25 Exhibitions at Holocaust Museum Houston

Remembering Not to Forget—Alice Cahana
March 1996 – November 1996

Auschwitz Eye Witness: The Artwork of Jan Komski
January 1998 – March 1998

Crime and Punishment: Face to Face with the Perpetrators
September 1998 – January 1999

Echoes of Childhood
January 1999 – April 1999

Cover Them: A Quilt Installation by Rachel Brumer
September 2001 – January 2002

How Modern Art Escaped Hitler: From the Holocaust to Houston
April 2003 – July 2003

The show detailed the Nazi persecution of avant-garde artists and included 34 works of art representing the men and women hated by Hitler but revered the world over for their artistic talent. Borrowing from local collectors, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection, the exhibit focused on the fate of the artists and how hatred changed modern art in the 20th century.

Questionable Issue: Currency of the Holocaust
August 2003 – November 2003

This exhibit was the first the Museum mounted from its own archival material and consists of various pieces of scrip (currency) issued at 13 Nazi concentration camps or ghettos, including Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald and the Warsaw Ghetto. This unique exhibit presented several authentic Holocaust artifacts that had never been publicly displayed in the United States.

Unlikely Liberators
April 2005 – August 2005

While their families were held in internment camps and suffered as a result of Jim Crow laws, members of the 442nd and 761st segregated units fought bravely in Europe. Through photographs taken by the men themselves, the story of these two battalions illustrates heroism despite degradation of prejudice. Japanese- and African-American men first struggled for permission to join the United States military and then fought valiantly in Europe. Both battalions received awards, medals and praise from high-ranking officers.

Lives Remembered: Photographs of a Small Town in Poland 1897-1939
October 2005 – February 2006

Renowned Houston photographer Mike Marvins spent years researching and collecting photographs taken by his grandfather in Szczuczyn, Poland of the rich and varied lives of people before the Holocaust. His collection of original and reproduced photographs showed the complexity of Jewish life before the war while dispelling the myth that Jews in remote communities in Eastern Europe were unsophisticated. The photos, including many not shown previously, depicted humble residents, holiday celebrations, daily life and religious activities

When They Came to Take My Father – Mark Seliger
January 2006 – September 2006

Mark Seliger is one of the most well-known portrait photographers in the world today. He is a native Texan with family in Houston. His portraits of survivors such as brothers Max, Sol and Sigmund Jucker as well as artist Alice Lok Cahana combine the experience of Holocaust survivors with fine portraits capturing their personality.

Survivors’ Journeys
March 2006 – July 2006

The successes of survivors who moved to Houston shortly after liberation are illustrated through artifacts and photographs on loan from the survivors and their families. Survivors’ Journeys included family photographs and artifacts chronicling the lives of several Houston survivors. These individuals survived tragic experiences early in their lives — losing loved ones, being forced to hide their identities, suffering through concentration camps and death camps, and then waiting in displaced persons camps for the chance at a new life.

Scream the Truth at the World: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Hidden Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto
February 2007 – July 2007

In November 1940, historian Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum enlisted a few dozen men and women to document the life of Polish Jews during the war. They collected documents, diaries, manuscripts and other works created by Jews, Poles and Germans. Soon after Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the group buried its archive to preserve it for posterity.

Medical Ethics and the Holocaust, How Healing Becomes Killing: Eugenics, Euthanasia and Extermination
September 2007 – February 2008

This HMH-curated exhibition provided historical documentation of the role played by scientists, physicians and government officials and will describe activities at the killing centers of Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Bernburg and Hadamar.

Escaping Their Boundaries: The Children of Theresienstadt
February 2008 – September 2008

More than 12,000 children under the age of 15 passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp (also known by its German name of Theresienstadt) between the years 1942 and 1944. Of these, more than 90 percent perished during the Holocaust. This exhibit explored the ability for children to transcend their physical boundaries through art and writing. The exhibit featured more than 40 objects on loan from Beit Theresienstadt in Israel, including collages, drawings, diaries, magazines, games and marionettes.

Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust
July 2009 – April 2010

Albania, a European country with a Muslim majority, succeeded where other European nations failed in dealing with Nazi Germany. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation – those of Albanian origin and refugees alike – were saved.

In a five-year project, Colorado-based photographer Norman Gershman set out to collect the names of righteous, non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust. He discovered that some of the names were of Albanian Muslims. He then began a quest to meet and photograph the Albanian rescuers or their descendents. During his interviews, when he asked why they had rescued Jews, the resounding response was “Besa,” the code of honor deeply rooted in Albanian culture and incorporated in the faith of Albanian Muslims.

