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Søndag åpner the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center i Skokie, Illinois, med Bill Clinton og Elie Wiesel i front. Senteret har kostet $ 45 millioner og ligger i Skokie, nettopp fordi det var her nynazister begynte å marsjere. Deres aktivitet fikk jøder og overlevende til å våkne.

The effort to preserve those stories was given a push more than three decades ago when neo-Nazis threatened to march in Skokie, motivating a small group of Holocaust survivors to voice long-buried fears and fight back. The village had served as an enclave for Jews who fled their past and started new lives after World War II.

Only after Frank Collin, a self-proclaimed Nazi, filed for a permit to march in the suburb in 1977 did they realize they needed to share their stories so others could learn.

«In the long run, he did us a favor,» said Fritzie Fritzshall of Buffalo Grove, who was a teenager when the Nazis deported her family to death camps. «This is what brought all of us together, and look at what we have done.»

Her source of pride, the museum, will probably be the last one built with the help of survivors, whose numbers are declining.

Officials believe that up to 7,000 Holocaust survivors live in the Chicago area, 1,000 to 2,000 of whom remain in Skokie.

Senteret har en Legacy og en Memory-avdeling: Minne er blitt et stort tema i Holocaust-bearbeidingen: hvordan tenker vi om fortiden, hva betyr den for oss, hva betyr den for de pårørende, for religionen, og samfunnet? Hvordan fremstiller vi det som skjedde? Også arkitektonisk… Stephen Spielberg har stilt 2.000 intervjuer med overlevende til disposisjon.

Holocaust-sentre er blitt minnebanker til å reflektere også over andre folkemord, og hvordan man kan forhindre pågående massedrap, som i Darfur. I USA er det en sterk disinvestment-kampanje mot alle som er innblandet i Sudan. Den er lite kjent i Norge.

Holocaust museum: Sunday’s opening in Skokie to have powerful message of hope amid the horrors
Holocaust museum aims to fight hatred and indifference

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