DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson will join Holocaust survivors to unveil the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Tuesday.
In total, the community raised more than 78 million dollars for the new facility in the West End area of Dallas, and it comes as anti-Semitism and other hate crimes are on the rise.
President and CEO of the museum Mary Pat Higgins said this is a world class museum with world class exhibits.
The new and permanent home of the museum is opening 42 years after Holocaust survivors in North Texas met to plan their first museum. Among them is 91-year-old Max Glauben, who became an orphan as a young teenager after losing his entire family in concentration camps.
“It takes unity and ambition to fulfill something,” Glauben said.
Glauben has spent decades sharing his first-hand accounts of the atrocities, in which Adolf Hitler and his murderous regime slaughtered, tortured, and gassed six million Jews to death.
A new state of the art interactive and 3D exhibit features a hologram and voice activation, allowing Glauben to answer audience members’ questions about his experiences — for generations to come.
“This is my greatest contribution,” he said.
The museum also includes a Human Rights Wing.
“Throughout the entire exhibitions, we hold up up-standers who fought for change, who have fought to save lives, who fought to bring about equal rights for all,” Higgins said.
Because education is so important, the goal is to have 100,000 6th through 12th grade students visit the museum. And to make that happen, there will be scholarships for school districts.
“This will be a huge priority for us moving forward…” Higgins said. “We know if we can reach youth when they’re shaping their opinions, and they’re figuring out what they believe in, that we can make a difference.”
Students will even be able to see an exact replica of a Nazi box car used to transport Jews to concentration camps.
Glauben remembers riding in one for five days, with at least 100 people inside. He recalled there was standing room only, with two small openings, no bathroom and neither food or water.
“I never gave up hope,” he said.
Now, Glauben sees hope in this new museum, which he believes symbolizes a Hebrew letter.
“Every time I look at the building, the letter ‘Chai’ comes to mind, and what it means — life,” he said.
The new museum opens to the public Wednesday, and more than 750 people have already reserved their tickets.