I came to Washington specifically for the purpose of doing research for “Popje.” Except for eating and sleeping I have spent the last 3 days at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. My first afternoon here I toured the museum. The collection is moving by attacking every sense. The lights are low giving the whole place a somber feeling. The architecture of brick and metal makes you feel as though you are incarcerated. The exhibit itself is reminiscent of a cattle chute. It brings you from area to area at times widening and giving a bit of choice and then narrowing and directing you in one direction. I felt I was being herded in a similar fashion as the victims of the Nazis experienced. A few of the areas were cold while others were warm and stuffy. The smell of the room of shoes was distinctive and hit me in my gut.
The librarian that seemed to have an attitude on Monday has been extremely helpful today. I think I may have impressed him with my dedication. He has commented more than once about the amount of time I have spent searching for information. Unfortunately, I have not answered many of the questions I walked in with. On the other hand, I have been able to learn things I didn’t come looking for.