Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Horror at United States Holocaust Museum

Filed under: American Life and Society — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:30

View ImageAn 88 year-old white supremacist entered the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Wednesday in Washington, DC and engaged in gunfire which resulted in the death of 39 year-old security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. The suspect, identified by law enforcement sources as James W. von Brunn, of Annapolis, was said to be a longtime, “hard-core” supremacist whose Internet writings contain extensive, poisonous ravings against Jews and African Americans. The slain guard worked for the Wackenhut security company and had been employed at the museum for six years, the museum said. Funding for the building of The United States Holocaust Museum began under President Jimmy Carter in 1978 and was finally dedicated in 1993 by President William Jefferson Clinton.

Just a little over a month ago, my best friend and I spent about 5 hours visiting this museum. The experience is definitely a somber one; the feeling you get walking through this museum can’t really be described in words. It is an experience that leaves a mark on your spirit and touches your soul. This is a sad and absolutely tragic occurrence. For something like this to ever happen in the first place is certainly alarming; but for it to occur in a place of peace and remembrance for one of the worst events to ever occur in world history, which cost millions of innocent lives, is unfathomable. My prayers go out to this man’s family and friends. May he rest in peace knowing he was protecting one of our nation’s most beloved and important treasures. Below, Holocaust scholar Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, who is currently in a visiting research position with the museum, discusses the horrific incident with the Washington Post:

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