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Holocaust cattle car exhibit coming to National Mall, timed to Yom Hashoah

Trained docents will provide critical context and frame the presentation.

A World War II cattle car exhibit teaching lessons of the Holocaust is being shown throughout the United States. Credit: Courtesy of Hate Ends Now.
A World War II cattle car exhibit teaching lessons of the Holocaust is being shown throughout the United States. Credit: Courtesy of Hate Ends Now.

A cattle car will be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., from May 6 to 9, open to visitors for an immersive learning experience about World War II and the Holocaust, as well as the dangers of antisemitism, intolerance and racism. Elected and appointed officials are expected to be among the thousands of anticipated visitors.

Organized by the nonprofit Hate Ends Now, the traveling exhibit includes a 20-minute, 360-degree immersive presentation and a rare collection of original Holocaust artifacts. It is an exact replica of a World War II-era cattle car used to transport Jews and other targeted groups to concentration and death camps. The exhibit coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day on May 6, which also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

“Placing the Hate Ends Now cattle car in the capital of the free world during a time of alarming increase in antisemitism globally sends a powerful message, reminding us of what happens when hate is allowed to go unchecked,” said Todd Cohn, CEO of Hate Ends Now. “People of all ages have a visceral reaction when they step foot in the Cattle Car and when it seemingly comes to life with the voices, pictures and stories of this dark era.”

Trained docents are scheduled to greet visitors outside of the cattle car to provide critical context and frame the presentation. Accompanying the exhibit are 25 original artifacts from the Holocaust, which are rarely permitted outside of museum walls.

It also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of the White House’s first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.

Holocaust Cattle Car Exhibit
A World War II cattle car exhibit teaching lessons of the Holocaust is being shown throughout the United States. Credit: Courtesy of Hate Ends Now.

To date, the cattle car has had 60 public showings. It has been to 15 colleges and 65 high schools, as well as the Texas State Capital, Florida State Capital, Harvard University and Times Square in New York City. It has also been hosted or sponsored by the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs professional basketball teams.

“Amid sharp increases in antisemitism across the country, the need to bring the cattle car to more people is greater than ever before,” added Cohn. “Particularly for people who do not connect as much with a textbook or museum, or don’t otherwise have access to educational opportunities like this. It is the perfect learning experience.”

The exhibit is sponsored by the Biden-Harris administration through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Committee.

Other sponsors include the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum, Edlavitch JCC and 3GDC.

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