Hosted by Paula Zahn, this special presentation explores the important and timely exhibition “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” now on view through August 2020 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – a Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

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> TONIGHT ON A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF NYC ARTS, THE MOVING EXHIBITION, AUSCHWITZ, NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY.

NOW ON VIEW AT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE.

THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM HISTORY ARE CRITICAL.

TELLING THAT HISTORY IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT CAN BE DONE.

BUT VISUALIZING IT, SEEING IT, IN AN ACTUAL EXHIBIT, SEEING AN ACTUAL ARTIFACT OR SOMETHING FROM THE HOLOCAUST, FROM THE PERIOD BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST, IS CRITICAL FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND.

WHEN YOU SEE THE PICTURES DOWNSTAIRS OF HALF A MILLION PEOPLE STANDING THERE OR THE SALUTE OR THE NAZI SWASTIKA OR LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT UNIFORMS, THEY MADE PEOPLE VERY PROUD OF THEMSELVES.

IT WAS ALL PART OF THE MAKING ADOLF HITLER INTO THE LEADER.

I DIDN'T SEE GERMAN SOLDIERS.

THEY JUST KNOCKED ON THE DOOR ONE DAY AND CAME TO LOOK FOR MY FATHER AND MY FATHER WASN'T HOME.

SO THEY SAID PACK UP IN TEN MINUTES, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE YOU AWAY.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE ULTIMATE IMPACT?

HAVE TO RESIST, PASSIVE RESISTANCE, SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE OR HELPING OUT BY BEING AN ACTIVIST.

I THINK THAT'S REALLY THE MESSAGES.

I THINK THIS NOTION THAT THIS IS HAPPENING NOW AND CAN HAPPEN AGAIN.

FUNDING FOR AUSCHWITZ REMEMBERED, AN 'NYC ARTS' SPECIAL IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- ROSALIND P. WALTER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

ELISE JAFFEY AND JEFFREY BROWN.

ELROY AND TERRY KRUMHOLZ FOUNDATION.

APPLETON ESTATE.

THE MILTON AND SALARY AVERY ARTS FOUNDATION.

AND ELLEN AND JAMES S. MARCUS.

THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF 13.

'NYC ARTS' MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY FIRST REPUBLIC BANK AND SWAN ACTION GALLERIES.

SPECIAL FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POINTER PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

GOOD EVENING.

I'M PAULA ZHAN.

WELCOME TO AUSCHWITZ REMEMBERED, A SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF 'NYC ARTS.'

THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS PROGRAM IS AN IMPORTANT AND MOVING EXHIBITION AT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE, MOVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST.

LOCATED ON BATTERY PLACE THE MUSEUM ANCHORS THE SOUTHERN TIP OF MANHATTAN OVERLOOKING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELLIS ISLAND.

ITS MISSION IS TO EDUCATE DIVERSE VISITORS ABOUT JEWISH LIFE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE HOLOCAUST.

THE MUSEUM IS NEW YORK'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY TO NEVER FORGET.

LAST SPRING THE MUSEUM OPENED THE EXHIBITION, AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY.

IT'S THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE EXHIBITION ON THE HISTORY OF AUSCHWITZ AND ITS ROLE IN THE HOLOCAUST EVER EXHIBITED IN NORTH AMERICA.

PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INTERNATIONAL FIRM BASED IN SPAIN, AND THE AUSCHWITZ STATE MUSEUM IN POLAND, IT WAS CURATED BY AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF EXPERTS LED BY HISTORIAN DR.

ROBERT VAN PELT.

THE EXHIBITION EXPLORES AUSCHWITZ AS THE SITE OF THE LARGEST DOCUMENTED MASS MURDER IN HUMAN HISTORY.

AND AS A SYMBOL OF UNBOUNDED HATRED AND BARBARITY.

FEATURING MORE THAN 700 ORIGINAL OBJECTS AND 400 PHOTOGRAPHS, THE PRESENTATION ALLOWS VISITORS TO EXPERIENCE RARE ARTIFACTS FROM INSTITUTIONS AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

THEY INCLUDE HUNDREDS OF PERSONAL ITEMS.

SUCH AS SUITCASES, EYE GLASSES, AND SHOES, THAT BELONG TO VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF AUSCHWITZ.

OTHER ARTIFACTS INCLUDE CONCRETE POSTS FROM ONE OF THE FENCES AT THE CAMP.

PART OF AN ORIGINAL BARRACK FOR PRISONERS.

A GAS MASK USED BY THE SS AND AN ORIGINAL GERMAN-MADE FREIGHT TRAIN CAR OF THE TYPE USED TO DEPORT JEWS TO THE GHETTOS AND EXTERMINATION CAMPS IN OCCUPIED POLAND.

ALSO ON VIEW ARE SKETCHBOOKS, PAINTINGS, AND DRAWINGS BY VICTIMS, SURVIVORS, AND OBSERVERS OF THE ATROCITIES BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE LIBERATION OF THE CAMP.

I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH TWO FIGURES CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROJECT.

BRUCE RADNER, CHAIRMAN OF THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE AND RONALD LAUDER, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE AUSCHWITZ FOUNDATION COMMITTEE AS WELL AS PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS.

I ALSO HAD THE GREAT PRIVILEGE OF SPEAKING WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS AND MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES.

LET'S BEGIN NOW WITH A LOOK AT A CHAPTER OF HISTORY THAT MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

GREAT TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

YOU'VE GOT AN LOT OF RECOGNITION FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN REAL ESTATE, RECOGNITION FOR YOUR PHILANTHROPY.

AND I KNOW AT THE SAME TIME YOU'RE EQUALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR WORK HERE AT THE MUSEUM.

WHAT DREW YOU HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

YOU'RE RIGHT.

I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS MUSEUM.

I LIKE TO SAY I'M ON DIFFERENT BOARDS AND DONE DIFFERENT THINGS.

THIS IS THE MOST ACTIVITY I DO.

MY MOTHER IS FROM WARSAW, MY FATHER FROM NORTHEASTERN POLAND.

I GREW UP WITH THE HOLOCAUST IN A SENSE BECAUSE WE LOST A LOT OF RELATIVES.

LOST OVER 100 RELATIVES IN THE HOLOCAUST.

30-SOME ACTUALLY DIED IN AUSCHWITZ.

SO I GREW UP WITH SUCH A CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE HOLOCAUST THAT WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY CAME TO JOIN THE BOARD OF THIS MUSEUM, I WAS VERY HAPPY TO BE ASKED AND IT BECAME A PASSION OF MINE.

MAKING SURE THIS MUSEUM DOES WELL BUT ALSO TELLING THE STORY.

IT STRIKES ME THAT THE MISSION OF THE MUSEUM TODAY IS MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER.

WHEN WE TAKE A LOOK AT HATE-FUELED CRIMES COMMITTED IN THIS COUNTRY, AND CRIMES ALL OVER THE WORLD.

BASED ON ONE'S ETHNICITY AND RACE.

HOW TROUBLING ARE THE CURRENT TIMES TO YOU?

THE TIMES NOW ARE VERY TROUBLING.

YOU KNOW, WE ALL THOUGHT THIS EXPRESSION, MORE THAN EXPRESS, NEVER AGAIN, WAS SOMETHING THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN, NEVER AGAIN HAVE MASS MURDERS, IMMIGRATION ISSUES AND SO ON.

WE FIND OURSELVES TODAY, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, WE HAVE AUTHORITARIAN FIGURES RUNNING COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD.

WE NEVER THOUGHT THAT WOULD HAPPEN AGAIN AND IT'S HAPPENING NOW.

WE TOOK DEMOCRACY FOR GRANTED.

DEMOCRACY HHAS GOTTEN REDUCED.

THIS IS A CRITICAL TIME.

LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF MANY COUNTRIES TODAY, YOU SEE A SIMILARITY TO WHAT HAPPENED IN NAZI GERMANY IN 1933.

SO DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WHEN YOU EXPOSED THE PUBLIC TO THE OBJECTS YOU SEE IN THIS VERY DISTURBING EXHIBIT THAT IT DOES CHANGE MINDS, THAT IT DOES CHANGE HEARTS?

I THINK IT REALLY DOES.

THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM HISTORY ARE CRITICAL.

