Remembering Auschwitz By the Numbers

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by

Performance Counts: March 2017

This past Sunday, we opened Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity, a unique and important exhibit that encourages visitors to explore Holocaust history and commemoration through the lens of Auschwitz. The following are some interesting facts and figures about the exhibit.

Photo by Will Kirk

Photo by Will Kirk

>Number of Exhibits on Display: 4 (A Town Know As Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Community, Architecture of Murder, Loss And Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas and The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project)

>Number of Years Exhibit Has Been in the Works: 2 ½ years

Deborah leads a docent tour through "Remembering Auschwitz"

Deborah leads a docent tour through “Remembering Auschwitz”

>Percentage of Jewish Population in Oswiecim (the name of the town prior to Nazi occupation in 1939) in the Years Prior to the Holocaust: As high as 50%

>Number of Synagogues in Oswiecim prior to 1939: 30

>Percentage of Jewish population of Oswiecim Murdered at Auschwitz: 90%

Detail of "Architecture of Death" panel

Detail of “Architecture of Death” panel

>Year in Which Construction of Auschwitz Commenced: 1940

>Number of Camps Constructed at Auschwitz: 3 main camps (Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II – also known as Birkenau and Auschwitz III – also known as Buna and Monowitz

> Estimated Number of Inmates Murdered at Auschwitz: 1.1 million including 1 million Jews

Photo by Will Kirk.

Photo by Will Kirk.

>Number of Photos on Display By Keron Psillas: 25

>Number of Miles Photos Traveled from their Last Installation in Hollywood, Florida: 1080 miles

Photo by Will Kirk.

Photo by Will Kirk.

>Number of Collages Created as Part of the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project: 91

>Number of Countries of Origin of Individuals Honored Through Collages: 12

Photo by Will Kirk.

Photo by Will Kirk.

>Total attendance at Sunday’s opening: 242 people

>Number of Related Programs Planned Over the Next Three Months: 16

>Date Exhibit Ends: May 29, 2017

Of course, numbers alone do not tell the whole story, certainly not of the devastation of the Holocaust, nor the impact that we hope this exhibit will have on our visitors. It was an extraordinary experience watching families who participated in the collage making workshops gather around their plaques on display with tears in their eyes and pride in the knowledge that their family members’ stories now have permanent homes at the JMM. While it is too soon to report on the total number of visitors which will include many school group visitors, we look forward to keeping you posted.

~Deborah Cardin, Deputy Director

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Finding New Insights in Old Memories

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by

Museum Matters: March 2017

I just completed a pre-opening walkthrough of our new special suite of exhibits, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust and Humanity.  What struck me most, was how this very familiar topic could still produce new insights.

Loss and Beauty

Loss and Beauty

In A Town Known as Auschwitz, I found myself staring at a 1915 postcard of the historic city of Oswiecim featuring the town market surrounded by the town’s two most prominent buildings – the Catholic church and the Jewish synagogue – symbols of civic pride just decades before the Holocaust.  In The Architecture of Murder from Yad Vashem, there was a chilling image of the plans for the expansion of the death camp written in the fine hand of a draftsman – oblivious to the moral context of his work.  In Loss and Beauty, there was Keron Psillas’ perfect photographic juxtaposition of the remains of the tracks at Auschwitz and the historic rail station near Terezin – labeled simply, “Arrivals/Departures”.

Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project

Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project

And mixed among the collages of survivor families in the Holocaust Reconstruction Project, I found one plaque that did not belong to a survivor.  It told the story of Vasilina Yarmolyuk, a righteous gentile in Poland who at great personal risk took in a Jewish child.  The plaque is located just below that of Maryland survivor, Marsha Tishler, who points out that she owes her life to Vasilina’s kindness.  Time after time I found myself staring at a document or image that triggered fresh questions about what happened, why it happened and how the surviving fraction persisted and contributed to our community.

Starting with our public opening on Sunday afternoon, you will have a chance to find your own insights.  The exhibits are up just through May 29, so you’ll want to plan to see it soon.

