Albany, NY – Against the backdrop of the horrific invasion of Ukraine and continuing anti-Semitic attacks across the U.S., New York State Senator Anna Kaplan, a leading advocate for increased Holocaust education in the state’s schools, is bringing the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s (SWC) “Courage to Remember” exhibition on the Holocaust to the State Capitol.
“Courage to Remember” is the SWC’s 40-panel traveling exhibition on the Nazi Holocaust, which has been seen on six continents by tens of millions of people and continues to be displayed in cities across the United States and across the globe. It is on view from March 22-25, 2022.
The exhibition is being brought to Albany days after the NYPD reported a 400% spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City over the month of February. The “Courage to Remember” exhibition not only serves as a memorial for the past, but also reenforces what could transpire if the evils wrought by tyrants are left unchecked.
This exhibition has additional significance amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. As a pretext for Russia’s invasion, President Putin has falsely weaponized the Nazi Holocaust as a ploy to invade a peaceful neighbor and unleashed one of the worst humanitarian disasters of this century. The Russian invasion has also damaged the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial, houses of worship, kindergartens, and schools.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC’s Associate Dean & Director of Global Social Action, remarked that “these events have shed light on the dangers of Holocaust distortion, which is a rapidly growing new variant of anti-Semitism. Furthermore the ‘Courage to Remember’ exhibition reinforces the importance of Holocaust monuments which serve as an invaluable teaching tool and physical reminder of the lessons of the past.”
Rabbi Cooper will provide a tour of the exhibit along with Senator Kaplan, as well as present SWC’s endorsement of The Holocaust Education bill, S.121A/A.472A which is currently under consideration in the Legislature.
“Six million Jews and millions of others, including Gypsies, Slavs, political dissenters, homosexuals, P.O.W.’s and the mentally ill and infirm were murdered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. The Nazi policy of racial hatred moved with relentless cruelty from hateful propaganda to mass murder, culminating in the extermination of European Jewry and culture,” The Simon Wiesenthal Center stated.
“The magnitude of brutality, the remorseless cruelty, and the cold industrial character of mass murder during the Holocaust are unique. However, the root causes of the Holocaust persist.
“Racial hatred, economic crises, human psychological and moral flaws, the complacency or complicity of ordinary individuals in the persecution of their neighbors are still ominously common.
“Thus we must have the courage to remember and study the Holocaust, no matter how disturbing these studies and memories may be. For only informed, understanding, and morally committed individuals can prevent such persecution from happening again. The persecution of people is always and everywhere intolerable and to act against it is a beginning for hope.”
“The Courage to Remember” is both a tribute and a warning; a tribute to the six million Jews and millions of others, including Gypsies, Slavs, political dissenters, homosexuals, and prisoners of war, who were murdered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945; and a warning that the root causes of the Holocaust persist.
The importance of teaching about the Holocaust and about the dangers of unchecked bigotry and hatred is also relevant in light of right-wing efforts to ban teaching of such “uncomfortable” subjects as slavery, the genocide of American Indians, anti-immigration movements and systemic racism. It’s a reflection that the title of the exhibit is ‘The Courage to Remember.” Why does it take “courage” to remember?
– Auschwitz. Not long
ago. Not far away. exhibition will remain on view at the NYC museum
through August 30, 2020, an eight-month extension from its originally scheduled
close date –
– Exhibition features more than 700 objects and 400 photographs on
display in North America for the first time, including a shofar that was
secretly blown at Auschwitz and a collection of 10 original artifacts from the
Anne Frank House –
New York, NY – 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. To date, more than 106,000
people from across the country and globe have come to the Museum to see the
exhibition, including more than 36,000 students to date and approximately
12,000 students scheduled to visit before the end of 2019.
“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
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 North America, including
hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that
belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz. Other artifacts include:
concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; part of an
original barrack for prisoners from the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp; a desk and
other possessions of the first and the longest-serving Auschwitz commandant
Rudolf Höss; a gas mask used by the SS; Picasso’s Lithograph of
Prisoner; and an original German-made Model 2 freight train car of the type
used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in
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 shofar was newly added to the
exhibition on the cusp of the High Holy days and temporarily transported to two
New York City synagogues to be blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
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. These
artifacts include: Alfred Kantor’s sketchbook and portfolio that contain over
150 original paintings and drawings from Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and
Schwarzheide; the trumpet that musician Louis Bannet (acclaimed as “the Dutch
Louis Armstrong”) credits for saving his life while he was imprisoned in
Auschwitz; visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania
often referred to as “Japan’s Oskar Schindler”; prisoner
registration forms and identification cards; personal correspondence; tickets
for passage on the St. Louis; and a rescued Torah scroll from the
Bornplatz Synagogue in Hamburg.
