Monday 20 December 1999
Highlights: Visiting FBI, USA Capitol Building, USA Holocaust Museum
Today was a welcome to the very cold north of USA. We left the hostel early around 8.40 am to visit the FBI building. The tour was fantastic and covered the history of the FBI, how they gather evidence, training requirements and a live display of the on the shooting range of an actual field agent. While the tour was free I would have been happy to pay for it. I found out you need a degree to even be considered for the FBI. Pay starts at around $45,000 for basic first year field officer.
Next stop was the National Capitol Building which George Washington laid the corner stone for. The Congress was built over 20 years, using mostly slave labour. They do not let you view the chamber floors however you can go into the old Senate Chamber which has been reconstructed to appear as it did in paintings. There were many statues and paintings of historical figures. The tour however was a little disappointing as the guide keep talking about her personal stories and links to the building.
We then finished with a visit to the USA Holocaust Museum. The permanent display is over three floors which meant we only got to see about half the display as it was so large. A very detailed history of events in Germany from the end of World War 1 to World War 2. It included how the Fascist (Workers) Party and Hitler came to power and all the individuals, organisations and groups that were punished or killed including the Jews. It was humiliating reading Australia’s response when asked to take refugees from Germany when Hitler started his genocide plans and people were fleeing. We turned them away as did a lot of the world. A lesson that we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to suffering.