ABSTRACT

Soon after it opened to the public in 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was hailed as “one of the late twentieth century’s most profound architectural statements.” It houses a permanent exhibit that Leon Wieseltier has called a “pedagogical masterpiece”; he declared that “the building itself teaches” (Wieseltier, 1995, p. 20). Under any circumstances, the making of profound architectural statements and the achievement of pedagogical masterpieces are no small feats, but the accomplishments of the architect and exhibit designers of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum seem all the more profound given the philosophical and pedagogical problems that challenge any attempt to teach or memorialize the Holocaust.