NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to an overwhelming response, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust today announced that Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., the most comprehensive Holocaust exhibition about Auschwitz ever presented in North America, will be extended until August 30, 2020. Produced by the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, the groundbreaking exhibition is the largest ever on Auschwitz with more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs.
The extension responds to the record number of visitors the exhibition drew to the Museum since opening in May. More than 106,000 people from across the country and globe have visited the exhibition, including more than 36,000 students, and approximately 12,000 students are scheduled to visit before the end of 2019. Tickets are available at www.mjhnyc.org.
"The number of adults and school visitors drawn to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. has been incredible. This exhibition greets its visitors with a clear warning to be vigilant – to not allow this history to repeat and to never presume that it won't," notes Bruce C. Ratner, Chairman of the Museum's Board of Trustees. "In recent years and recent months even, we have seen a surge in antisemitic rhetoric, hate crimes, and a weaponized nationalism both here in the United States and abroad. We are extending this exhibition at our Museum because it offers clear, moral lessons that resonate powerfully today and from which visitors want to learn."
"It has been a great honor to preside over the Museum as it presents this astounding exhibition and to witness it move so many of our visitors as deeply as it has moved me," says Jack Kliger, the Museum's President & CEO. "Most remarkable, this exhibition is dynamic. Already large in scope, it continues to acquire new artifacts over the course of its life, such as the shofar clandestinely used in Auschwitz that we unveiled last month ahead of Rosh Hashanah."
"We have been profoundly overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response in New York—not only by the numbers themselves, but especially by the time visitors spend in the exhibition—on average two hours—and the care, attention and respect they show for this story. Deciding to visit this exhibition is a courageous step. It means confronting oneself with a traumatic, complex and challenging past. And more importantly, it helps us understand more critically our own present," says Luis Ferreiro, Director of Musealia and the exhibition project.
"I don't think that there is a more important exhibition presented in New York at the moment. This one about Auschwitz explores the essence of mankind, analyzes the limits of what is human, and asks important questions about our contemporary responsibility. I am glad people will be able to see it there longer," says Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. traces the development of Nazi ideology and tells the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as Oświęcim to the largest German Nazi concentration camp and the most significant site of the Holocaust— at which ca. 1 million Jews, and tens of thousands of others, were murdered. Victims included Polish political prisoners, Sinti and Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah's Witnesses, and those the Nazis deemed "homosexual," "disabled," "criminal," "inferior," or adversarial in countless other ways. The exhibition tells not only the story of their persecution and murder, but also the myriad ways ordinary people responded to the unfolding genocide, including inspiring stories of resistance, resilience, courage, and altruism. In addition, the exhibition contains artifacts that depict the world of the perpetrators—SS men who created and operated the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps.
With more than 700 objects and 400 photographs, mainly from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the New York presentation of the exhibition allows visitors to experience artifacts from more than 20 international museums and institutions on view for the first time in the North America, including hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz. The exhibition also features 10 artifacts on loan from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which include the spilled, dried beans Anne wrote about in her diary and that were later discovered lodged between the cracks of stairs in the home where she hid from the German Nazis. The beans have never been displayed anywhere before. Most recently, the Museum announced the exhibition's incorporation of a shofar (a ram's horn that is made into a special wind instrument used during Jewish High Holiday services) that was hidden and clandestinely blown in the Auschwitz.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage has incorporated into the exhibition nearly 100 rare artifacts from its collection that relay the experience of survivors and liberators who found refuge in the greater New York area.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible with lead support by Bruce C. Ratner, George and Adele Klein Family Foundation, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, and Larry and Klara Silverstein & Family. The exhibition is presented in part with major support by The David Berg Foundation, Patti Askwith Kenner, The Oster Family Foundation, and The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. The New York premiere is made possible in part by Simon & Stefany Bergson with additional support from The Knapp Family Foundation.
SOURCE Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust