An exhibition designed to highlight the horrors of the Holocaust is to open tomorrow.
The event was timed for the run-up to Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Shoah: Understanding the Holocaust Through Art & Artifacts, organised by the Jewish Community of Bermuda, will be on show at the Bermuda Society of the Art gallery at Hamilton City Hall.
One of the curators said that the exhibition was created to help teach the public about the Holocaust and offset a surge of hatred and racism on social media.
She added: “By sharing a painful past, we wish to create awareness that these problems still exist and encourage discussions about how these issues remain relevant.
“As another of our goals is to educate the community, we are pleased that schools have reached out already with interest in scheduling field trips and that they wish to take advantage of the opportunity to supplement their curriculums.”
The curator said “shoah“ meant “destruction” in Hebrew but the word has become synonymous with the Holocaust – the systematic mass murder of European Jews during the Second World War.
She added: “There were 9 million European Jews before the Holocaust.
“By the end there were 3 million. Two out of every three European Jews were murdered.”
The exhibition was scheduled to coincide with Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day – which falls on April 8 this year.
A memorial service will be held to mark the occasion.
The curator said the exhibition was organised after discussions among Jewish people in Bermuda about the value of Holocaust education.
The effort was boosted when Gilad Hayeem, a member of the Jewish community, offered to lend his private collection of museum-grade artefacts for an exhibition.
The curator said: “The community’s enthusiasm has been overwhelming.
“This exhibition was nearly entirely organised by volunteers, and they are incredibly grateful for the community’s trust, confidence and support through the process of realising this vision.
“Meaningful and accessible outreach about such an important topic is valuable to our patrons.”
The collection includes original photographs that were used in the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi war criminals, paintings and other items that tell the story of the Holocaust.
The curator said: “Visitors will be both intrigued and horrified by a unique gold pendant with a sordid, brutal history.
“One local, who wishes to remain anonymous, has loaned a ship’s bell linked to stateless Jewish refugees who could not find a country to receive them during the Second World War and after.
“We also have several beautiful yet haunting paintings that depict the horrors of the Holocaust – we will explain the pieces as they fit within the context of history.”
The curator said that because of Covid-19 restrictions, the organisers decided to make the exhibition a “modest pop-up”.
But a bigger event is planned for next year if the threat of the pandemic has receded.
The curator added: “We have already been contacted by people who have interesting items for this and next year’s show.”
The curator appealed to the public to contact them if they had any items that could be included next year.
She said that anyone who wanted to add names for the memorial ceremony for Holocaust victims could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry to the exhibition is free and those interested in a group visit should contact Nzingha Ming at BSOA at 292-3824.
The exhibition will also include an audio component and visitors should take airpods, headphones, or other personal listening devices to use with their phones.
Source: Royal Gazette