Dear Visitor,

As human beings, it seems we are always looking either to the past or the future: the past is where we seek to garner wisdom from our individual and collective experience, while we look to the future in the hope of better things to come…. It is very common for a child to dream of a perfect world; one that its parents and grandparents were unable to create. And often, as adults, we may still rely on that child’s dreamlike vision of the future.    

Not so long ago, people were calling the twentieth century the bloodiest century in all human history and  earnestly hoping that the new century would be some sort of a turning point for mankind: a time of tolerance and  mutual understanding. But this is yet to happen… Massacres, ethnic cleansings, atrocities, and persecution continued their pestilential depredations. Hatred may not be the prevailing force in human affairs; nevertheless, its workings continue to deprive millions and millions of people of a normal life—one in which dignity, safety and, often, basic human rights are assured.    

We at the Museum cannot provide answers for every question nor devise a formula for universal tolerance, understanding, and respect. However, we contribute our efforts to the struggle of so many for the ideals of humanity, for human rights, and for freedom for every human being.    

Humanity is one family, and we strongly believe that members of that family are capable of finding a common language to solve their problems.  

Our exhibition, “From ‘A Crime Without A Name’ to ‘Genocide’: The Simele Massacre of Assyrians in Iraq, August 1933” relates the almost unknown tragedy that, along with other such events, spurred Raphael Lemkin to act forcefully on behalf of the victims of prejudice and hatred. His efforts resulted in the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

We are also proud to display a new exhibition, entitled ”The Holocaust: Annihilation, Liberation, Rescue” provided by our partner, the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center in Moscow. The exhibition presents the story of Holocaust atrocities committed on the territory of the former Soviet Union, shows the role of the Soviet Army in rescuing the Jews from Nazi death camps with focus on Auschwitz, and commemorates the victims and liberators.  

Our work continues in the preparation of new exhibitions and educational programs at our new permanent location in Millburn, NJ.    

Overall, our aim is to enrich our visitors’ knowledge and understanding of the problems which continue to plague the planet and turn their attention to the problems which still trouble the world.

Igor A. Kotler
President and Executive Director


June 18, 2020 at 1pm EST

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The corona virus has had a terrible impact on the planet: hundreds of thousands have died and millions have been infected. Everyday life has been turned upside down through masking, social distancing, and remaining at home. Businesses have been dramatically impacted and lack of faith in established political leaders has in many cases contributed to what had already become a polarized cultural atmosphere. With nerves on edge, and time on people’s hands, sensational videos depicting the brutal murder of George Floyd helped produce the context of massive protests focusing on racial inequality. Even the most sophisticated scientists have been baffled by the disease, and how to cure it. The fear, frustration, and confusion it has caused among everyday people, who lack scientific knowledge of any sort, has grown exponentially as they seek simple explanations.

Meeting at the Elbe: April 25, 1945 – We Remember

Museum of Human Rights, Freedom and Tolerance is proud to present the article below, written by Dr. Ilya Altman and Maria Gileva of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center in commemoration of the Elbe Day – April 25, 1945, when Soviet and American troops met at the Elbe River in Germany.

On April 25, 2020, representatives from the USA and Russia were to meet in Torgau, Germany to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory over the German Army at the Elbe River. The joy that the Soviet troops felt upon meeting their brothers-in-arms from the West, in 1945, was mirrored by the American troops. Their delight was evidenced in their letters home and the articles they wrote for their homeland presses, which you will find in the following essay.

Why do we spend time and energy recalling military events from so long ago? Most of the participants of that 1945 meeting are no longer with us. However, we do remember that these were soldiers, officers, and journalists who did not share the same language, religion, culture, or politics. Their joy came from their common humanity. Both sides fought for the same goal: defeating Nazism. They suffered, sacrificed, risked their lives, and remained resolute in the bloody battle to stop the Nazi killing machine, which destroyed millions of Jews, Roma, Slavs, and many other innocent victims of Nazism. Their victory allowed both sides to dream of an end to war, bloodshed, and hatred, and begin to recognize our shared striving for peace.

We remember because we need to keep that dream alive. We remember because we want to realize this dream. We remember because we believe it is possible to have a better world.

Igor Kotler, Gideon Frydman, MHRFT, May 2020

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