Through the use of personal objects, rare documents and photographs, a new exhibition opening this April at Holocaust Museum Houston highlights the experiences of two Jewish families featuring materials from the Museum’s own permanent collection.
For centuries, the Jewish people endured many periods of discrimination combined with periods of tolerance. From expulsions from Spain in 1492 to pogroms in Russia to full citizenship rights in France, they were forced to adapt to ever-changing policies of governments and forced migrations.
“Uprooted,” opening April 12, 2013, and on view through March 9, 2014, in the Museum’s Mincberg Gallery, takes visitors through the decisions European Jews faced as they encountered totalitarianism, antisemitism and later the “Final Solution” policies of the Nazis.
The exhibition includes numerous artifacts and documents on view for the first time. The Abramowicz-Mescherowsky-Teixidor and Levenback-Bielitz collections permit the examination of the difficult choices faced by these particular Jewish families – choices like placing a child alone on a Kindertransport or whether to remain in hiding and, in some cases, join the resistance or having to flee to foreign countries. The exhibition exemplifies the hope that safety could be found and lives re-established elsewhere, despite the annihilation policies of the Nazi government.
“Uprooted” will deepen the understandings of the Holocaust for many visitors as they discover the narratives of Lea and Mendel Abramowicz, Georg and Tanya Mescherowsky, Shura and Lorenzo Teixidor, Hedi Basch-Levenback, Joan Toggitt, Lily Bielitz and other family members.
The public is invited to a free preview reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11, 2013. Admission is free, but advance registration is required for the reception. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.
Also explored are the post-Holocaust lives of both families as they sought restitution and, for some, emigration to the United States.
Many of the materials on display were hidden during the war, such as the tea set given to Lea and Mendel Abramowicz as a wedding gift in 1937 and the 1929 photograph of the Bielitz family first cousins together before the war changed their lives. Each item bears witness to survival and ensures that future generations will learn the lessons and events of the Holocaust.
Lead sponsors for the exhibit are Annette and Dan Gordon, with additional support provided by
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the Sterling Family Foundation; Elizabeth and Alan Stein; the Museum’s Corporate Chairman members Baker Botts LLP, Frost, Halliburton Charitable Foundation, HEB, Marathon Oil Corporation and the Morgan Family Foundation; Next Door Painting; and Venetian Blind Carpet One. The exhibit is presented with special thanks to United Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.