Symbolism In James Ingo Freed's United States Holocaust Memorial Museum?

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Light also creates the emotions in James Ingo Freed’s United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. It may not play as important of a role as in the Jewish Museum but still has some purpose of light and dark qualities to it. “The visitor’s passage through the building is a spatial and emotional journey through open light spaces into damp cramped dark spaces, over ramps and bridges, and through doorways that evoke the ‘selection’ of victims in the camp.” Freed’s idea is to create an emotional rollercoaster throughout the building similar to what a Jew would have gone through from before the war where they were normal, to the change of classification to vermin, and finally to freedom to reflect on the loss and how to cope with …show more content…
Libeskind states, “I call it [‘Between the Lines’] because it is a project about two lines of thinking, organization, and relationship.” He continues to say, “One is a straight line, but broken into many fragments; the other is a tortuous line, but continuing indefinitely. These two lines develop architecturally and programmatically through a limited but definite dialogue. They also fall apart, because disengaged, and are seen as separated. In this way, they expose a void that runs through this museum and through architecture, a discontinuous void.” These voids are throughout the building only to be seen from small windows or as a whole up in the air. These voids create emotions of something missing in one’s life. Libeskind describes it, “as an emblem where the not visible have made itself apparent as a void, an invisible…. The idea is very simple: to build the museum around a void that runs through it, a void that is to be experienced by the public.” The memories that are brought back from these interruptions may not be from the Holocaust but of someone close to the visitor that is reaching out and bringing back what they felt the day they lost the person or people. One of the voids is open to walk on the faces of all the Jews that did not survive the Concentration Camps. The opening in this one void creates meaning to all the other voids connecting it …show more content…
The voids are the places that one cannot step. So in the case of the ghetto area of the museum a visitor cannot step off the bridge, create an element of distance such as the Jews were slowly segregated away from their friends in these ghettos. In some of the other rooms Freed designed walls filled with dolls representing some of the people killed in the camps which then become voids because not every individual is seen some are coved and create an unknowing about it. Visitors will notice that there are a lot of people in them but will never comprehend completely what happened. The final and most emotional and memorial room is the tower of life. This tower creates a similar effect to Libeskind’s only void that can be walked in. This tower only can be entered from the bridge where no one can get close enough to the edge. This void is filled with pictures of people personalizing the Holocaust rather than the nameless face cut outs of Libeskind’s design. All of the voids in the Holocaust Memorial Museum are filled with artifacts but in a way to keep the visitor away from where they do not belong while trying to understand the change over time for the

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