Holocaust Museum Houston, Lester and Sue Smith Campus will grand reopen June 22 through June 23, 2019, after a $34 million expansion of its original building. By more than doubling in size to a total of 57,000 square feet, the new facility will rank as the nation's fourth largest Holocaust museum and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. The new three-story structure will house a welcome center, four permanent galleries and two changing exhibition galleries, classrooms, research library, café, 200-seat indoor theater and 175-seat outdoor amphitheater.
The permanent Holocaust exhibit includes such rare artifacts as a rescue boat like those used by Danish fishermen to ferry Jewish neighbors to neutral territory under cover of night, as well as a World War II-era railcar like the ones that transported Jews to concentration camps and killing centers. A Human Rights Gallery will feature educational displays of all UN-recognized genocides as well as tributes to international human rights leaders including Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King, Jr. among others. The Museum will debut the nation's largest gallery of artwork by the Holocaust survivor and painter Samuel Bak, with more than 130 works in exhibition rotation. Finally, an interactive media display will bring to life the writings of 12 young diarists, including Anne Frank, who died in genocides around the world.
Opening weekend activities include Holocaust Survivor Talks at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 23. The first 500 people each day of opening weekend receive a Holocaust Museum Houston tote bag.