YOUNGER PEOPLE, EVEN OLDER PEOPLE, DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD WAS PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II AND EVEN SUBSEQUENT TO WORLD WAR II.

TELLING THAT HISTORY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT CAN BE DONE.

VISUALIZING IT, SEEING IT IN AN ACTUAL EXHIBIT, SEEING IT IN AN ACTUAL ARTIFACT OR SOMETHING FROM THE HOLOCAUST, PERIOD BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST, IS CRITICAL FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND AND MUSEUMS ARE STILL LOOKED AT AS VERY BELIEVABLE AND HONEST, NOT TAKING POSITIONS BUT TEACHING PEOPLE SO THEY CAN ACTUALLY SEE.

I KNOW A GREAT DEAL OF THOUGHT WENT INTO NAMING THIS EXHIBIT.

AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY.

HOW DO YOU WANT MUSEUMGOERS TO PROCESS THAT?

TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT WAS ONLY 75 YEARS AGO THAT THE SECOND WORLD WAR WAS OVER, THAT MAY SEEM LIKE A LONG TIME AGO, BUT IT ISN'T A VERY LONG TIME AGO.

TODAY YOU CAN FLY TO AUSCHWITZ IN SEVEN HOURS.

IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN AND IS HAPPENING.

IT TOUCHES US EVERY DAY.

WHAT HAPPENED IN EL PASO, WHAT HAPPENED IN DAYTON, WHAT HAPPENS IN PITTSBURGH, WHAT HAPPENED IN SAN DIEGO.

THESE ARE HATE CRIMES.

THEY'RE HATE CRIMES THAT ARE NOT DISSIMILAR TO WHAT THE NAZIS DID TO OTHER GROUPS, USED VIOLENCE BEFORE HITLER TOOK OVER TO TRY AND MAKE SURE TO GET RID OF GROUPS THAT THEY DIDN'T LIKE, THAT THEY DIDN'T WANT TO WIN ELECTIONS.

EACH TIME YOU COME TO THE MUSEUM, YOU HAVE A VERY VISCERAL REACTION AS I DO TO THE OBJECTS WE LOOK AT.

CAN YOU GIVE OUR VIEWERS THE SENSE OF THE BREADTH OF THE OBJECTS THAT ARE ON DISPLAY HERE?

OBJECTS IS EVERYTHING FROM AN EDICT FROM 1551 FROM THE KING OF SPAIN FERDINAND I.

HE REQUIRED JEWS TO WEAR A ROUND YELLOW CIRCLE.

THEY'RE IDENTIFIED AND DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ALL THE WAY TO ACTUALLY ANNOTATED BY ONE OF THE MASTERS OF CREATING THE HOLOCAUST.

TO LITTLE CHILD'S SHOE WITH SOCK, LITTLE CHILD GOING TO A GRASS CHAMBER WHO THOUGHT HE'D COME BACK OR A TRUMPET.

HERE'S WHAT IT HAS TO DO WITH, THERE WAS A VERY FAMOUS TRUMPET PLAYER WHO LIVED IN NETHERLANDS, HIS NAME WAS LUIS BENNETT.

HE'S RECOGNIZED.

PICKED UP BY THE NAZIS.

HE'S SENT TO AUSCHWITZ.

THE GOOD NEWS IS HE BROUGHT HIS TRUMPET AND THE NAZIS CREATED A JEWISH ORCHESTRA AS SLAVE LABOR WENT TO ITS DAILY WORK, THE ORCHESTRA WOULD PLAY.

AS JEWS WENT TO THEIR DEATH, THE ORCHESTRA WOULD PLAY.

HE WAS ASKED TO BE IN THE ORCHESTRA, PLAY HIS TRUMPET.

HE WANTED TO SURVIVE.

HE DID THAT.

THAT MADE HIM SURVIVE.

HE CARRIED THAT TRUMPET AFTER HE LEFT AUSCHWITZ, WENT TO ANOTHER CAMP.

GIVEN TO OUR MUSEUM A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO.

IS THERE ONE PARTICULAR ARTICLE OF CLOTHING OR ARTIFACT THAT REALLY GETS TO YOU?

YOU KNOW WHAT, I WOULD SAY ACTUALLY THE FREIGHT CAR OUTSIDE OF THE MUSEUM AS YOU WALK IN.

IN SOME WAYS FOR ME IS INCREDIBLY MEANINGFUL.

WHY?

BECAUSE IN THAT 200 SQUARE FEET, THEY WOULD PUT 80 PEOPLE WITH JUST A BARREL TO GO TO THE BATHROOM ON THEN MAYBE SOME WATER AND PEOPLE WOULD BE LOCKED IN THERE FOR TWO, THREE, FOUR, DAYS, SOMETIMES EVEN LONGER.

PROBABLY 10 TO 20 OF THE 80 PEOPLE THAT WERE PUT IN THERE WOULD DIE ON THE WAY OVER AND THEY WERE LED OFF TO AUSCHWITZ WHERE THEY WERE SELECTED, 90% WENT TO GAS CHAMBERS.

IN SOME SENSE, IT REPRESENTS REALLY WHAT THE NAZIS DID.

THEY WORKED REALLY HARD TO COLLECT THE JEWS FROM ALL OVER EUROPE.

PUT THEM IN FREIGHT CARS.

TAKE THEM TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND IN MOST CASES THE PEOPLE DIED.

THEN ONCE YOU COME INSIDE THE MUSEUM, YOU ARE FORCED TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHS OF DARKNESS INVOLVED IN I GUESS YOU'D CALL THE MECHANIZATION OF KILLING IN THESE CAMPS?

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ACTUALLY SEE THE SHOWER HEAD THAT WAS IN ONE OF THE GAS CHAMBERS WHERE PEOPLE THOUGHT THEY WERE TAKING SHOWERS WHEN THE GAS CAME OUT.

THERE'S ALSO A RELIGIOUS OBJECT CALLED A TALAS WHICH IS WORN BY JEWS WHICH WAS WORN UNDERNEATH A GARMENT AND THE PERSON WHO HAD IT WAS BEATEN SEVERELY.

THEY RIPPED THE TALAS OFF AND THREW IT IN THE GROUND.

ANOTHER PRISONER PICKED IT UP, HID IT DURING THE ENTIRE TIME THAT HE WAS BEING HELD IN AUSCHWITZ.

EVENTUALLY SURVIVED AND WE HAVE THAT TALAS HERE.

IT'S SPECIAL BECAUSE IT REPRESENTS SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE.

I WILL KEEP MY FAITH NO MATTER WHAT EVEN THOUGH THERE'S A HIGH LIKELIHOOD THAT I WILL DIE, EVEN THOUGH I'VE BEEN BEATEN I'LL TAKE A CHANCE AND HOLD THAT TALAS NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART.

SO THERE'S AN ASPECT OF SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T QUITE UNDERSTAND.

WE HAVE SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE TODAY ALL OVER THE PLACE.

A MARCH THAT MAY TAKE PLACE IN EL PASO.

PEOPLE KNOW IT MIGHT HAVE JUST A LITTLE BIT OF AN EFFECT, BUT THEY WANT TO STAND UP AND SAY I'M NOT A BYSTANDER.

IT'S TERRIBLY IMPORTANT, WE'RE NOT TO BE BYSTANDERS WHEN WE SEEK DISCRIMINATION AND WHEN WE SEE MASS MURDER, IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS.

WE CANNOT JUST STAND BY, WE HAVE TO STAY SOMETHING AND DO SOMETHING.

THE EXHIBIT DOES A REMARKABLE JOB OF TELLING THOSE INDIVIDUAL STORIES OF TRIUMPH OVER EVIL.

THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.

GIVE US A SENSE OF THE AMOUNT OF CURATORIAL WORK INVOLVED IN PUTTING ON THIS EXHIBIT.

IT WAS EXTENSIVE.

700 OBJECTS FROM 20 DIFFERENT MUSEUMS, 100 ARE OUR OWN OBJECT.

PUTTING THEM TOGETHER, TELLING EVERY INDIVIDUAL STORY, RESEARCHING EVERY INDIVIDUAL STORY, IT TOOK ABOUT FIVE YEARS TO PUT THIS EXHIBIT TOGETHER.

DONE BY A COMPANY CALLED AZALEA AND ROBERT VAN PELT WHO WAS THE CURATOR.

