Our Opinion: Museum needs a home


It is unfortunate that the New England Holocaust Museum in North Adams will be closing in a month, but if museum operator Darrell English is receptive to moving it somewhere else in the county where there is more foot traffic than his current location in his hometown, it could take root. It deserves to have a larger role on the Berkshire historical scene.

The museum is big enough to exhibit only a portion of the Nazi-era objects that Mr. English has collected for most of his life (Eagle, May 30). It tangibly keeps alive the horrific era in which Nazis rounded up and exterminated an estimated 6 million Jews, and while that can’t be forgotten, what also must be remembered is how much of Europe was complicit either by assisting the Germans or by looking the other way. There are lessons to be learned about the power of propaganda, the evil of prejudice, and the danger of the pack mentality that are relevant today.

We share Mr. English’s frustration that more schools have not used his museum as an educational resource. Pop culture won’t get the job done -- the Quentin Tarantino Nazi-era film "Inglourious Basterds" is entertaining but makes no effort at historical accuracy -- and this is a subject that every generation should learn about.

Pittsfield might offer a place for the museum with reasonable rent and higher traffic volume. Lenox is at the core of the Berkshires’ historical-cultural scene. A more central location would give the museum ready access to more schools. Somewhere in the Berkshires there must be a spot for the New England Holocaust Museum to not only thrive but expand.


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