Also on display from the Museum of Jewish Heritage collection is
Heinrich Himmler’s SS helmet and his annotated copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as well
as an anti-Jewish proclamation issued in 1551 by Ferdinand I that was given to
Hermann Göring by German security chief Reinhard Heydrich on the occasion of
Göring’s birthday. The proclamation required Jews to identify themselves with a
“yellow ring” on their clothes. Heydrich noted that, 400 years later, the Nazis
were completing Ferdinand’s work. These artifacts stand as evidence of a
chapter of history that must never be forgotten.
Alongside Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.,
the Museum offers a series of talks, screenings, performances, and
commemorative events that further explore Jewish history and life before,
during, and after the Holocaust. The last week of October, artist and Holocaust
survivor William Bernheim will discuss his history and artistic response, and
author Marty Brounstein will present a program abouta Christian couple in the
Netherlands who saved the lives of over two dozen Jews. November programming includes
commemorative events for the 81stanniversary of Kristallnacht,
including “Stories Survive: An Eyewitness Account of Kristallnacht”
with Ruth Zimbler. In December, The Sorceress will
be performed by the resident National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. To learn
more about these and other activities, visit the Museum’s Events page
Following the New York presentation, the exhibition is intended to
tour other cities around the world. Future destinations will be announced by
Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Curated by an international team of experts led by historian Dr.
Robert Jan van Pelt, Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. first
opened in New York City on May 8, 2019 after its successful run at Madrid’s
Arte Canal Exhibition Centre, where it was extended two times, drew more than
600,000 visitors, and was one of the most visited exhibitions in Europe last
year. The exhibition explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical
location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a
symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.
Museum of Jewish Heritage Board Vice Chairman George Klein visited
the exhibition in Spain and recommended to his Board that they bring it to
Lower Manhattan.The exhibition features artifacts and
materials on loan from more than 20 institutions and private collections around
the world. In addition to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Museum of
Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, participating
institutions include Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Anne Frank House in Amsterdam,
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Auschwitz Jewish Center
in Oświęcim, the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, and the
Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. was conceived of by Musealia and the
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and curated by an international panel of
experts, including world-renowned scholars Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Dr. Michael
Berenbaum, and Paul Salmons, in an unprecedented collaboration with historians
and curators at the Research Center at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led
by Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz.
“When we, the Musealia curatorial team set out to design the
Auschwitz exhibition, we realized that we faced a difficult problem. In
Auschwitz over a million people, mostly Jews, were murdered shortly after their
arrival or suffered and died in unimaginable circumstances. How does one create
an exhibition about such a dark chapter in human history that, in our
understanding, is not long ago and happened in a place not far away? How does
one make the public, that has so many opportunities to explore a great city like
New York, decide that it would want to see such an exhibition? Our tools were
straightforward: a narrative told through more than 700 original artifacts, 400
original images, 100 stories, made present by means of filmed testimonies and
quotes – all revealing individual experiences of a history we must learn from,”
says Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, Chief Curator.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far
away. is presented in the symbolic,
hexagonally-shaped core building at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This 18,000-square-foot
exhibition introduces artifacts and Holocaust survivor testimony through 20
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.
Entry is by timed ticket available at Auschwitz.nyc. Audio guide
(available in 8 languages) is included with admission.
$25 Flexible Entry—entry any time on a specific day
$12 Seniors and People with Disabilities
$10 Students and Veterans
$8 Museum Members
FREE for Holocaust survivors, active members of the military and
first responders, and students and teachers through grade 12 in schools located
in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (with valid school-issued ID).
For group visits, contact the Museum at 646.437.4304 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See Auschwitz.nyc for more information.
HOURS AS OF NOVEMBER 1, 2019:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday &
Thursday 10 AM to 6
AM to 9 PM
AM to 3
Last admission to Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. is
2 hours before closing time. Last entrance to the rest of the Museum is 30
minutes prior to closing time.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never
forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse
visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third
largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America,
the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan,
completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of
Liberty and Ellis Island.
Since 1997, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has welcomed more than
2.5 million visitors; it maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts,
photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains
classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition
galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art
installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally
acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.
The Museum receives general operating support from the New York
City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the
The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, New York City, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.