EVERYTHING WAS DONE CAREFULLY, WHERE THE LANGUAGE USE OR OBJECTS PICKED.

JUST THE ISSUE OF -- WE HAVE A LITTLE EXHIBIT OF BUTTONS.

COMMON LITTLE THING.

BUT THE NAZIS TOOK THE BUTTONS OFF OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON SO THEY COULD REUSE THEM IN SOME KIND OF WAY AND THEY REPRESENT THE PERSON THAT WAS THERE ONCE.

AS YOU WALK IN, THERE'S A PAIR OF RED SHOES AND THE RED SHOES ARE DESCRIBED AS SOMETHING THAT A WOMAN WORE, WE DON'T KNOW IF SHE SURVIVED.

SHE PROBABLY SURVIVED.

90% DID NOT SURVIVE AUSCHWITZ.

WERE THOSE SHOES USED FOR DANCING, WERE THEY TO GO TO WORK, WERE THEY FOR HER WEDDING?

IT MAKES QUESTIONS, WE BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT THE STORIES BEHIND THE SHOES.

WHAT WAS THE STORY BEHIND THE SHOES?

WE WON'T EVER KNOW.

PERHAPS OUR IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT THE REAL STORY WAS.

IT ALSO MAKES THOSE OF US WHO VISITED THE MUSEUM LOOK AT PICTURES OF THE PERPETRATORS OF THIS VIOLENCE AND EVIL AND SEE THEM WITH THEIR FAMILIES ENJOYING A HOT SUMMER DAY AT THE SWIMMING POOL WHICH HAPPENED TO BE ON THE GROUNDS OF AUSCHWITZ, TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW THAT CAN BE.

YOU ASK YOURSELVES, HOW CAN HUMAN BEING DO THIS TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING AND GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS KNOWING WHAT'S GOING ON AND WHAT THEY DID.

IT'S SCARY TO THINK THAT PEOPLE CAN DO THIS AND LEAD AN ORDINARY LIFE BECAUSE IF THE PEOPLE THERE COULD DO THAT, IT CAN HAPPEN SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DOES HAPPEN SOMEWHERE ELSE.

IT'S ALSO VERY DIFFICULTREHEND THE EFFICIENCY WITH WHICH THE GERMANS KILLED.

AND ISN'T THAT CLEARLY SHOWN IN THIS EXHIBIT WHEN YOU SAW HOW MOBILE VANS --

WERE USED.

-- WERE MOBILIZED, USED, OUTFITTED.

HOW THEY SEARCHED OUT EVERY SINGLE JEW THEY COULD FIND, IN OTHER WORDS, IF THERE WAS ONE JEW THAT ESCAPES, THEY WOULD SEND 20 PEOPLE TO GET THAT ONE PERSON.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, THE QUESTION IS, THEY REALLY WENT TO TRY AND KILL EVERY SINGLE JEW IN EUROPE.

THEY DIDN'T SUCCEED, BUT THEY CERTAINLY, UNFORTUNATELY, DID SOMETHING THAT JEWISH PEOPLE WILL NEVER, I THINK, GET OVER IN TERMS OF BOTH NUMBERS AND IN TERMS OF CULTURE.

THE CULTURE THAT WAS LOST -- MY FATHER GREW UP IN EASTERN EUROPE.

I HEARD STORIES WHAT THE CULTURE WAS LIKE.

THAT CULTURE'S COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED.

IT'S ALSO DISTURBING TO SEE SOME OF THE NEWSPAPER ACCOUNTS AT THE TIME THE RUSSIANS LIBERATED SOME OF THE CAMPS.

AND THESE WERE NOT FRONT-PAGE STORIES ABOVE THE FOLD.

THEY WERE BURIED IN 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' AMONG OTHER PUBLICATIONS.

I MEAN, I HAVE HUGE RESPECT FOR 'THE NEW YORK TIMES', HOWEVER, THE HOLOCAUST WAS NOT THEIR STRONGEST TIME.

THEY WOULD USE THE WORD, POLISH CITIZENS.

YOU'D SEE IT ON PAGE 10 OR 12, SMALL LITTLE ARTICLE.

IT WAS KIND OF A LACK OF RECOGNITION OF REALLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING, YET THERE WERE ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

IN 1943, A BOOK WAS PUT OUT, IT WAS PUT TOGETHER BY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AND OTHER SENATORS AND SO ON AND IT TOLD EXACTLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN EASTERN EUROPE.

THAT OVER A MILLION-SOME PEOPLE HAD BEEN KILLED, EVEN MORE, ACTUALLY, THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE NUMBERS ACCURATELY, BUT DETAIL OF THE TORTURE AND SO ON, AND YET THE WORLD CHOSE TO IGNORE THAT.

WE SHOULD ALSO ESTABLISH OBVIOUSLY MORE JEWS WERE KILLED THAN ANY OTHER SECTORS OF SOCIETY.

WE WERE ALSO TALKING ABOUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ROMA PEOPLE AND HOMOSEXUALS AND THE LIST WENT ON.

LET ME TALK ABOUT THAT BECAUSE I AM FOCUSING ON, YES, JEWISH ASPECT BUT WE ALSO FOCUSED IN THE EXHIBIT ON THE ROMAS.

WE FOCUS ON THE HOMOSEXUALS AND THEY WERE KILLED AND GHETTOIZED AND DISPARAGED IN EVERY SINGLE KIND OF WAY AND EVEN SOVIET PRISONERS, THE NAZIS KILLED 3 MILLION SOVIET PRISONERS PRIMARILY BY STARVING.

SO IT WAS NOT ONLY JEWS.

THE EXHIBIT ALSO FOCUSED ON SOME SURPRISING HEROES.

YES.

WHO CAME OUT OF THIS PERIOD OF HISTORY.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE JAPANESE DIPLOMAT WHO ENDED UP SAVING MANY JEWISH LIVES?

YES.

JAPANESE DIPLOMAT HARA, HE WAS A DIPLOMAT IN LITHUANIA, LITHUANIA WAS INVADED BY THE NAZIS IN 1940.

HE DID SOMETHING THAT HIS GOVERNMENT PROBABLY IF THEY KNEW EVERYTHING WOULD NOT HAVE ALLOWED AND HE DID IT, ANYHOW.

HE GAVE OUT VISAS TO OVER 6,000 JEWS TO GET OUT OF THE COUNTRY AND THAT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY THING TO DO.

HE RISKED HIS LIFE.

AND IT'S REALLY AN INCREDIBLE STORY AND WE HAVE THE ACTUAL VISAS IN THE EXHIBIT.

IT'S VERY MOVING TO SEE THOSE.

I'M CURIOUS IF HE WAS MOTIVATED SIMPLY BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING THE RIGHT THING OR DO WE KNOW IF HE HAD JEWISH FRIENDS OR --

SO HERE'S A STATEMENT THAT -- THOSE WHO CLAIM TO HAVE DONE ALL THESE THINGS, LIKE SAVE PEOPLE, OFTEN DIDN'T DO IT.

THOSE WHO ARE QUIET AND DON'T TALK ABOUT IT ARE OFTEN THE ONES WHO DID IT.

AND WHEN YOU ASK MANY OF THEM WHY DID YOU DO THIS, THEY SAID IT WAS A HUMAN THING TO DO.

IT WAS A HUMAN THING TO DO.

AND THAT'S WHAT HE SAID.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESCUE FROM THE SYNAGOGUE IN HAMBURG?

IT WAS THE LARGEST SYNAGOGUE IN NORTHERN EUROPE.

IT WAS ON THE NIGHT OF CRYSTALNACH IN GERMANY, DESTROYED JEWISH SHOPS, ARRESTED JEWS, BURNT DOWN SYNAGOGUES, SO ON, SO FORTH.

THEY COMPLETELY DESTROYED THE INTERIOR OF THE SYNAGOGUE BUT ONE MEMBER OF THE SYNAGOGUE WAS ABLE TO RESCUE THAT TORAH.

HE HID IT UNTIL 1940.

HE THEN GOT PAPERS TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES AND EVEN THOUGH HE WAS PROBABLY NOT ALLOWED TO BRING IT IN, HE MADE SURE TO HIDE IT AND BRING IT IN.

SO WHAT IS THAT STORY ABOUT?

THAT STORY DIDN'T SAVE A HUMAN BEING.

