Friday, July 19, 2013

Touching My Sole

 Took a few minutes this afternoon to visit the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.  I'd never been there before.  In fact, I didn't even know it existed until I was planning to visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance and learned there are two different memorials of the Holocaust in Los Angeles.

The Museum of the Holocaust is modest in size but given the intensity of the subject it doesn't take much to become emotionally overwhelming.  The museum provides a chronological look at the events leading up to and during the Holocaust from newspaper headlines, personal effects and photographs.  The audio tour available from the front desk provides great detail and allows visitors to learn at their own pace and ability to deal with the enormity of the situation.

I found the information on America's reluctance to enter the war and our nation's ultimate role as liberators of the camps fascinating.  When reading about WWII I always think about my Maternal Grandfather (who was part of the D-Day Invasion) and my Mother, who was born in October, 1945.  I wish I knew more about the circumstances that brought him back to the states in early 1945 (nine months before my Mother was born) while the war was still on.  I know it was all honorable, I have his medals to prove it.

I got choked up viewing a pair of baby shoes that were displayed in a collection of personal effects from victims of the Holocaust. The Museum pays considerable attention to how children were treated during the Holocaust.  I don't know why that is more painful then seeing how adults were treated, but it is.

Afterwards I had a lovely lunch at La Otra Escuela Taqueria across the street on Beverly Boulevard.  I've driven by this restaurant many times and it's lively storefront always catches my eye.  I enjoyed its modern take on the traditional taqueria.

I was startled by the restaurant's decorations when I first walked in.  Having just viewed a collection of the clothes, shoes and luggage of Holocaust victims it was a little disturbing to see a collection of shoe frames (used by cobblers to build shoes) hanging from the ceiling.  I know the restaurateur was going for a different impression but in the context of my excursion it was off-putting.

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