Holocaust Museum Fundraising Campaign A Success
Strong community support has made Holocaust Museum Houston’s 2003 Campaign a tremendous success, with more than $570,000 raised so far. Campaign donors were treated to a rare glimpse of the historic, original Moon Landscape drawing at a reception May 12 in the Museum’s Morgan Family Center. The Holocaust-era pencil sketch, drawn by 14-year-old Petr Ginz while imprisoned in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp and Ghetto, depicts the surface of the moon with Earth in the distance. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon carried a replica of the drawing aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia.

The evening’s program, attended by almost 200 guests, featured comments from Ramon’s widow, Rona, as well as from HMH Executive Director Susan Llanes-Myers and from HMH Chairman David P. Bell.

“We all have strong loyalty and commitment to a host of worthwhile causes,” said Bell. “But when it comes to this Museum, we have something in addition. We have love. And tonight, on behalf of a grateful board of directors, I am deeply honored to acknowledge that love, and recommit to you that this institution will always endeavor to be worthy of your generosity of spirit, your passion for our work, and, indeed, your love.”

Attendees also heard more about the history of the Moon Landscape drawing from Yehudit Shendar, senior art curator of the Museums Division at Yad Vashem. Shendar hand-carried the drawing from Jerusalem to Houston, where it was placed in the Holocaust Museum’s Memorial Room for public viewing on May 12, prior to the donor reception that night.

“It’s a great honor for me to be here and bring with me this drawing, which is quite intimate in size, but tells a great story,” she said about the small Ginz piece. “It’s a story of courage, of someone incarcerated, unable to leave the confinement of what was the Theresienstadt Ghetto. But what we have learned – that there are no boundaries to imagination and there are no boundaries to the human soul.”

Although Ginz and other children were allowed to go to school and take part in cultural activities in the “model” camp of Theresienstadt, most youths were ultimately sent to their deaths in Auschwitz. When Ginz was deported, his sister remained behind and managed to save his diary and drawings. The original Ginz diary was on display at the Holocaust Museum in late 2001 and early 2002 during the exhibit, Private Writings, Public Records: Diaries of Young People in the Holocaust. The original drawing has never before been seen in the United States and Holocaust Museum Houston was not only the first site where it was displayed, but also the only site in America where it was available for public viewing.

One of the most dramatic aspects of the evening’s program involved children and combined elements of remembrance with hope for the future. Elena Bell, Jared Berg, Hannah Davis, Derek Fossi, Randall Fossi, Michelle Midlo, and Evan Mucasey, all children or grandchildren of campaign donors, read excerpts of poems either written by children in Theresienstadt or written about the Columbia astronauts. The poetry reading ended with a quote from The Diary of Anne Frank, after which the children placed stones on the pedestal on which the Moon Landscape drawing stood.
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Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
Museum Hours:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Museum Admission:

$12 for adults
$8 for active-duty military and AARP members
Free for children, students and college-level students with valid ID
Free admission on Sundays

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