IT SAVED A TORAH, A VERY IMPORTANT RELIGIOUS OBJECT TO JEWS WHO ARE OFTEN CALLED THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK AND FOR US, IT'S A VERY SACRED OBJECT.

AND SO IT'S A FORM OF SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE.

A WAY OF SAYING I WILL PRESERVE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO OUR PEOPLE.

THIS REPRESENTS SURVIVAL.

AND FOR ME WHEN I SEE THAT, I THINK OF ITS MEANING.

YES, THE TORAH, BUT IT REPRESENTS A WHOLE -- SOMEONE WROTE THAT TORAH, GAVE THAT TO THE SYNAGOGUE.

IT WAS READ AT BAR MITZVAHS.

JEWS PRAYED OVER THAT TORAH.

NOW WE HAVE IT AND IT DOES REPRESENT A SIGNIFICANT ASPECT OF BOTH SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE AND IT CAN INSPIRE PEOPLE.

THERE IS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF ART THAT WAS DONE DURING THE HOLOCAUST BY JEWS WHETHER IT BE WHEN THEY WERE IN THE GHETTOS OR WHETHER IT BE WHEN THEY WERE IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS OR THE DEATH CAMPS.

IN THE CASE OF ONE, HE WAS ALSO AN ARTIST.

HE WAS TAKEN TO AUSCHWITZ AND HE WOUND UP SURVIVING.

AND HE DID 150, 200 DRAWINGS WHILE HE WAS IN AUSCHWITZ.

HOWEVER, HE WASN'T ABLE TO TAKE MOST OF THEM OUT.

BUT HE HAD A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY.

SO IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WAR, HE COMPLETELY REDID EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE DRAWINGS THAT HE COULD REMEMBER AND WE HAVE TODAY 150 DRAWINGS OF CANTERS THAT SHOW US EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED FROM THE CREMATORIA TO PEOPLE BEING BEATEN AND PEOPLE BEING KILLED AND SO ON.

WHAT DO YOU WANT VISITORS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE DRAWINGS KOMINSKI?

FIRST OF ALL, HE WAS POLISH, NOT JEWISH.

HE WAS ARRESTED FOR POLITICAL REASONS AND HE WAS PUT INTO AUSCHWITZ.

AUSCHWITZ WAS THEN A WAR CAMP.

IT BECAME A DEATH CAMP.

AND HE ESCAPED AND HE DID DRAWINGS AFTER AND DURING THE TIME HE WAS THERE.

AND THERE ARE VIRTUALLY NO PHOTOGRAPHS OF AUSCHWITZ.

ALMOST NONE.

AND SO THE PICTURES BECOME INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

AND HIS WORKS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO DESCRIBE THE KIND OF TORTURE, THE KIND OF WAY IN WHICH THE NAZIS TREATED THEIR PRISONERS.

AND ALSO THE PEOPLE WHO THEY PUT TO DEATH.

THANK GOODNESS FOR THESE INCREDIBLE ARTISTS WHO HAD THE WHEREWITHAL, DESPITE ALL THE PRESSURES, TO DRAW AND CONTINUE THEIR ART.

SO YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT HOW THOSE DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS ARE THE MOST REALISTIC DEPICTION OF WHAT HAPPENED AT AUSCHWITZ, BUT THERE WAS A HEROIC MAN WHO WAS ABLE TO CAPTURE IN FOUR SIMPLE FRAMES THE VIOLENCE.

YES, THERE WAS.

THAT TOOK PLACE THERE.

TELL ME ABOUT THOSE PHOTOGRAPHS.

SO, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE, AS WE ALL KNOW, HOLOCAUST DENIERS.

AND SO THE FOUR PICTURES THAT WERE TAKEN BY A GREEK JEW ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT.

UNFORTUNATELY, SOME OF THE JEWS WERE PUT INTO THE POSITION OF HAVING TO PUT THE DEAD BODIES INTO A CREMATORIA AND HE WAS ONE OF THOSE.

OVER A PERIOD OF TIME, SOMEONE WAS ABLE TO SMUGGLE IN A CAMERA WITH FILM AND, OF COURSE, HE HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL AND SO HE VERY QUIETLY WAS ABLE TO TAKE FOUR PICTURES.

ONE OR TWO ARE MISAIMED AND --

YOU SEE TREES.

YES.

AND SKY.

BUT THE OTHER TWO OR THREE SHOWS BODIES, MASSIVE BODIES BEING BURNT NEXT TO THE CREMATORIA.

THEY COULDN'T PUT PEOPLE IN QUICKLY ENOUGH SO THEY STARTED BURNING THEM OUTSIDE IN PILES.

AND THEY TRULY CAPTURE THE HORROR.

HAVE YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH ANY SURVIVORS WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE EXHIBIT?

I HAVE.

WHAT HAS BEEN THEIR REACTION?

IT VARIES.

SOME FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT AND CAN'T GO THROUGH IT, AND FOR OTHERS, THEY SEE AS PART OF THEIR JOB AS DO ALL, I THINK, TO TEACH PEOPLE AND THEY SEE THIS EXHIBIT AS SOMETHING THAT'S VERY ACCURATE, VERY DETAILED, LOTS OF STORIES AND, THEREFORE, VERY IMPORTANT FOR EDUCATING.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE WILL BE THE ULTIMATE IMPACT?

FIRST, YOU CANNOT BE A BYSTANDER.

I HOPE WE LEARN THAT FROM THAT.

TWO, UNDERSTANDING WHAT CREATES THE KIND OF EVIL THAT HAPPENED IN AUSCHWITZ AND DURING THE HOLOCAUST WHICH DERIVED FROM HATE AND DISCRIMINATION THAT GOES ON FOR A LONG TIME.

AND THREE, REALLY, IS YOU HAVE TO RESIST, WHETHER IT BE PASSIVE RESISTANCE, SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE, OR HELPING OUT BY BEING AN ACTIVIST AND I THINK THAT'S -- THAT'S REALLY THE MESSAGES.

I THINK JUST THE NOTION THAT THIS IS HAPPENING NOW AND CAN HAPPEN AGAIN.

WELL, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

FOR SHARING YOUR PROSPECTIVE WITH US THIS AFTERNOON.

VERY APPRECIATIVE.

RECENTLY, I HAD THE HONOR OF SPEAKING WITH MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVES WHO WERE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO AUSCHWITZ.

THEIR FIRSTHAND TESTIMONY IS VISCERAL AND STUNNING.

THEY ARE PASSIONATELY COMMITTED TO SHARING WITH THE WORLD WHAT THEY SAW AND EXPERIENCED.

♪♪ GIVE US A SENSE OF WHERE YOU GREW UP AND HOW THAT PATH ULTIMATELY TOOK YOUR FAMILY TO AUSCHWITZ.

OKAY.

WE LIVED IN CZECH SLOVAKIA, 1930, IT BECAME HUNGARY, IN 1944, THE GERMANS CAME AND THAT'S WHEN EVERYTHING, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

HOW OLD WERE YOU AT THE TIME?

I WAS 16.

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT DAY?

EVERYTHING HAPPENED VERY FAST.

THE FIRST DAY ORDERS WERE GIVEN, YOU HAD TO PUT ON JEWISH STARS.

A MONTH, SIX WEEKS, WE WERE TAKEN TO A GHETTO THEN THEY TOOK ALL OUR PAPERS AND THEY HAD A BONFIRE AND THEY BURNED THE PAPERS, SO I SAID IF WE DON'T HAVE I.D. PAPERS IN EUROPE, YOU CAN'T EXIST.

SO PROBABLY WE DON'T NEED IT.

THEN THE TRAINS WERE THERE AS THE MUSEUM SO WELL REPRESENTS THE TRAIN OUTSIDE.

THE CATTLE CAR.

THOSE ARE THE CARS THAT WE WERE TAKEN IN.

80 TO 100 PEOPLE IN EACH.

WERE YOU AWARE THAT YOU WERE BEING SENT TO AUSCHWITZ?

NO.

SO WHEN WE GOT OUT, THEN, OF COURSE, STANDING THERE, HE WAS SAYING YOU GO HERE, YOU GO THERE, AND MY GRANDMOTHER WENT WITH MY BROTHER AND IMMEDIATELY GOT KILLED.

