Farmington Hills, MI, December 21, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- A new exhibit is on display at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills, which opened on Sunday, December 16. The exhibit, “Lives of the Great Patriotic War,” details the largely unknown chapter of Jewish history – the participation of 500,000 Soviet Jewish soldiers in World War II in the fight against the Nazis. It will be on display through January 27, 2013 and is presented in cooperation with The Michigan Association of Russian Speaking Jewry in America.
The Holocaust Memorial Center is located at 28123 Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills.
The exhibit features wartime diary and letter excerpts, reproductions of archival photographs and documents along with oral testimonies from the soldiers. The free standing exhibit details the overall story of Soviet Jewish participation in the war and serves as a commemoration to all the individual soldiers who fought in what is known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War.”
“While the victimization of Jews during the Holocaust is well known, the role of Jewish soldiers serving in the Soviet Red Army is virtually unknown,” said Stephen M. Goldman, Executive Director, Holocaust Memorial Center. “These brave men fought in the war’s largest military force of 30 million soldiers which unfortunately sustained the most losses. The war survivors are now telling their incredible stories 70 years later.”
The exhibit features text and photos showing the effort and sacrifice of Jewish soldiers serving in the Soviet Red Army. Fifteen individual soldier profiles highlight moments from the war through personal diaries and letters, along with “then and now” photos of each individual. In addition, 100 “then and now” portraits adorn other walls of the exhibit. Photographs and postcards from the war zone bring to life the horrors of war along with soldiers’ searches for family and friends. Another exhibit wall celebrates the war’s victory, with a selection of postcards, letters and photographs dated May 9, 1945, announcing the end of the war.
“This exhibit provides a direct link to the past, showing the valor and fear these soldiers endured in World War II, daily life on the Eastern front and ultimately victory,” added Goldman. “The Holocaust Memorial Center is proud to present ‘Lives of the Great Patriotic War’ to showcase these little known heroes of the war and honor their accomplishments decades later.”
The Blavatnik Archive Foundation was founded in 2005 by American industrialist and philanthropist Len Blavatnik. Its mission is to discover, preserve and share a broad range of ephemera and captured memories that contribute to a better understanding of the Jewish experience.
The Holocaust Memorial Center is open Sunday – Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (last admission at 3:30 p.m.); and Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (last admission at 1:30 p.m.). The museum is closed on Saturday and public holidays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students and $5 for children.
The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus opened in 1984. Local Holocaust survivors, with community support, founded the museum to teach about the senseless murder of millions, and why everyone must respect and stand up for the rights of others if the world is to prevent future discrimination, hate crime and genocide. As Michigan’s only Holocaust museum, the Holocaust Memorial Center annually touches the lives of more than 85,000 individuals, who leave the museum profoundly affected with a newly acquired sense of history, social responsibility and morality. The Holocaust Memorial Center’s exhibits create a call to action, teaching visitors through the examples of those who risked their lives to save others, and asking its guests to react to contemporary challenges such as racism, intolerance, bullying and prejudice.
The facility is wheelchair accessible and free parking is available at both the North and South entrances.
For more information on the Holocaust Memorial Center, visit www.holocaustcenter.org, or call 248-553-2400.