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“Rebirth after the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp”

Posted: March 09, 2017  |  by Margaret Garcia
Filed Under: Campus News

Plight of Displaced Refugees Explored in Photo-Documentary Exhibition 
“Rebirth after the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp”

San AntonioRebirth After the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950, photo-documentary exhibition will be presented at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Kelso Art Center/Student Gallery (4301 Broadway, 78209) from March 1 – June 23, 2017. An opening reception with guest speaker will take place, Saturday, March 25.

The Rebirth After the Holocaust: The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950, photo-documentary exhibit illuminates the inspiring and untold history of Holocaust survivors in the years immediately following their liberation from the Nazis. Bergen-Belsen, a wartime concentration camp, became the largest displaced persons (DP) camp in Germany, at a time when over 250,000 displaced, homeless Jewish survivors sought to recover from the destruction of their families and communities, regain their physical health, and gather the strength and hope to create new families and new homes in new lands.  For five years, Bergen-Belsen became a self-governed Jewish community with political, cultural, religious, educational, and social activities that renewed Jewish life and a vibrant center of rehabilitation, reconstruction, and rebirth.

Rebirth After the Holocaust begins with liberation when, amidst the unburied corpses and open mass graves, British soldiers encountered tens of thousands of camp inmates, suffering from starvation, typhus, and tuberculosis. The exhibition concludes with the closing of the camp in 1950, by which time most of the survivors had emigrated to Israel, the United States, Canada and other countries. It records the ensuing 52 years of political activism, publications and commemorative activities through which the Bergen-Belsen survivors have continued to demonstrate their commitment to perpetuate Holocaust remembrance and education for future generations.

Schedule of events for Saturday, March 25.  These events are free and open to the public.

  •  6 - 9:30 p.m., Special speaker and reception event “Aiding Refugees, Then and Now.”
  •  6 p.m. - Doors Open (Luella Bennack Music Center – Concert Hall at UIW)
  •  6:30 - 7:30 p.m. - Guest Speaker, Mike Mitchell, associate vice president, U.S. programs of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), Washington, D.C., the renown refugee resettlement organization that aided Holocaust survivors in resettlement and continues to actively aid refugees in resettlement today. Local refugee testimonies will follow the guest speaker.
  • 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. – Opening Reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres/ desserts and gallery exhibition

This exhibition is presented by the University of the Incarnate Word, The Torch of the Holocaust Memorial of San Antonio and the Institute of Texan Cultures. Parking is available in front of Kelso Art Center, Music, & Administration Buildings. Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., (except UIW holidays). For more information call: (210) 829-3852.  To RSVP for this event, contact: events@hmmsa.org  or 210-302-6857

INSIGHTS OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPANTS:
“Having this exhibit on display on the campus of UIW will expose our students, faculty and community to knowledge about resettlement of victims of the Holocaust and is so timely in light of the refugee crisis today,” said Dr. Roger Barnes, Sociology Department Chair and the professor of a new Holocaust studies course at UIW.

“The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word and the Institute of Texan Cultures bringing this exhibit to the San Antonio community is a wonderful collaboration,” stated Jeannette Pierce, a member of the Holocaust Commission.

“This exhibit shows the spirit and strength of Holocaust survivors, finding dignity, freedom and love in a refugee camp post World War II.  It merits deep reflection when considering the current refugee crisis facing the world,” said Sharon Greenwald, Exhibit and The Torch Co-Chair and member of the Holocaust Commission.

“I am so grateful to all of the people who have contributed to bring this timely exhibit to San Antonio.  Being a child of Holocaust survivors, it is extremely meaningful to me to participate and witness this collaboration of key representatives of our community,” stated Varda Ratner, Exhibit and The Torch Co-Chair and member of the Holocaust Commission. 

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CONTACT:    Margaret Garcia, associate director communications and marketing, (210) 829-6001, mlgarci2@uiwtx.edu

 

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