AND MY SISTER WENT WITH MY MOTHER AND THEY WERE TOGETHER AND MY FATHER AND I WENT TO CAMP TOGETHER.

WAS THERE ANY DOUBT IN YOUR MIND WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN ONCE YOU SAW YOUR GRANDMOTHER SEPARATED FROM YOU AND YOUR FATHER?

I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE THEY WERE GOING, AND LITTLE BY LITTLE, WE FOUND OUT WHAT THE SMOKE WAS.

HOW DID YOU MAINTAIN ANY SENSE OF HOPE?

THE JEWISH FAITH IS ALWAYS FULL OF HOPE, AND WE ARE VERY HOPEFUL.

IF THERE IS NO HOPE, THERE'S NO LIFE.

SO WE JUST LIVE FOR THE DAY AND KEPT ON GOING DAY AFTER DAY.

THERE WAS A FARM CALLED BUDI, ONE OF THE UNITS OF AUSCHWITZ.

THAT'S WHERE I WORKED WITH MY FATHER.

I WAS IN A FISHERY AND I WAS SO HUNGRY THAT I STOLE A FISH.

I HIT THE HEAD OF THE FISH AND I PUT IT UNDER MY SHIRT.

AND EVERY DAY, TWICE A DAY, WE STOOD UP, ARRIVE TO WORK, THEN WE WENT HOME.

AND THE FISH STARTED MOVING AND THEY CAUGHT ME.

WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU?

SO I WAS PUT IN A COMMANDO IN -- AND ACTUALLY THAT SAVED ME BECAUSE ONE OF THEM WENT THROUGH MY LEG AND I ENDED UP -- I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL.

I WAS SEPARATED FROM MY FATHER.

HE DIED OF HUNGER.

AND I WAS SAVED.

THEY FIXED MY LEG.

AND 25th OF JANUARY, THEY SAID, WELL, THE GERMANS LEFT AND WE THOUGHT THAT, WELL, ANY DAY NOW WE'LL BE LIBERATED.

AND THEN THE GERMANS CAME BACK, GET OUT, GET OUT, WE'RE GOING TO MARCH TO GERMANY.

HOW CAN WE MARCH TO GERMANY?

ALL THE SICK PEOPLE.

THEY'RE GOING TO SHOOT US.

BUT THEN ANOTHER CAR CAME AND SPOKE AND THEY TOOK US SO FAST, THEY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO SHOOT US, I GUESS, AND TWO DAYS LATER THE RUSSIANS CAME IN.

WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE EXHIBIT MEAN TO YOU?

'NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY.'

IT REALLY WASN'T THAT LONG AGO THAT IT HAPPENED.

IT WAS LIKE YESTERDAY.

NOT FAR AWAY HOPEFULLY THAT WE ARE LEARNING FROM IT.

THIS WAS A TERRIBLE PERIOD OF HISTORY AND I HOPE THAT PEOPLE CAN LEARN AND NOT TO REPEAT IT AGAIN.

♪♪

I KNOW YOU'VE WALKED THROUGH THE EXHIBIT A NUMBER OF TIMES.

DOES IT REFLECT YOUR EXPERIENCE?

WELL, AS SOON AS I SAW THE SIGN, AUSCHWITZ, THAT WAS ENOUGH FOR ME, YOU KNOW?

I SORT OF GOT THE CHILLS.

WHAT WERE YOU TOLD WHEN YOUR FAMILY WAS GATHERED RIGHT BEFORE YOU WERE SENT TO AUSCHWITZ?

ACTUALLY, I DIDN'T EVEN SEE ANY GERMAN SOLDIERS.

THEY JUST KNOCKED ON OUR DOOR ONE DAY AND THEY CAME TO LOOK FOR MY FATHER AND MY FATHER WASN'T HOME.

SO THEY SAID, PACK UP WITHIN TEN MINUTES, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE YOU AWAY.

SO WE WAS TOLD THAT THE FAMILY WILL BE TOGETHER, THE KIDS WILL HAVE A WONDERFUL PLAYGROUND AND WE BELIEVED EVERYTHING THEY SAID.

SO THE SECOND TRANSPORT, WE WERE IN CATTLE CARS.

WE TOOK ALONG FOOD, SO AT LEAST WE HAD FOOD TO EAT, BUT WE HAD NO WATER, WE HAD NO BATHROOM FACILITIES.

AS WE GOT OFF THE TRAIN, WE WERE SEPARATED.

WOMEN AND CHILDREN SEPARATED.

AND MEN SEPARATE.

OKAY?

AND THEN THEY WERE SORTING US AND TO THE RIGHT AND TO THE LEFT.

MY SISTER AND I AND COUSIN OF OURS WERE GOING TO THE RIGHT AND MY MOTHER, SHE HAD FOUR KIDS AND A BABY, AND SHE WAS GOING TO THE LEFT.

WE HAD TO UNDRESS.

THE ONLY THING I WAS ABLE TO TAKE IS THE SHOES.

THEY SHAVED OUR HEADS.

THEY SHAVED OUR BODY HAIR.

AND THEY GAVE US A DRESS THAT LOOKED LIKE A GRAY DRESS LIKE A SACK.

THAT'S IT.

AND THEN THEY TOOK US TO THE ATTIC, OKAY.

THERE WERE THREE BUNKBEDS, ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER.

13 OF US WERE IN ONE.

DIDN'T HAVE ROOM TO SIT, YOU KNOW, NOTHING.

YOU MADE A VERY POIGNANT GIFT TO THIS EXHIBIT.

AND IT WAS YOUR COMB.

WE WERE WORKING IN FACTORIES THAT MADE PARTS FOR THE PLANES.

OKAY?

SO ONE OF THEM I FOUND THE PIECES OF METAL, SO I JUST MADE THIS -- SOLDERED IT TOGETHER.

I FIGURED I'D HAVE, ONCE MY HAIR GROWS BACK, I'M GOING TO HAVE SOMETHING.

I HAVE A VERY STRONG WILL, I GUESS, YOU KNOW?

I JUST FELT SOME COMING ALONG, I JUST FELT I WANT TO SURVIVE, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY.

HOW MANY OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS SURVIVED AUSCHWITZ?

MY SISTER AND I.

THAT'S IT.

JUST THE TWO OF YOU.

JUST THE TWO OF US.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THIS EXHIBIT ON MUSEUMGOERS?

VERY HAPPY TO SEE THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING, YOU KNOW, AND LOOKING AT IT AND THAT THEY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON AND IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN AGAIN.

THAT'S WHAT I'M HOPING FOR.

YOU STILL FEAR THAT IT MIGHT?

I HOPE NOT.

THAT'S ALL I'M SAYING.

RIGHT NOW, IT'S VERY FRIGHTENING TO ME.

I UNDERSTAND YOUR MOTHER, IN PARTICULAR, DIDN'T TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER DURING THE HOLOCAUST.

AND I'M WONDERING WHAT YOU LEARNED AS YOU WENT THROUGH THIS EXHIBIT.

WELL, HONESTLY, I DIDN'T LEARN MUCH.

A LOT WAS REINFORCED.

MY MOTHER DID NOT SPEAK ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST UNTIL THE VERY END OF HER LIFE, TOWARD THE END OF HER LIFE.

MY FATHER SPOKE ABOUT IT EVERY DAY.

AS YOU WANDERED THROUGH THE EXHIBIT, WERE THERE CERTAIN THINGS HE VIVIDLY DESCRIBED THAT YOU WERE WITNESSING?

IT'S THE BARBED WIRE.

HE ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU WOULDN'T GO NEAR THE BARBED WIRE BECAUSE IT WAS ELECTRIFIED AND SOME PEOPLE THREW THEMSELVES ON THE WIRE BECAUSE THAT WAS THEIR WAY OF JUST ENDING THEIR AGONY.

DID YOUR PARENTS MEET EACH OTHER AT AUSCHWITZ FOR THE FIRST TIME?

YES, THEY DID.

THEY ASKED FOR SOMEONE TO COME ON A SUNDAY TO FIX THE GLASS AT THE WOMEN'S CAMP SO HE VOLUNTEERED.

WHEN HE GOT TO THE WOMEN'S CAMP, HE ASKED WHERE THE WOMEN WERE HOPING HE WOULD ENCOUNTER SOMEONE'S MOTHER, SOMEONE'S SISTER.

