Holocaust Museum Houston moves rescue boat, railcar to permanent location

HOUSTON – A delicate but amazing process is taking place at Holocaust Museum Houston this week.

A Danish rescue boat and a railcar from the World War II era are being moved by a crane to a permanent home inside the museum at 5401 Caroline Street.

Back in January, the artifacts were moved to a location near the museum while the building is being expanded.

The boat weighs 14 tons, while the railcar weighs 10.5 tons.

"Previously, (the artifacts) were outside of our facility and now they will become part of the actual 'Bearing Witness' exhibition and it will be placed within the building itself," Dr. Kelly J. Zuniga, CEO of the Holocaust Museum Houston, said.

The expansion will more than double the size of the museum to 57,000 square feet of space.

Construction should be completed in May 2019.

VIDEO: HMH CEO speaks on artifacts move

Here is more information about the artifacts, according to HMH:

"The 1942 World War II-era railcar, the type used to carry thousands of Jews and other innocent victims to their deaths during the Holocaust, was located by the Museum in Blankenburg, Germany in 2005.It was acquired, refurbished and opened as part of the Museum’s permanent collection in December 2005. The World War II-era railcar is 13.5 feet tall, 9.2 feet wide, 25.7 feet long.  By historical estimates, more than 3 million people were taken to their deaths by train during the Holocaust.

"The Danish Rescue Boat, the Hanne Frank, was transported from Gilleleje, Denmark in late 2007 and officially opened for viewing on Jan. 20, 2008. When Nazis tried to round up Danish Jews for deportation and almost certain execution in 1943, Danes used such fishing boats to ferry more than 7,200 Jews and 700 non-Jewish relatives to safety in Sweden. In 2012, Houston’s weather conditions required an extensive refurbishment of the boat and it was rededicated in October of 2015. The fishing boat is 37.1 feet long, 13.9 feet wide and 5.7 feet deep."

VIDEO: Time lapse of artifacts moved at Holocaust Museum Houston

PHOTOS: See the boat relocation

The museum has temporarily relocated to 9220 Kirby Drive. Admission is free on Sundays.

Visit hmh.org for more information.