Owatonna Hosts Exhibit Honoring Minnesotan Holocaust Survivors
May 8th, 6:19 pm
From Europe to Minnesota, stories of survival are being shown in Owatonna.
The Steele County Historical Society is hosting the "Transfer of Memory exhibit"...a portrayal of Holocaust survivors who ended up in Minnesota.
"Luck. You had to be lucky to survive."
Holocaust, a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire."
Lili Chester, exhibit writer says, "It wasn't the strongest, it wasn't the bravest, It was the luckiest. Being at the right place at the right time. Having the right person watch over you. It was a matter of luck."
The Holocaust, the state–sponsored persecution and murder of around six million Jews by the Nazi regime, is a chapter in the history books, survivors hope will never be forgotten.
Chester says, "These memories are fading and if we don't get them down now, they're gone forever."
And Chester says that while these Minnesotans may look average, their stories are horrific.
David Sherman, exhibit photographer, "The survivors are transferring their stories, their memories and what they saw to the next generation. So were the ones that will remain vigilant to tell their stories."
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota partnered with Sherman and Chester to help put this exhibit together... a cause that organizers hope will keep spreading throughout the area.
Laura Zell, JCRC director says, "We wanted to make sure this exhibit went out to as many places as possible, so we decided to make it a traveling exhibit."
Sherman says, "Its more than never forgetting, because we have a responsibility to never forget and to stop genocide."
Chester says, "This is a unique period of history, that hopefully we will never see repeated again. There are so many deniers out there, saying that this didn't happen so it's important to get the eye–witness of them, before these stories are lost."
And she says we need more than just the stories. We need the transfer of these memories.
A Holocaust survivor and author will speak at the exhibit on June 5th.