AND HE SAW MY MOTHER AND THAT'S HOW HE MET HER.

NOW, MY FATHER DURING THE WEEK WAS WORKING IN THE KITCHEN.

HE HAD A VERY FORTUNATE JOB AND HE WOULD STEAL ROLLS.

THEY WOULD BRING MY MOTHER A ROLL AND THAT'S HOW HE INTRODUCED HIMSELF AND OVER THE WEEKS, HE WOULD COME AND SEE HER MORE OFTEN AND THEN HE SAID THAT SHE SURVIVED AND THAT'S WHY THEY GOT MARRIED.

DURING LIBERATION, EVERYBODY, ALL THE SURVIVORS WERE JUST LOOKING FOR A MATE.

LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO BE WITH.

I HOPE THERE WAS A RESERVOIR OF LOVE THERE, TOO.

THERE WAS.

EVENTUALLY.

EVENTUALLY.

AS MY FATHER PUT IT, THEY LEARNED TO LOVE EACH OTHER.

MY PARENTS WERE LIBERATED IN 1945.

THEY MARRIED.

THEY WENT BACK TO THEIR HOMETOWN IN POLAND.

MY SISTER WAS BORN THERE AND THEN THEY WORKED THEIR WAY TO A DISPLACED PERSONS CAMP IN AUSTRIA AND I WAS BORN IN THE DP CAMP AND RIGHT AFTER THAT, WE RECEIVED OUR PERMITS TO BE ABLE TO COME TO AMERICA.

WHAT WE CONTRIBUTED BASICALLY WAS THE STORY OF SURVIVAL AFTER THE WAR AND IT WAS MOSTLY PHOTOGRAPHS.

I CARRY THE PHOTOGRAPH IN MY WALLET OF MY FATHER IN HIS AUSCHWITZ UNIFORM, ALTHOUGH HE USED THAT FOR HIS IDENTIFICATION PAPERS.

THERE WAS A HORRIFIC PHOTO YOU GAVE TO THE MUSEUM SHOWING YOUR FATHER AND OTHERS EXHUMING THE BODIES OF MURDERED JEWS.

UH-HUH.

TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT PICTURE.

THEY WERE ENCOUNTERING AND COLLECTING THESE BODIES AND THESE BONES AND PUTTING THEM ALL INTO ONE COFFIN AND THE GOAL WAS TO JUST BRING THEM AND GIVE THEM A PROPER JEWISH BURIAL.

WHAT THIS EXHIBIT DOES SO WELL IS SHARES INDIVIDUAL STORIES OF RESILIENCE AND TRIUMPH.

YOU ARE THE SON OF TWO AUSCHWITZ SURVIVORS.

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THOSE STORIES TODAY?

EVERY SURVIVOR HAS A DIFFERENT STORY, AND I CAN HEAR STORIES ALL DAY LONG AND THEY'RE ALL VERY DIFFERENT AND ALL VERY TOUCHING.

THIS EXHIBIT BRINGS OUT THE STRENGTH OF THE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS.

♪♪

YOU WERE JUST 8 YEARS OLD.

RIGHT.

WHEN WORLD WAR II BROKE OUT.

YOU WERE 12 WHEN YOU AND 3 OF YOUR SISTERS WERE SENT TO AUSCHWITZ.

CORRECT.

AS YOU WALK THROUGH THE EXHIBIT --

YEAH.

-- WHAT WAS ON YOUR MIND?

YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT MY FAMILY.

SO, AND I LIVE IT.

CAN YOU TAKE ME BACK TO THAT MOMENT WHERE YOU AND YOUR SISTER ARE SEPARATED?

WE WERE FOUR SISTERS.

AND ONE SPOKE ON THE WAY.

THEN CAME THE LINE.

IT WAS OUR TURN.

THE FOUR OF US.

MY OLDEST SISTER WAS EIGHT YEARS OLDER THAN I.

SHE WAS PERFECT.

HE POINTED HER TO THE RIGHT.

HE POINTED THE THREE OF US TO THE LEFT.

I KNEW WE WERE GOING TO BE MURDERED.

I KNEW THERE WAS NOTHING -- AND I RAN TO HER LINE.

JUST IN FRONT OF HER.

AND THERE WAS NO CONSEQUENCE FOR RUNNING?

I MUST HAVE TAKEN THEM BY SURPRISE.

THEY DID NOT REMOVE ME.

I HAVE A NUMBER, A TATTOO.

MY HAIR WAS SHAVED.

MY CLOTHES, EVERYTHING I WENT AWAY.

ALL I RECEIVED WAS ONE DRESS.

NO UNDERWEAR, NO SOCKS, NO SHOES.

SO NO IDENTITY.

NO HOPE --

NO HOPE.

I FORGOT THAT I HAD SIBLINGS, THAT I HAD A HOME, THAT I HAD PARENTS.

I TOTALLY FORGOT.

WHEN YOU'RE IN AUSCHWITZ, YOU NEVER THOUGHT YOU WOULD SURVIVE.

NEVER.

YOU KNEW IF IT'S NOT TODAY, IT WILL BE TOMORROW.

OR NEXT MONTH.

WHAT DO YOU WANT ALL OF US TO LEARN FROM YOUR STORY?

FIRST OF ALL, THEY SHOULD KNOW THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE DIED FOR NOTHING.

AND THEY HAVE DIED FOR NOTHING.

I WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT HUMAN BEINGS ARE CAPABLE OF DOING.

TO MURDER 6 MILLION, 1.5 MILLION CHILDREN, ALL DUE TO HATRED.

WE HAVE TO TEACH CHILDREN THAT HATRED IS EVIL.

THAT IT LEADS TO TRAGEDY.

WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING AND NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE.

♪♪

NEXT ON OUR PROGRAM, MY CONVERSATION WITH PHILANTHROPIST, BUSINESSMAN, AND FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AUSTRIA.

AS FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE AUSCHWITZ BURKENOW COMMITTEE, HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING THIS MAJOR EXHIBITION TO THE PUBLIC.

AS PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS, HE IS ALSO UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO DISCUSS ITS PROFOUND IMPLICATIONS ON THE WORLD STAGE TODAY.

RONALD, IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.

I'M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE TODAY.

YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE AUSCHWITZ MEMORIAL SITE FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS.

DESCRIBE TO US THE ROOT OF YOUR EFFORTS TO RAISE MONEY TO PRESERVE THESE ARTIFACTS THAT YOU BELIEVE NEED TO BE SEEN BY AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE?

ALL STARTED IN 1964 WHEN I FIRST CAME TO AUSCHWITZ.

I WAS A YOUNG STUDENT THEN.

OBVIOUSLY BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN AND I SAW THIS UNBELIEVABLE SIGHT.

WHEN YOU GO THERE AND YOU SEE THE MASSIVENESS OF IT.

BUT THE MOST EFFECT HAPPENED IN 1987 WHEN I CAME BACK THERE.

I CAME THERE IN THE LATE AFTERNOON AND I SAW SOMETHING THAT SHOCKED ME.

I SAW EVERYTHING DETERIORATING VERY STRONGLY.

I REALIZED THAT THIS WAY, ANOTHER 10 OR 20 YEARS, THERE WILL BE NOTHING TO SEE.

THE THING'S FALLING APART LITERALLY.

AND I SAID TO MYSELF, THIS CAN'T BE BECAUSE THIS -- IF WE DON'T HAVE AUSCHWITZ FOR PEOPLE TO SEE, THEY'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND THE ENORMITY OF WHAT WENT ON.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC EFFORTS YOU TOOK TO ENSURE THAT THESE OBJECTS WOULD ENDURE?

I LOOKED AROUND, I SAID, WHAT PART OF CONSERVATION WOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS?

I WENT TO THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM, THE EGYPTIAN DEPARTMENT, AND THERE WERE THREE CONSERVATORS WHO WERE EXPERTS IN ALL THE THINGS I NEEDED.

SO A FEW WEEKS LATER, WE CAME BACK AND WE ALL LOOKED AT WHAT CAN BE DONE.

WE LOOKED AT THE HAIR.

THEY LOOKED AT THE LEATHER.

THEY LOOKED AT THE SHOES.

THEY LOOKED AT THE -- THINGS THAT WERE FALLING APART.

