We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Even the Holocaust Museum isn’t safe in our litigious society. Museum officials, following some near-immolations, have realized that the Hall of Remembrance, a tranquil chamber where visitors could recover their composure, contemplate the Eternal Flame, and light memorial candles, is a tort lawyer’s fantasy. According to spokeswoman Naomi Paiss, museumgoers—particularly teen-agers—have almost ignited themselves on both the candles and the open, gas-fired Eternal Flame. The museum, scared of lawsuits (and awful press—imagine a headline: “Camp Survivor Torched in Holocaust Museum”) is making itself idiot-proof: The museum removed the candles three weeks ago, and plans to shield the Eternal Flame, too. According to Paiss, by November the Flame will be screened and the candles will return—in a safer arrangement. The museum is new, Paiss adds, and it’s still “getting the bugs out.”