Thankful for the Existence of the Holocaust Museum

By Jeffrey Goldberg

From Deborah Lipstadt, who was in the Holocaust Museum, teaching a class about the evil known as Holocaust denial, when the shooting occurred:

We who were here have so much to be thankful for:

For Officer Johns who gave his life defending this museum.

For the guards who did precisely what they are trained to do and did it so very well.

For the fact that this man's hate resulted in the death of "only" one man and not of scores more.

Above all, we have to be thankful for the existence of this place. It is a place that stands to teach about the consequences of hatred and prejudice. This week it taught that lesson in the most horrifying of ways.

Today the building will be full again. There will be staff members and, we hope, people who have decided not to let the haters win.

They know that the only way to defeat those who spread evil is by not letting them stop us. Who ever thought that there would be a time when coming to a museum which teaches about hatred, prejudice and anti-Semitism would itself be an act of defiance?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/06/thankful-for-the-existence-of-the-holocaust-museum/19264/