WE LOOKED AT WHERE THE GAS WE LOOKED AT THE BRICKS AND SAYING WHAT'S HAPPENED TO ALL THE DIFFERENT BUILDINGS.

WE LOOKED INSIDE THE WOOD, SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE.

THEN WE SAID, HOW MUCH WOULD WE NEED FOR THIS?

AND THEY SAID, $40 MILLION IN 6 MONTHS.

SO MYSELF AND TWO OTHER PEOPLE, WE DECIDED TO RAISE THE $40 MILLION.

SO THERE WERE 40 COUNTRIES THAT WERE INVOLVED.

IN AUSCHWITZ.

SO WE WENT TO EACH ONE TO GET A MILLION DOLLARS.

WE GOT EVERY COUNTRY BUT ITALY AND THERE WAS $1 MILLION LEFT SO I PUT IT IN.

WE MADE THE SIX-MONTH DEADLINE.

I MUST TELL YOU, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN AUSCHWITZ.

WE WENT THROUGH THE WHOLE THING PIECE BY PIECE BY PIECE AND TODAY WHEN YOU GO THERE, YOU SEE EXACTLY HOW IT LOOKED IN 1945 WHEN THE RUSSIANS CAME IN.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU'VE DONE HERE.

YES.

IN THIS MUSEUM.

AND YOU'RE SEEING MANY OF THE SAME OBJECTS HERE THAT YOU SAW DECADES AGO.

RIGHT.

BUT THIS -- THIS EXHIBITION IS FANTASTIC.

THERE ARE THINGS, MANY THINGS, FROM AUSCHWITZ WHICH WE NEVER HAD BEFORE AND, FRANKLY, AFTER THIS IS OVER, WE MAY NEVER LEND AGAIN.

SO THE CONCERN WAS SIMPLY TRANSPORTING THESE ITEMS WOULD CONTINUE TO DEGRADE THEM AND THAT'S WHY YOU PROBABLY WON'T SHOW MANY OF THEM AGAIN?

IN MANY WAYS, LIKE GOING INTO A CEMETERY, TAKING THINGS OUT, SHIPPING THEM OVER, SHOWING PEOPLE.

THIS IS A POWERFUL EXHIBIT.

YOU CAN'T WALK THROUGH IT WITHOUT A FEELING OF UNDERSTANDING.

IT IS A REMINDER TO PEOPLE WHAT HAPPENED.

WHAT'S INTERESTING FOR US IS THAT TODAY, MANY, MANY SCHOOLCHILDREN, I THINK THE NUMBER IS LIKE 80%, DON'T KNOW ABOUT AUSCHWITZ, DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST.

SO WITH THE RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM AND GIVEN THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THE LARGEST REFUGEE POPULATION POST-WORLD WAR II, WHAT IS THE REALITY WE'RE CONFRONTING?

THE NAME OF THIS EXHIBIT IS 'AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY.'

COULD THIS HAPPEN AGAIN?

THE WAY IT HAPPENED, NO, BUT CAN THERE BE A RISE OF ANTI-SEMITISM WHICH IS HAPPENING AND GETTING WORSE AND WORSE?

YES.

AND THERE'S A REASON FOR THAT.

IT'S THE INABILITY OF GOVERNMENTS TO REALLY COME TO GRIPS WITH IT.

AND LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FIRST EXPOSURE VISITORS HERE GET TO THE HOLOCAUST.

WE SAW PEOPLE BREAK DOWN IN TEARS.

YES.

I KNOW HOW I FELT AFTER I LEFT HERE.

THEY DO, AND YOU GET THE SENSE -- IT'S A GREAT EXHIBITION.

I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE IT TRAVELING ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES.

ALL OVER THE WORLD.

WE MUST DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE PEOPLE REALIZE THE HORROR, WHAT IT WAS, WHAT IT WAS OF TAKING CHILDREN AND KILLING THEM, WHAT IT WAS TO TAKE PEOPLE AND GASSING THEM, A MILLION PEOPLE WERE KILLED.

A MILLION PEOPLE.

YOU MENTIONED THE CHILDREN.

WHAT IS THE STATISTIC, THAT 90% OF ALL JEWS DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME --

YES.

-- WERE KILLED.

JEWISH CHILDREN.

JEWISH CHILDREN.

WHEN JEWISH CHILDREN CAME TO AUSCHWITZ, THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY GASSED AND THE HARDEST THING WAS VERY OFTEN THEY WERE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR MOTHER AND THEY WERE SENT THERE OR IT WAS OFTEN WHERE THE MOTHER WENT WITH THE CHILDREN EVEN THOUGH SHE COULDN'T STAY AND IT WAS HORRIBLE.

I ALWAYS THINK OF ONE THING WHEN I THINK OF THESE THINGS.

THESE 1,500, 000 WHO DIED, HOW MANY WOULD HAVE FOUND A CURE FOR CANCER, BEEN A GREAT MUSEUM, GREAT THINKER, GREAT SCIENTIST?

WHAT WE LOST IS AMAZING.

ALL BECAUSE OF ONE PERSON, OUT OF HITLER'S HATRED FOR PEOPLE.

TALK ABOUT THE ARTWORK THAT'S ON VIEW THAT CONTINUES TO MOVE YOU TO THIS DAY.

THERE'S TWO TYPES OF ARTWORK YOU SEE.

ONE OF THE ARTWORK YOU SEE NOT TOO MUCH HERE BUT SEE ARTWORK OF CHILDREN'S DRAWINGS OF WHAT HAPPENED THEN YOU SEE ARTWORK OF SOMEONE, THREE PAINTINGS, THE LAST ONE IS A PICTURE OF HIM HOLDING HIS IDENTITY CARD IN 1943.

HE DIED IN 1944.

NOBODY THAT COMES TO THIS EXHIBITION CAN EVER WALK OUT AND SAY, I CAN BE ANTI-SEMITIC.

AND IT'S KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING.

IT HAPPENED.

AND THERE'S NO REASON TO HAVE ANTI-SEMITISM REPEATED.

AS YOU GO THROUGH THE EXHIBIT HERE, I THINK YOU BECOME PAINFULLY AWARE ABOUT THE EFFICIENCY WITH WHICH THE GERMANS KILLED.

RIGHT.

THERE'S SOME ARCHIVAL FILM THAT I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE OF JEWS BEING KILLED IN TENTS WHEN THEY RAN OUT OF ROOM IN THE GAS CHAMBERS.

YEAH.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO LEARN FROM SEEING THE MOBILE KILLING UNITS IN ACTION?

PEOPLE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT, WHERE IT STARTS.

ANTI-SEMITISM DIDN'T HAPPEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IN GERMANY IN 1939.

IT STARTED YEARS, YEARS BEFORE WITH THIS SAME TYPE OF ANTI-SEMITISM WE SEE TODAY.

NOW, CAN IT HAPPEN AGAIN?

I DON'T THINK SO, BUT ANTI- --

YOU SAID NOT IN THIS WAY.

NOT IN THIS WAY, BUT IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

AND THE FACT IS THAT MORE AND MORE PEOPLE LOOK AT ANTI-SEMITISM AS A WAY OF LIFE.

IT'S NOT.

AND AUSCHWITZ AND THINGS LIKE THIS WILL TEACH PEOPLE AT LEAST WHERE THIS CAN LEAD.

ONE THING THAT HASN'T CHANGED IS THE POWER OF PROPAGANDA, THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S POWERFULLY ON DISPLAY HERE IN THE MUSEUM.

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THEIR MESSAGE AND HOW IT GAINED TRACTION.

THE GERMANS IN THE 1930s, THEY HAD TERRIBLE PROBLEMS.

THEY HAD TO BLAME SOMEBODY, AND THE JEWS BECAME THE SCAPEGOAT.

VERY OFTEN TODAY, WE SEE THE JEWS ONCE AGAIN BECOMING THE SCAPEGOAT.

NOT CALLED BANKING AND RETAIL BUT GLOBALIZATION.

SO DUE TO AN UNSTABLE ECONOMY, BESIDES SCAPEGOATING.

THE GERMAN PROPAGANDA WAS BRILLIANT AND WHEN YOU SEE THE PICTURES DOWNSTAIRS OF HALF A MILLION PEOPLE STANDING THERE OR THE SALUTE OR THE NAZI SWASTIKA, YOU LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT UNIFORMS THAT THEY MADE.

