If you’ve been on the 5th floor lately, you might have noticed that we have some of our special collections materials on display as part of the When Humanity Fails exhibit being held at the MAC Gallery. This exhibit “celebrates the American GIs who liberated Europe and helped nurture the survivors of Nazi persecution back to life,” according to Tova Weiss, director of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Holocaust Education Resource Center.
If you’d like to learn more about displaced persons and the aftermath of the Holocaust, be sure to browse our new digital collection on Abe L. Plotkin, a 1935 graduate of St. Thomas College (before it became the University of Scranton) who witnessed the liberation of the Ohrdruf concentration camp and later became a liaison between displaced persons and their relatives and friends in America. The fully-searchable collection includes Plotkin’s photographs of Ohrdruf and of Holocaust survivors, as well as his correspondence with friends and contacts in American about his experiences abroad.
You can also see some of Plotkin’s original photographs and letters in the 5th floor Heritage Room display cases, now through November 20.
An Update from Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian:
Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps is a striking exhibition reproducing the letters, postcards, photographs, and personal documents that Sala Garncarz managed to save during five brutal years in Nazi work camps during World War II. Curated by Jill Vexler and co-sponsored by the Weinberg Memorial Library and the Holocaust Education Resource Center, this unique exhibition will be on view in the Heritage Room at The University of Scranton from September 1 through October 28, 2008. Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency noted, “This traveling exhibition continues our commitment to commemorating the Holocaust through special programming in conjunction with the Holocaust Education Resource Center.”
A reception, featuring a talk by Sala’s daughter, Ann Kirschner, will be held on Sunday, September 14 from 1-4 p.m. Kirschner is the author of Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story, which tells the story of her mother’s World War II experience.
This traveling exhibition was inspired by Letters to Sala: A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps, presented at The New York Public Library from March 7 to June 17, 2006. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Berg Foundation, Trudy and Robert Gottesman, the French Children of the Holocaust Foundation and Nancy Schwartz Sternoff, Dobkin Family Foundation. Unless otherwise indicated, the letters, photographs, and documents in the exhibition are drawn from the Sala Garncarz Kirschner Collection, donated by the Kirschner family in April 2005, to the Dorot Jewish Division of The New York Public Library.
Traveling Exhibition Curator: Jill Vexler, Ph.D.
Traveling Exhibition Design: Monk Design, New York