~ Marvin

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at tattwood@jewishmuseummd.org / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.

MARCH

Artist Insights

Artist Insights

Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists  whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity: Lori Shocket (The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learned through their work exploring the Holocaust. More info here.

Stories of Survival

Stories of Survival

Stories of Survival: Bluma Shapiro
Featuring a live Crankie performance by Maura Roth-Gormley
Sunday, March 12, 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Bluma Shapiro is a Polish Holocaust survivor whose Holocaust experiences included confinement with her family in a ghetto, slave labor and deportation to several concentration and death camps including Auschwitz.  Ms. Shapiro’s testimony will be illuminated by Crankie artist Maura Roth-Gormley. More info here.

My Family Story 2016

My Family Story 2016

My Family Story Exhibit on Display
Tuesday, March 14 to Monday, March 20 
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now

This year, area students from three schools, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Bolton Street Synagogue and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School embarked on a journey into the past; an exploration of family heritage, and a project that goes beyond the usual family tree.  This journey connects students to their personal stories, to their family stories and to the greater story of the Jewish People.  These students are not alone in the adventure –other students and teachers from Israel and around the Jewish world have also been on their own family explorations and are also participating in My Family Story, a project from Beit Hatfutsot’s International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies in Tel Aviv.   Come see the personal expression and creativity of these students at the My Family Story Exhibit   that will be on display at the JMM from Tuesday, March 14th through Sunday, March 19th.

A Cabaret Evening

A Cabaret Evening

A Cabaret Evening
Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture
Presented by The Jüdische Kulturbund Project
Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

An evening of learning and music with the team behind The Jüdische Kulturbund Project.  Gail Prensky, executive producer, will enlighten us about the history of the Nazi-era group. Vocalist Sarah Baumgarten and pianist Patrick O’Donnell will present a number of pieces previously performed by the Jüdische Kulturbund. More info here.

Architecture of Murder

Architecture of Murder

The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints: Facts and FAQs
Speaker: Marlene Yahalom
Sunday , March 26th at 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Marlene Yahalom Director of Education of the American Society of Yad Vashem will speak about the Auschwitz Birkenau blueprints which are on display in “The Architecture of Murder” section of Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. More info here.

film poster

film poster

Movie Screening: Bogdan’s Journey  
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Anna Sommer Schneider, Georgetown University
Location: The Gordon Center
Ticket Information Here

Maryland premiere of Bogdan’s Journey: Bogdan Bialek, a Catholic Pole, launches a crusade to persuade the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment in their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom. More info here.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Keron Psillas's "Loss and Beauty"

Keron Psillas’s “Loss and Beauty”

As we quickly approach the opening of Remembering Auschwitz, Esther’s Place has been thinking a lot about the nature of memory, and the objects we use to help us remember. In that vein, we are excited to offer signed copies of a beautiful book of images from Keron Psillas, an artist featured in the exhibition, who explores past and present, memory and meaning, in her haunting photographs of concentration camps.

The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project by Lori Shocket

The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project by Lori Shocket

We’re also moved to offer a book we commissioned featuring the collages that area survivors and their families created (with the help of artist Lori Shocket). For those impressed with the power of collage as an art- and memory-form, we’ve found a fantastic book, Once Upon a Piece of Paper, that will help you create your own collage. While you’re here, peruse our yahrtzeit candles, photo frames and locket necklaces carefully selected to help you celebrate and remember loved ones.

Also of Interest

The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit bnaiisraelcongregation.org.  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Totally 90s

Totally 90s

Looking for the perfect Purim party? B’nai Israel has you covered with their totally neon 90s themed celebration, starting at 7:30pm on Saturday, March 11th. More info, including ticket sales, here.

Ongoing at the JMM

Exhibits

Opening Sunday

Opening Sunday

Exhibits currently on display include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks with Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity opening on Sunday.

