DALLAS - The new home for the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum opens to the public this week in downtown Dallas.
The $78 million project features 55,000 square feet of immersive and interactive exhibits. Some of the people involved in the project said the timing of its message, combating hate, is especially important.
“We built something that we never imagined was possible,” said Max Glauben, a holocaust survivor and Dallas resident.
Glauben and other survivors are seeing a 40-year dream realized in the new building opening in Dallas' West End. The museum has been operating in a small space in a building in between Dealey Plaza and the West End.
The new facility takes a deep dive into the atrocities of the Holocaust and features North Texas residents who lived to tell the horrors of their experience.
In another section, visitors learn how thousands of Jews arrived at death and concentration camps on a walk through a fully restored Nazi-era boxcar. The uniforms Jews were forced to wear, also on display.
But as the name implies, the scope goes beyond the holocaust to human rights. Visitors learn through colorful and three-dimensional exhibits about other historic genocides and the United States’ own civil rights journey.
The overall mission -- to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference.
“The timing could not be better,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said, especially considering the recent spate of hate-driven mass shootings. “I think it's not lost on myself or many of the people here, that this is the type of thing that we have to do to stem the tide of that type of behavior. We've got to teach people about the dangers of hatred.”
For Glauben, his experience in a Warsaw ghetto and five concentration camps from age 12 to 17 is with him every single day since. Now he's sharing that story and a broader message of tolerance in a holographic experience that even allows visitors to ask him questions.
“This is what you call life, and this is what you call joy, and this is what you call a person that's an upstander, and doesn’t have any bitterness inside of him,” Glauben said.
The museum expects to host and educate about 100,000 students each year.
Tuesday is the official ribbon cutting, with doors opening to the public on Wednesday.