Posted on March 24th, 2017 by Rachel
On March 23, the JMM was thrilled to host a group of 85 young adults who participated in a program sponsored by IMPACT, the young adult division of the Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission.
Starting the evening with casual schmoozing
The evening included opportunities for networking and schmoozing with food and drink. I was invited to give remarks about our new exhibit Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity as well as to lead tours. When asked how many people had previously visited the JMM, it was clear that the majority had not and I enjoyed having the opportunity to welcome the group and to hopefully pique their interest in staying connected with us.
After a few brief remarks about how the exhibit came together and our institutional goals for having it on view, I led a small group through the gallery while many others opted to view the exhibit on their own.
Viewing “Architecture of Murder”
Viewing “A Town Known as Auschwitz”
It was rewarding to hear such positive feedback from visitors who expressed their surprise at learning new insights into Holocaust history such as the fact that Oswiecim (the town that became known as Auschwitz) once served as home to a vibrant Jewish community. As always, I enjoy hearing from people about their personal connections to the stories on display. One woman in the group told me that her grandmother actually grew up in the town and she was incredibly moved to see photographs featuring the diversity of Jewish life from the 20th century.
Local high schooler Andrew Altman created this model of Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of his grandfather.
Several program attendees had previously visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and when we stopped at the model by high school student Andrew Altman, they shared their experiences of what it was like to visit.
Viewing the “Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project”
The final stop at the plaques that are part of the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project, served as another place for reflection as participants spent time reading the stories, commenting on the collages and sharing their connections to individuals whose stories are on display.
Small group conversations
Following the tour, the group gathered in small groups in our lobby to hear from the grandchildren of survivors who shared their stories of survival. This format fostered conversation among participants and helped to continue the discussions that were begun in the gallery.
What a pleasure it was to work with our partners at the Associated and Baltimore Jewish Council to organize such a thoughtful program. We continue to be delighted by just how much Remembering Auschwitz resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to hosting many more groups and programs. The exhibit remains on display through May 29.
A blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.
Posted on March 23rd, 2017 by Rachel
One of the great outcomes of our Beyond Chicken Soup exhibition was making friends and creating partnerships with institutions outside of the usual orbit of the JMM. Our friends at MedChi (the 218-year old Maryland State Medical Society headquartered in Baltimore) wrote to express support after our campus suffered some anti-Semitic graffiti over the weekend. We are grateful for their message.
Volume 1 of the Maryland Medical Journal
And, by the way, they added the exciting news that their nineteenth-century volumes (65 of them, totaling some 40,000 pages!) of the Maryland Medical Journal have been digitized! Now anyone can explore these volumes at https://archive.org/details/themarylandmedicaljournal using simple (and advanced) keyword searches.
The Maryland Medical Journal debuted as a weekly publication in May, 1877. While sometimes technical, these pages can be entertaining for the non-medical browser. Descriptions of 19th century procedures, medical mysteries, For example, look for instructions on readying cobweb poultices for use: wash them, dry them in the sun, etc. They are a trove, not only for medical historians and other scholars, but also for genealogists. Have a physician ancestor in the family? Find out about their scientific interests, and also their activities in their professional society.
Check it out!
I checked out the name Friedenwald, of course. Dr. Harry and Dr. Aaron Friedenwald are found regularly among the volumes. In 1877, Aaron Friedenwald was elected one of the Society’s examiners for the Western Shore area of Maryland. Dr. Abram B. Arnold—Jewish doctor in Baltimore since 1849—was elected president of the Society, and also contributed a paper on Bright’s Disease (disease of the kidneys). Dr. S.W. Seldner, newly appointed consulting physician to Baltimore’s Hebrew Hospital, also contributed a paper, this time on a patient’s unusual (unfortunately fatal) case of progressive paralysis.
Take a look yourself, and let us know what you learn about your great-great grandfather the doctor (or the patient—they are sometimes named!) 19th century medical practice in Maryland.
A blog post by Curator Karen Falk. To read more posts from Karen click HERE. This post has also been published on the Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America website.
Posted on March 10th, 2017 by Rachel
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
>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”
>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
>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.
>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.
>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.
>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