There are only 12 freestanding Holocaust Museums in the entire U.S. El Paso is home to one of them. It stands downtown now, in tribute not only to the 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews who perished in that insane conflagration and the Holocaust Survivors among us, but also to the citizens of El Paso, who have made it happen.

A quick history lesson: The El Paso Holocaust Museum was born in 1984, in one room of the Jewish Community Center, on El Paso’s West Side, in honor of those killed by the Nazis and the survivors who had lived through the nightmare. Driven in great part by its founder, Henry Kellen, it grew quickly and attracted donors, who gave money and artifacts from the years of the holocaust. Soon, it needed a space of its own, and in 1992, The El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center constructed and moved into a separate building on the grounds of the JCC. It grew to prominence within the city. The exhibits were well done and the dedicated docents brought this hideous stage of world history to life for thousands, with frequent tours by local schools, U.S. and German army trainees, and tourists.