Hours and Tour Times

Combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel are offered: Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times

Membership

Make it official! Become a Member of the JMM.
Learn More about membership.
Already ready? Join Here.

Get Involved

The JMM is always looking for volunteers! Click Here to learn more.

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JMM Insights: Remembering Auschwitz

Posted on February 17th, 2017 by

 

RA-logo-BLUE

Opening March 5

The smell of fresh paint wafting from behind the closed gallery door is a tell tale sign marking the transition from one exhibit to another. In January we said goodbye to Beyond Chicken Soup, returned many of the artifacts and crated the text panels and interactives for shipment to its next venue. As soon as the gallery was empty, Mark Ward and his incredible crew were hard at work prepping for our next exhibition, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity which is set to open on March 5.

This landmark initiative brings four separate exhibit projects together for the first time, each of which explores a facet of Holocaust history and commemoration. Together they shed light on the significance of Auschwitz – the town and the camp – and how it has endured as a symbol of the Holocaust for more than 70 years after its liberation.  With three main camps and more than 40 sub-camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest camp within the Nazi prison system and served as the site where approximately 1.1 million people were murdered included nearly 1 million Jews.

Hotel Schmeidler, 1912. Courtesy of Miroslaw Ganobis. Image from A Town Known as Auschwitz.

Hotel Schmeidler, 1912. Courtesy of Miroslaw Ganobis. Image from A Town Known as Auschwitz.

Our exhibit takes visitors through a multidimensional tour of Holocaust history beginning centuries prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland. A Town Known As Auschwitz: Life and Death of a Jewish Community from the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust reveals 400 years of the vibrant Jewish history of Oświęcim, Poland —the town the Germans called Auschwitz. Told through photographs, maps and oral history interviews, the exhibit focuses on friendships between Jewish and non-Jewish residents of the town and how the Jewish community flourished for centuries.

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Architecture of Murder

Construction of the camp known as Auschwitz I began in 1940 in an abandoned Polish military barracks on the outskirts of the town. Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints developed by Yad Vashem and on loan from the American Society for Yad Vashem, explores this darker period in the town’s history through blue prints, architectural drawings and other documents. To provide further visual evidence of the camp, the exhibit also features a model of the camp created by local high school student, Andrew Altman, to honor the experiences of his great-grandfather, Edward (Yehuda) Biderman who was sent on a transport to Auschwitz in August of 1944 from the Lodz Ghetto in Poland.

Image combining the train station at Buhosovice, near Terezîn (left) and Auschwitz (right). Image from Loss and Beauty by artist Keron Psillas.

Image combining the train station at Buhosovice, near Terezîn (left) and Auschwitz (right). Image from Loss and Beauty by artist Keron Psillas.

Today, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum is visited by millions of visitors each year. Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas provides a contemporary perspective on the experience of visiting and documenting Auschwitz and other camps today. Psillas’s beautiful and haunting works consist of layered photographs that seek to commemorate and honor the lives of those murdered during the Holocaust. A catalog of her work that includes her poetry as well as her reflections on each photograph on display in the exhibit will be available for sale in our gift shop.

A collage made to honor and remember Gitta Nagel.

A collage made to honor and remember Gitta Nagel.

The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project is an original art installation developed in partnership with The Human Element Project that adds the voices and stories of Maryland’s community of Holocaust survivors. The plaques on display feature the collages that were created during the many different workshops that we held this summer and fall for Holocaust survivors and their families and highlight incredible stories of survival.

We look forward to marking the opening of Remembering Auschwitz with a special pre-opening brunch and tour for Holocaust survivors and their families in the morning on Sunday, March 5. We will then open the exhibit to the public at 12:00 that day. At 2:00, we have invited artists Lori Shocket of the Human Element Project and Keron Psillas to talk about their experiences documenting the Holocaust and other tragedies through the medium of art. We hope you will join us for what will surely be a moving experience. The exhibit remains on display through May 29.

deborahA blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

 

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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