"We don't have time to wait" Pop up Holocaust exhibit to educate, inspire locals
“How did you survive?” This is the question most asked by students when they meet a Holocaust survivor.
To answer this question, Holocaust Education Banner Exhibit co-creators Heidi Straus, Chair, Jewish Nevada Holocaust Education Task Force and Holocaust Educators, and Esther Finder, President of the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada, Holocaust Educator and Member of the Governor’s Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust, have compiled a collection of personal histories that address the question of survival. The generous assistance of Sandy Schiff, Art Director of the Venetian Resort, helped bring it all to fruition.
The exhibit has four introduction banners: historical context of the Holocaust, the growth of anti-Semitism, the evolution of the Destruction Process, and the Final Solution. There are 23 survivor history banners in the collection. Based primarily, but not exclusively, on our local Holocaust survivors, these histories are designed to show the broad scope of the Holocaust and different kinds of survivor experiences: refugees, child survivors (hidden children), concentration camp survivors, rescuers (like Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg), and war heroes.
To bookend the exhibit, the conclusion banner shows current images of our local survivors living with purpose and meaning. In addition, there are questions for students and viewers to answer with a call-to-action, including the questions, “How will you speak out against injustice?” and “How will you make your community a kinder place?”
“We don’t have a Holocaust museum in Nevada, so this exhibit is significant and necessary,” said Straus. Finder added, “Far too many people do not know or understand this watershed event in human history. We must emphasize what humanity is capable of. We must never forget, so that we don’t repeat it.”
Funded in part by Jewish Nevada, the exhibit will be ongoing for years to come with visits throughout Nevada in libraries, conferences, schools, Nellis Air Force Base, and State and Federal Buildings.
Docent Coordinator, Melanie Greenberg, will help provide trained docents to accompany the banners upon request.
Jewish Nevada President and CEO, Stefanie Tuzman, “As the Holocaust survivors grow older, we need to make sure the younger generations are knowledgeable of the past and know how to prevent this from happening again. Jewish Nevada was proud to support the efforts of Straus and Finder as this project was certainly a labor of love. We are looking forward to bringing this movable exhibit many places to help others better absorb and learn from the atrocities from the past.”