Run by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, this powerful, deeply moving museum uses interactive technology to engage visitors in discussion and contemplation around racism and bigotry. Particular focus is given to the Holocaust, with a major basement exhibition that examines the social, political and economic conditions that led to the Holocaust as well as the experience of the millions persecuted. On the museum's 2nd floor, another major exhibition offers an intimate look into the life and impact of Anne Frank.
The museum's goal is for visitors – largely groups of schoolchildren – to learn and absorb the hard lessons of the past so they aren't repeated. Diversity is discussed, intolerances that we all carry are exposed, and champions of rights in America are celebrated. Among the museum's many fascinating artifacts are original diary entries written by Anne Frank as well as a copy of the so-called Gemlich letter, believed to be the first record of Hitler's anti-Semitic beliefs. (The original letter is safely archived at the Simon Wiesenthal Center across the street.)
Last entry to the museum is 1½ hours before closing, and reservations are highly recommended due to stiff security protocol and school-tour scheduling. Reservations make your entry more seamless and swift.
The museum's theater has hosted, among other events, the global premieres of multiple Academy Award winners 12 Years A Slave and Dallas Buyers Club.