Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and Museum – Montreal, Québec - Atlas Obscura

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and Museum

A community-run museum invites visitors to explore Jewish communities before and after the Holocaust. 


Though by no means as elaborate as the major Holocaust museums in Washington and Berlin, the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and Museum was founded in the 1970s and predates them both by decades.

Moreover, as a community-run institution still staffed and hosted largely by Holocaust survivors, the experience at the MHMC is much more personal and intimate, exploring the effects of one of history’s greatest crimes on families and individuals.

Located on the ground floor of Cummings House, the multi-story headquarters of the Montreal Jewish Community Campus, the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of Jewish communities before, during and after the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies and collaborators. Through the life stories of Montreal survivors, the Museum invites visitors to reflect on the destruction caused by prejudice, racism and antisemitism.

The permanent exhibition includes: Life Before the War and the Holocaust. Here we learn about the customs, holidays, and the cultural diversity  of Jewish communities in Europe and North Africa. Visitors learn about the rise of Nazism and escalating discriminatory policies imposed against Jews in Germany up until the attacks on the Night of Broken Glass, Kristallnacht. The Implementation of the Holocaust during World War II: the ghettos, mobile killing units, and camps. After the War: liberation, displaced persons camps and immigration problems faced by survivors. The reaction of Quebec and of Canada is regularly examined in relation to these events throughout the exhibition. Archives and artifacts document, for example,  antisemitism during the 1930s and after the war when survivors immigrated to Montreal.

Archived photographs and videos give visitors a perspective on the political and cultural context in which the Holocaust took place. Each historical section is highlighted by survivor testimonies, compiled in videos that mix archival footage and interviews. Here we learn about the crimes and violence perpetrated against Jews, but also about resistance and the struggle for dignity.

Testimonies add a human dimension and sensitive presentation of the difficult history. Through the diversity of experiences shared in the Montreal Holocaust Museum, visitors get a sense of the complexity and scale of the Holocaust.

Know Before You Go

On foot, or by metro (subway) and bus Take the Orange metro line (direction Cote-Vertu) and exit at the Côte Ste-Catherine stop (corner Côte Ste-Catherine Road and Victoria Avenue). Cummings House is a 5-10 minute walk west along Côte Ste-Catherine Road. Or, cross Côte Ste-Catherine Road and then take the 129 North bus and exit at Westbury Avenue. Cummings House is right across the street. By car From the North: take Decarie Expressway South (15 Sud) and get off at the Côte St-Luc Road/Queen Mary exit. Turn left at the first light (Edouard-Montpetit), turn left onto Decarie Boulevard and turn right at the first light (Côte Ste-Catherine Road). Continue 2 blocks until you see Cummings House on the left-hand side. From the South: take Decarie Expressway North (15 Nord) and get off at the Côte St-Luc Road/Queen Mary exit onto Decarie Boulevard. Continue straight on for 1-2kms and turn right, onto Côte Ste-Catherine Road. Continue 2 blocks until you see Cummings House on the left-hand side. (You can also follow the green signs with the "H" that direct you to the Jewish General hospital - these will lead you right past our building.) Street parking available

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January 1, 2014

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