DALLAS - A new museum in Dallas will help teach powerful lessons about the Nazi Holocaust and other struggles for human rights.
Gov. Greg Abbott, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and several Holocaust survivors opened the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The $78 million project has 55,000-square-feet of interactive exhibits.
Those who helped make it a reality told FOX 4 the museum’s message against hate is especially important.
“We built something that we never imagined was possible,” said Max Glauben, a Holocaust survivor.
The 91-year-old and other survivors saw a 40-year-old dream realized in Dallas’ West End. The facility takes a deep dive into the atrocities of the Holocaust.
Four stations in the museum highlight tell the stories of four 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 they were forced to wear are also on display.
But as the name implies, the scope of the museum goes beyond the Holocaust to human rights.
Visitors learn through colorful and three-dimensional exhibits about other historic genocides and America’s own civil rights journey.
The overall mission is to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference.
Mayor Johnson said it’s a well-timed message in the wake 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,” he said.
For Glauben, his experience in a Warsaw ghetto and five concentration camps from age 12 to 17 has carried with him every single day since.
And 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 bitterness inside of them,” he said.
In addition to all the other visitors, the museum plans to host and educate about 100,000 students each year.
It opens to the public Wednesday.