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Imperial War Museum

On the last day we spent in London, we visited the Imperial War Museum. While the contents of the museum were incredibly fascinating, the thing that captivated me most was that the museum used to be the infamous Bethlehem Lunatic Asylum, better known as Bedlam. In 1930, the asylum moved across town and the Imperial War Museum moved in. Horrible atrocities have been committed in this asylum in its over 750 years of opening. While in the museum, several of us visited a section dedicated to the Holocaust. It was a very raw and honest representation that was incredibly graphic. One of the sections on the fifth floor talked about the slaughter of mentally disabled people under Hitler’s regime. Something as simple as epilepsy would have sent you to your grave because mentally disabled people were deemed “unworthy of life”, as on of the plaques read. This is hardly ever talked about when discussing the Holocaust. Many forget that gypsies, mentally disabled people, criminals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and political prisoners were also slaughtered in the Holocaust.I find it somewhat odd but slightly hopeful that the Imperial War Museum would take over such a horrendous sight, where numerous mentally ill patients were tortured. I hope that the Imperial War Museum saw this connection and decided to bring to light the atrocities that are committed against the mentally ill. This museum was incredibly eye opening and taught me many things that I had not known before. I am incredibly thankful that they spoke about the over 250,000 mentally ill people who were killed in the Holocaust. I hope that this is able to educate others about treating every person around them with respect and dignity, no matter the differences we might have.