Jerold B. Katz Family Butterfly Loft

Standing at the exit of Bearing Witness, guests may see a swarm of iridescent butterflies suspended over the second level.

Head upstairs to get a better look at the Jerold B. Katz Family Butterfly Loft, a 1,500-butterfly work that changes color and glitters in the natural light streaming through the second-floor windows.

These butterflies, while lovely and vivacious, remind visitors of the Holocaust’s losses. Each butterfly represents 1,000 children who died in the Holocaust, for a total of 1.5 million children.

5. The Boniuk Center for the Future of Holocaust, Human Rights, and Genocide Studies – Second Floor

 The Boniuk Center for the Future of Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Studies offers a research and academic forum for people to think about the best ways to inform our community and people all over the world about the history and memories of the Holocaust. The Center offers a forum for discussing ideals and how our work affects society’s citizens in light of current genocides and human rights concerns. The Center will explain moral and coexistence issues as they relate to actions and choices made by people.

6. Samuel Bak Gallery

Samuel Bak, born in 1933 in Vilna, Poland, began developing his artistic talent at a young age, holding his first exhibition of early artworks in the Vilna Ghetto when he was only nine years old. While he and his mother survived the Holocaust, his father and four grandparents were murdered by the Nazis. These events have influenced much of his extensive collection of artwork, which he has graciously contributed to the Holocaust Museum Houston.

This lovely, peaceful setting invites meditation and reflection, urging guests to take the time to calmly consider the issues we face as well as the compassionate answers we can find.

Recognizing that acting in the name of defending human rights can be a tough individual process, the Holocaust Museum Houston offers advice on how each of us can do our part to be better informed, equipped, and engaged in the quest of social justice for everyone.

7. Berlin: A Jewish Ode to the Metropolis

This exhibit comprises images by artist Jason Langer from his series of the same name. The project, which is extremely personal to the photographer, is the result of a five-year reconciliation of the Holocaust-related memories Langer first encountered when he was a 10-year-old living on an Israeli kibbutz. Langer was able to eliminate the negative impressions of Germany that had been instilled in his head over the course of a five-year period. He was able to see Berlin as a city of contrasts, with numerous images representing both division and union.

The images themselves have a timeless quality that is typical of Langer’s work. His pictures have a formal composition, are rich and moody, and they tend to use darker tones. Langer adds a poetic sense to both classic views of Berlin and smaller, hidden locations, which frequently reveal distinct, personalized stories.

8. Moral Choices Hall

Situated on the second floor, it has programs that remind visitors of the choices they still have and the lives they can positively influence.

9. Boniuk Library  

The public is invited to visit the third-floor Boniuk Library for a look through its collection of more than 10,000 books and materials forin-house research and education Additionally, everyone is welcome to join the library’s monthly book club. The Boniuk Library is one of the most significant data sources in the United States concerning villages destroyed during the Holocaust.

10. Experience the Survivors Personal Stories with “Voices” and “Voice II”

The exhibition concludes with the moving short films “Voices” and “Voices II.” These films are personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors from the Houston area. Their tales range from the rise of the Nazis to the horrors of concentration camps and life after liberation. The films aim to put real faces to Holocaust victims.

11. Learn More About Holocaust Museum Houston Architecture 

The Holocaust Museum Houston’s architecture is highly beautiful and contributes to the experience of learning about the Holocaust. Houston’s permanent exhibition was planned in 1993 by Ralph Appelbaum, a New York architect and designer of the permanent exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Appelbaum designed an addition to the existing structure that is a powerful collage of geometric elements. The new wing is wedge-shaped, with a dark and looming cylinder rising from the sloping concrete surface, containing a field of names commemorating destroyed Jewish communities of Europe. It reflects the crematoria chimneys used by the Nazis to burn the bodies of their victims.

The entrance’s six columns stand in for the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. The ceiling begins high as you enter the permanent display and gradually lowers as you proceed, simulating the victims’ impending doom, before coming to an end in the terminus cylinder.

12. Adopt An Artifact

Visitors to the Holocaust Museum Houston will be able to see firsthand a concentration camp uniform worn by a Houston-area Holocaust survivor, see a 1942 railcar of the type used to transport Jews to concentration camps, and view a 1942 Danish boat similar to those used to save over 7,500 Jews from execution. Adopting an artifact helps Holocaust Museum Houston fund the preventative care and treatment of all objects in their collection, ensuring their long-term preservation.

13. Gift Shop

On the first floor, the museum has a small gift shop with books, t-shirts, and presents for all ages, but you can also browse what they have online. Visit to find a keepsake, a book to learn more about what you saw at the Museum, or something special for a friend or loved one. 

Your purchase contributes to their objective of challenging leaders and citizens around the world to think critically about their position in society, confront antisemitism and other kinds of hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.

14. Enjoy A Meal At The The Legacy Café

The Legacy Cafe is located on the second floor and was developed by local Jewish caterer Vladimir Smirnov of Chef Smirnov Catering. Their menu features Sandwiches, hummus flatbread wraps, Caesar and Greek salads, as well as a kids’ menu with pizza bagels and quesadillas . Additionally, while you’re there, you can enjoy a hot (or cold) beverage like an espresso, caramel frappe, hot chocolate, iced tea, or fruit smoothie.

15. Nearby Attractions  

There are nearby attractions you can visit after Holocaust Museum in Houston which are within a short distance. Some of them are Children’s Museum of Houston (0.29km), The Health Museum (0.38km), The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (0.48km), and Houston Museum of Natural Science (0.51km).

16. Nearby Hotels

There are many hotels where you can spend the night near the museum. Some of them are Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District (0.28 miles), Houston Marriott Medical Center (1.4 miles), and The Westin Houston Medical Center (1.4 miles).

Tips for Visiting

The Holocaust Museum Houston has an ADA-accessible structure with elevator access to all floors, as well as occasional displays featuring tactile elements for blind and vision-impaired guests. If you have any questions concerning accessibility, please contact the museum ahead of time.

Keep an eye out for forthcoming events such as prominent speakers, film screenings, and more on the Museum’s online calendar.

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