Traveling Holocaust exhibit at Pomona College in Claremont through Oct. 16
By Wes Woods, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/09/13, 5:51 PM PDT |
CLAREMONT >> The Museum of Tolerance’s “The Courage to Remember” traveling Holocaust exhibit stirred visitors’ emotions at a grand opening on Monday.
“It’s emotional,” said Robin Walker of Claremont, who cried as she viewed the exhibit.
Walker came to the exhibit with her 12-year-old son, Cole, who was busy reading the information about the Holocaust.
“It’s just crazy. We need to remember,” Robin said.
The exhibit, featuring a 40-panel visual Holocaust narrative and 200 original photos, on display at Pomona College’s Bridges Auditorium, 450 N. College Way, through Oct. 16.
College officials said the exhibit is an educational series that has travelled worldwide since 1988 as both a tribute in honor of the millions who died because of the Holocaust and a warning that the root causes for the tragedy remain.
Holocaust survivor Elaine Geller, 77, told more than 150 people on Monday including state Sen. Norma Torres, D-Chino, San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Claremont Mayor Opanyi Nasiali and Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz of Temple Beth Israel in Pomona to speak out against Holocaust deniers.
“There are a lot of young people here,” Geller said. “I’m going to give you a gift. The next time anyone says to you there was no Holocaust, tell them who the hell do you think kept those records? Nobody, nobody gave us pencil and paper and reams of paper to record what Hitler wanted to do. … What the world knows about the Holocaust comes from Nazi records. That’s all I will say for now.”
Miriam Feldblum, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Pomona College, described her experience as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.
“This exhibit underscores for me that it is important not only to always remember but to live with the memories so it inspires you to act,” Feldblum said. “So that it is a rallying cry for engagement. My father’s entire family was killed during the Holocaust. Indeed, my father grew up in a town in Lithuania that save for my father and one other young girl was killed during the war. “My father survived by hiding in the forests of Poland and was lucky enough to come to the U.S. in 1946. As a child, I grew up in a family committed to social justice and striving to repair the world. … We are privileged to have here these photographs and exhibit which can inspire us to act.”
Visitors inside said they appreciated the exhibit despite it’s sensitive subject matter.
Rabbi Daveen Litwin, director of the Claremont Colleges Hillel chapter, said the Holocaust forces people to remember what they would rather forget, which is the “tragedy of the Jewish people and millions of others endured … during World War II.”
“The first and enduring lesson of remembering all those who perished in the Holocaust and the genocides that have followed … is that they occurred not only because of the machinery of death but because of the state-sanctioned incitement to hate,” Litwin said. “The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers. It began with words. It is not enough to remember. Out of remembering comes our obligation to stand up to words and acts of hatred and prejudice to indifference and silence everywhere it’s found. May this exhibit help give us the courage to do so.”
Free parking for the exhibit is available at the South Campus Parking Structure at First Street and Columbia Avenue.
For more information, visit www.couragetoremember.com or call 909-607-1139.