A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People
August 2009 – March 2010

This exhibit drew its name from the pope’s 1993 appeal marking the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: “As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing to the world. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to first be a blessing to one another.”

The exhibit included photographs, video footage, documents and artifacts recording the extraordinary contributions of Pope John Paul II to relations between the Catholic and Jewish faiths.

Never Let it Rest! An Art Project by Hans Molzberger
April 2010 – October 2010

“Never Let It Rest!” is a documentary art project by contemporary German artist Hans Molzberger relating to the small town of Salzwedel in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany during the time of Nazi control. Included in the exhibit was historical documentation of events of the time and an art installation created to address specific issues of persecution, war propaganda and the concentration camps. The exhibit also includes oral testimonies from some of the women who were in the camp and now live in the United States and Israel.

The Impact of Racist Ideologies: Jim Crow and the Nuremberg Laws
August 2011 – Augsut 2012

Contrary to common belief, Nazi Germany’s legal assault on the Jews between 1933 and 1945 was not unique in its racial character nor its segregationist aims. There are remarkable similarities between America’s own Jim Crow laws and those in Nazi Germany. As with many Nazi attacks against the Jews, the Nazis took ideas and practices that were common in their own and other cultures and radicalized them to suit their needs. This exhibit examined the Jim Crow laws — with examples from Houston’s segregationist past — and the Nuremberg laws.

The Wartime Escape: Margaret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France
November 2013 – June 2014

More than three generations of Americans have grown up reading the stories of an irrepressible little brown monkey known in this country as “Curious George.” But few people know about the incredible journey made by his creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, to escape the Nazi invasion of Paris at the start of World War II. Stashing a few precious belongings and manuscripts in their knapsacks and the baskets of their bicycles, the Jewish couple fled Paris in June 1940, starting a five-month odyssey by bike, train and boat that would eventually bring them to American shores.

The Rescuers: Picturing Moral Courage
March 2014 – August 2014

The exhibition was based on the work of Leora Kahn, who researched and interviewed rescuers from the Holocaust and other genocides. Each person’s image and testimony that visitors encounter in this exceptional photographic exhibition reflected “ordinary” citizens, who, by choosing to rescue the “other,” became heroes in a time when their country was committing acts of genocide. They came from different countries and different times, and for many, this is the first time they have told their stories – some risking their lives again in the telling. More than 30 images, accompanied by text from interviews, told the stories of farmers, taxi drivers, nuns, mothers and fathers who risked everything to save neighbors, friends and strangers.

Taking Flight: The Butterfly Project
February 2016 – December 2016

Holocaust Museum Houston marked its 20th year of teaching the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy with an exhibit 20 years in the making with the help from children across the world that commemorated the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust. Since 1995, children from every continent except Antarctica have brought or sent handmade butterflies to the Museum as part of The Butterfly Project, an effort to collect 1.5 million handmade butterflies to commemorate each of those children who perished.

Genocide: Man’s Inhumanity to Humankind
September 2016 – January 2017

This contemporary art exhibition explored the suffering humans are capable of bestowing on one another. Through the eyes of each artists’ work, these lessons were reflected vividly, hauntingly and provocatively with the understanding of the brutality and senselessness of such acts.

The Butterfly Project: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust
January 2018 – February 2018

The United Nations hosted an exhibit of handmade butterflies made by children from six continents over the last two decades to memorialize the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust. The exhibition presented as part of the United Nation’s observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann
June 2019 – September 2019

The head of the Nazis’ homicidal “Jewish Department,” who zealously managed the transport of millions of innocent people to death camps, vanished after World War II. Photographs, film and recently declassified spy artifacts revealed the dramatic secret history behind the daring abduction and globally broadcast trial of a principal perpetrator of the Final Solution.

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos
November 2019 – February 2020

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos shared the compelling story of legendary activist and leader Dolores Huerta (b.1930) and the farm workers movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. The exhibition, which featured bilingual text in English and Spanish, explored Huerta’s public life as an activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW), and what led her to become a Latina civil rights icon.

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom
September 2020 – January 2021

The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom, a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media and objects, explored the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa – and its relevance to issues of today. Visitors experienced the tiny cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, took a stand in front of a giant 22-foot long by 9-foot tall armored vehicle, made a virtual protest poster on a digital light table, or entered a secret apartment for freedom fighters forced underground.