THEY MADE PEOPLE VERY PROUD OF THEMSELVES.

IT WAS ALL PART OF THE MAKING ADOLF HITLER INTO THE LEADER.

PEOPLE WANTED TO LOOK AT HIM LIKE GOD.

THEY FOLLOWED HIM.

THEY GAVE OUT ALL OVER GERMANY RADIOS, CHEAP RADIOS, RADIOS.

THEY HAD SPEAKERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, ALL OVER.

SO WHEN HITLER SPOKE, EVERYONE HEARD IT.

IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE.

HOW TO DO THESE BIG THINGS AND YOU HAD LIGHTS AND CAMERAS AND PARTY RALLIES.

IT WAS ALL PART OF A SENSE OF LITERALLY BRAINWASHING PEOPLE THAT THEY WERE, IN FACT, THE MASTER RACE AND THEY WERE -- THEY SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHAT THEY HAVE.

I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE PARTS OF A BARRACK AND THEN RECREATIONS OF WHAT THE CHAMBER WOULD LOOK LIKE THAT THE GAS PELLETS FELL DOWN THROUGH.

JUST HOW ALARMED DO YOU THINK VISITORS ARE BY SEEING THE MECHANISMS BY WHICH THE GERMANS KILLED?

YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE THE FEELING OF WHEN SOMEONE CAME INTO A CONCENTRATION CAMP, THERE WAS NO GETTING OUT.

TATTOOED ON A NUMBER.

THEY NO LONGER HAD A NAME BUT A NUMBER.

THEY NO LONGER HAD THEIR OWN CLOTHES.

THEY HAD OTHER CLOTHES.

IT TOOK AWAY ALL IDENTITY AND THEY FOUND THAT WHEN YOU TAKE SOMEONE'S CLOTHES OFF, THEY WERE NAKED, THEY COULDN'T DO ANYTHING.

THEY DIDN'T FIGHT AS HARD.

THEY COULDN'T FIGHT.

AND YOU HAD CASES AND CASES WHERE A HUNDRED SOLDIERS WERE ABLE TO KILL 20,000 PEOPLE WITHOUT STRUGGLE AGAINST IT.

AND THIS WAS ALL PART OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL THING.

THEY, AGAIN, WORKING ON ONE SIDE WHICH WAS TO MAKE THE GERMAN PEOPLE FEEL VERY SPECIAL.

ON THE OTHER SIDE, PSYCHOLOGISTS WERE USING HOW BEST TO KILL THEM WITHOUT RESISTANCE.

ON EXHIBIT IS A RECREATION OF WHAT ONE OF THE DOORS --

RIGHT.

-- WAS MADE, SIMULATING INTO A CREMATORIUM WHERE THERE WAS A WINDOW.

YES.

WHERE THE GUARDS WOULD ACTUALLY PEER IN.

INITIALLY, THEY WANTED TO SEE HOW SUCCESSFUL THIS WAS.

AND WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT THEY WANTED TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE WAS DEAD BEFORE THEY OPENED ANYTHING UP, BUT IT'S ALSO TURNING DEATH INTO A MECHANIZED THING.

ONLY THE GERMANS COULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHICH IS AMAZING, ABLE TO KILL PEOPLE, 20,000 A DAY, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM.

AND WHEN THEY MET THEIR QUOTA INDOORS, THEY TOOK THEIR KILLING OUTSIDE.

YES.

AND ALSO --

WITH FIRING SQUADS.

THERE WAS FIRING SQUADS.

ONE DROVE FROM PLACE TO PLACE, SMALL VILLAGES, PUT PEOPLE IN A PIT AND KILL THEM.

AND THERE'S, LIKE, 1,200 PLACES IN UKRAINE, ALONE, WHERE THEY FOUND GRAVES OF PEOPLE.

SO THIS EXHIBIT NOT ONLY LOOKS AT THE LIVES THAT WERE DESTROYED IN AUSCHWITZ, BUT IT ALSO CELEBRATES THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT THROUGH THE SURVIVORS.

EXACTLY.

THAT'S WHAT RUNS, I THINK, POWERFULLY THROUGH THIS EXHIBIT.

WHAT YOU SEE IS THREE MESSAGES.

THE FIRST MESSAGE IS HOW IT STARTED.

HOW THEY SAY ABOUT JEWS.

THE SECOND MESSAGE IS WHAT HAPPENED.

AND THE THIRD MESSAGE, WHICH IS THE MOST POWERFUL MESSAGE, IS HOW PEOPLE SURVIVED AND WENT ON AND BUILT THEIR LIFE AGAIN.

I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY DID IT.

THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS SO STRONG.

IT'S AMAZING.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER OBJECTS YOU'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THAT PULL AT YOUR HEARTSTRING, THAT ARE HARD TO SHAKE?

SOME OF THE PICTURES ARE SO STRONG, SO MOVING, AND THE PICTURES YOU SEE OF THE JEWISH LIFE BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST, YOU SEE THE HAPPINESS, THE JOY.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO TAKE THESE PEOPLE AND KILL THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE JEWISH?

IT'S UNBELIEVABLE.

I KNOW HOW PASSIONATELY YOU BELIEVE IN THE EDUCATIONAL MISSION OF THIS MUSEUM.

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A SUCCESSFUL RUN OF THIS EXHIBIT?

THE GREATEST SUCCESS THIS HAS IS THAT PEOPLE SAY, THERE IS AN AUSCHWITZ AND WE WANT TO SEE IT.

THERE IS AN AUSCHWITZ AND WE CAN'T DO THIS TO ANY JEWISH PERSON.

THERE IS AN AUSCHWITZ, AND THERE SHOULD BE NO ANTI-SEMITISM.

HOW ALARMED ARE YOU BY THE ANTI-SEMITISM WE SEE IN OUR OWN COUNTRY?

WELL, I MUST TELL YOU, PART OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS IS WE MONITOR EVERY DAY, SO EVERY DAY I GET A LIST OF ALL THE THINGS HAPPENING AND IT GETS LONGER AND LONGER AND LONGER.

I'M ALARMED.

I'M NOT THINKING WE'RE GOING TO HAVE AN AUSCHWITZ.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THINGS.

I AM ALARMED OF WHAT IT SAYS AND WHEN PEOPLE START ACCEPTING ANTI-SEMITISM AS A WAY OF LIFE, THEN I CAN GET NERVOUS.

WE SEE THOSE SEEDS OF HATRED ALL OVER THE WORLD.

RIGHT.

DIRECTED AT MANY DIFFERENT POPULATIONS.

REMEMBER, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE THE PLACE WHERE WE START.

THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE.

THE FACT IS, IF WE DON'T DO IT, HOW CAN WE ASK OTHER PEOPLE TO DO IT?

WE SHOULD BE STRONG ENOUGH.

THANK YOU.

VERY MUCH.

FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU.

WE HOPE THIS SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF 'NYC ARTS,' A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THIS HARROWING CHAPTER IN WORLD HISTORY.

THIS EXHIBITION RESONATES POWERFULLY WITH SOME OF THE MOST PAINFUL ISSUES STILL AT LARGE IN OUR COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD TODAY.

RACISM, BIGOTRY, AND THE EVIL OF HATRED.

AT THE SAME TIME, IT PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.

THE EXHIBITION, 'AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO, NOT FAR AWAY,' IS ON VIEW AT THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE THROUGH AUGUST OF 2020.

PLEASE VISIT SO THIS MOST IMPORTANT OF CONVERSATIONS CAN CONTINUE.

I'M PAULA ZHAN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING.

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FUNDING FOR 'AUSCHWITZ REMEMBERED' AN 'NYC ARTS' SPECIAL IS MADE POSSIBLE BY ROSALIND P.

THE THEA PETSCHEK IERVOLINO FOUNDATION.

JODI AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

GENE DUBINSKY APPLETON ESTATE.

ELLEN AND JAMES S. MARCUS.

AND THE MILTON AND SALLY AVERY ARTS FOUNDATION.

AND ELLEN AND JAMES S. MARCUS.

THIS PROGRAM IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY COUNCIL.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF 13.

'NYC ARTS' IS MADE POSSIBLE IN PART BY FIRST REPUBLIC BANK.

AND BY SWAN AUCTION GALLERIES.

SPECIAL FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT