Two compelling exhibits at the Museum of Jewish Heritage explore the stories of Holocaust survivors through portraits, historic documents, and artifacts. In Survivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust, the inaugural exhibit to debut inside the Museum’s new Rita Lowenstein Galley, photographer Martin Schoeller marks the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz with 75 photographs of Holocaust survivors. In a new core exhibit of the Museum, The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do, over 750 original objects and survivor testimonies shed light on the personal struggles and triumphs of the World War II era. You can explore both of these exhibits on two special guided tours with Untapped New York Insiders.

Museum of Jewish Heritage
Credit: David Paler / Museum of Jewish Heritage

What Hate Can Do Exhibit Tour

Dokad Nas Pedza by Feliks Puterman

On January 15th, Rebecca Frank, Curatorial Research Assistant at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, will lead Untapped New York Insiders on a tour of the museum’s new core exhibition, The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do. The artifacts and documents featured in this 12,000-square-foot exhibition show “what life was like during the period of European modernization, World War I, and the political and social movements that brought about the rise of the Nazi Party.” They shed light on stories of escape, resistance, resilience, and liberation through personal stories, family objects, and more.

Many items on view are being displayed for the first time. One such object is a tiny teddy bear that belonged to Eva Holzer. The stuffed toy, dressed up in a handmade sweater, accompanied a ten-yeat old Holzer when she fled Nazi-occupied Europe on a Kindertransport, a method of evacuation to get Jewish children to safety.

Teddy bear on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Eva Holzer’s Teddy Bear, Germany, 1930s Credit: Gift of the Holzer Family. Image Courtesy of Museum of Jewish Heritage

As you explore the exhibit, you’ll discover prewar ritual and cultural objects from Jewish families in New York City and explore local stories of resistance like that of Florence Mendheim and organizations such as the Emergency Committee to Save the Jews of Europe. You’ll also learn about the refugee camp for Holocaust survivors in Oswego, New York, and see quintessentially New York objects such as tickets to Madison Square Garden and New York Times full newspapers from wartime.

Curator Led Tour of Survivors Exhibit

Portrait of a Holocaust survivor

On January 22nd, join Sara Softness, Curator of Special Projects at The Museum of Jewish Heritage, to explore award-winning photographer Martin Schoeller’s work. This moving tribute to Holocaust survivors makes its United States debut at the Museum. In addition to Scholeller’s stunning portraits, the exhibit also features a short film that documents his process of capturing these powerful images. Each portrait is presented alongside a biography and quotes from the subjects about their experiences.

Martin Schoeller interviews a Holocaust survivor
Martin Schoeller Studio, 2019. Martin Schoeller photographs Holocaust survivors at Yad Vashem

A quote from Holocaust survivor Sara Leicht z”l, told to Schoeller during her portrait session, sums up the message of these two exhibitions, “The most important thing we can do is to love. To love more and to love everyone. To be kinder, more humble and more generous, and to be better people. To love our fellow human beings, whoever they are.” After each tour, you’ll have the chance to continue exploring the museum and take in its unique view of the Statue of Liberty. Both tours are free for Untapped New York Insiders.

Next, check out A Hidden Holocaust Memorial on NYC’s Appellate Division Court