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St. Louis Holocaust Museum condemns antisemitic rhetoric, encourages guests to visit

In 2021, The Anti-Defamation League reported 2,717 antisemitic incidents including 88 assaults and 11 with deadly weapons.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Leaders at the newly-renovated St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum are welcoming more guests now than ever.

This comes after Kanye West's rhetoric about Hitler and his recent tweets sharing an antisemitic image.

Helen Turner, Director of Education, told 5 On Your Side, "I think it’s scary to hear this kind of language or to see a platform used in this way."

In recent months, antisemitic comments have increased.

"We really encourage people to think of your platform and those who have amplified voice. Our first instinct is to invite people into the conversation while also advocating very strongly to condemn anti-Semitism in all of its forms," Tuner added. 

When hate speech circulates, Turner shared the museum gets more calls too.

"They’re looking for safety and security. They want to know they are heard and they have a voice and they want to know that we are present and paying attention," she said. 

While this venue carries horrific tales, this space also reminds visitors about survival and hope.

The museum is founded by St. Louis survivors. 

The tales have been carried from Europe to the Gateway City.

Artifacts from 800 families came too.

"They are in everything, they are in the photos we use, the audio, their quotes throughout the exhibition. This museum is for them," Turner explained. 

The museum opened up in 1995.

In a year, it receives 30,000 people.

Then in 2020, it went under renovation. It re-opened one month ago on Friday.

"We’re really looking forward to double that as we go forward. We hit our first thousand visitor in our second week," Turner shared.

The museum's purpose is to never forget and bring light to moments that can feel dark.

She tells 5 On Your Side, "We are here. We are here for you and we are here with you. Every time there is something in the news or something comes up for me it’s such a reminder that we are a need and necessary. This is not a museum to feel sad or depressed. You should feel moved and changed and you should be ready to make a difference."

The Anti-Defamation League said attacks on Jews have increased in recent years

In 2021, The Anti-Defamation League reported 2,717 antisemitic incidents including 88 assaults and 11 with deadly weapons.

Those were the highest numbers on record since the ADL first started tracking statistics in 1979. 

If you'd like to visit the museum, it's open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Click here for tickets.

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