Shorts: Seniors

skokie, ill.  |  The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which officials say will be the largest such facility in the Midwest, will open April 19.

Museum organizers say the 65,000- square-foot facility in the Chicago suburb of Skokie will help survivors heal. They say it’ll also preserve personal belongings and educate people on the events that led up to the “final solution” — the Nazis’ plan to decimate Europe’s Jewish population.

Officials said recently that the museum’s artifacts will include the original volume of the Nuremberg trial transcripts and nearly 2,000 testimonies of Midwest Holocaust survivors.

Of the museum’s $45 million goal, $36.5 million has been raised. The museum received state grants of more than $6 million.

The world-class facility, designed by award-winning architect Stanley Tigerman, will be the largest center in the Midwest dedicated to preserving the memories of those lost in the Holocaust and teaching current generations about combating intolerance and genocide in today’s world.

The center will also likely be the last major Holocaust museum built in collaboration with survivors.

 “This building is a testament to Holocaust survivors who settled in Illinois and their understanding that we must teach future generations,” said J.B. Pritzker, campaign chair for the center.

Through its series of programs and traveling exhibits, the museum will use the lessons of the Holocaust to raise awareness and inspire action around the many other human rights atrocities that have occurred or are ongoing throughout the world.

Holocaust survivors recorded by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, founded by Steven Spielberg, will be accessible in the museum’s interactive resource center.

An early 20th century German rail car, the type used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to transport millions to concentration camps, will be on permanent exhibit.

In addition, more than 250 World

War II postal documents — cards, letters and stamps — will be on permanent display in the museum. The documents were recently acquired by an Illinois foundation from a private collector.

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