Museum of Jewish Heritage Plans Major Exhibit on Auschwitz

By Paul Riegler on 17 February 2019
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IMG_4822 (1)A new exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City will focus on Auschwitz and will be a joint venture between the museum, the Auschwitz-Burkina State Museum, and the Spanish traveling exhibit producer Musealia.

The 18,000-square-foot (1,672-square-meter) exhibit, “Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away,” will open on May 8, 2019, the 74th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, marking 74 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, which took place on January 27, 1945, when the Soviet army entered the camp.

The exhibit focuses on the dual identity of Auschwitz as both a physical location – the largest documented mass murder site in human history – and as a symbol of the atrocities that took place under the Third Reich.

The exhibit recently closed at Madrid’s Arte Canal Exhibition Center, where it attracted over 600,000 visitors. It features approximately 700 artifacts from Auschwitz, a complex over 40 concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Germany under Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. These include personal items that belonged to the victims including suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes, fragments of a prisoner barrack, the desk of camp commandant Rudolf Höss, a freight train used to deport Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in Poland, and Picasso’s Lithograph of Prisoner.

Also on display are artifacts from New York area Auschwitz survivors and liberators including a sketchbook by Alfred Kantor with 150 paintings and drawings from three camps, Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, and Schwarzheide; the trumpet that musician Louis Bannet said saved his life while at Auschwitz; and visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who ignored orders from his superiors and helped as many as 10,000 Jews by issuing to them transit visas allowing them to escape Lithuania before it was captured by Germany.

The exhibit is scheduled to run through January 3, 2020.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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