Current Exhibitions  >  Eastern European Jewry  World War II & The Holocaust  




Persecution and Flight: The Nazi Campaign Against the Jews

In May 1935, Jews were forbidden to join the Wehrmacht (the army), and in the summer of the same year, anti-Semitic propaganda appeared in shops and restaurants.

The Nuremberg Laws were passed around the time of the great Nazi rallies at Nuremberg; on September 15, 1935 the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor" was passed, preventing marriage between any Jew and Gentile.

These were just a few of the many acts that contributed to the persecution of the Jew, that caused thousands of them to flee their homes in Europe for safer havens. Ultimately, this persecution culminated in the Holocaust.

In this exhibition you will see more than twenty pieces of postal evidence of this terrible time in world history. These pieces of evidence begin with the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933, then the formation of the Gestapo and the Nazi Party, the assertion of racial purity, the persecution of the Jewish people and finally their subsequent flight from Nazi Germany.

Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November 1938. Courtesy of  the USHMM. From Wide World Photo.


The Jewish Ghetto

When we hear the word "ghetto" in reference to Jewish history, we most often think of the time during the Second World War when Jews were forcibly relocated to small areas of a town or city where they lived under the most deplorable of conditions. These ghettos for Jews were often a "stepping stone" to the resident's final extermination; from these ghettos, Jews were frequently deported to concentration camps.

In this exhibition you will be able to read about some of the many ghettos created during the war, as well as hear from former ghetto residents. Also you will see postal artifacts that were sent to or from several of the Jewish ghettos of Europe, courtesy of the Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation.

photo: The footbridge over Zgierska Street that joined the two parts of the Łódź ghetto, cir. 1941. Courtesy of the USHMM and the Holocaust Encyclopedia. Courtesy of the USHMM. From the Instytut Pamieci Narodowej.


Never Forget: Visions of the Nazi Camps

"Never Forget: Visions of the Nazi Camps" is a multimedia presentation that represents in some small and modest way the history of the Jewish "experience" during the Holocaust in the many camps.

Within this exhibition you will learn about nearly four dozen camps and subcamps of various types that existed before and during World War II. You will often see photographs of the camps and their inmates if taken in the camps during the war; you will see color photographs of the remnants of many of these camps if the taken after the war, most often within the last ten years.

You will also be able to read testimony from those who were held in these camps during the war, as well as see many intriguing postcards, letters, stamps and other postal artifacts that were sent to and from the various concentration camps.

photo: View of the main entrance to the Auschwitz camp: "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work makes one free). Auschwitz, Poland, date uncertain. Courtesy of the USHMM. From the Instytut Pamieci Narodowej.




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