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Museum of Jewish Heritage Presents "Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark and Danish Stories"
NEWS FROM THE MUSEUM AND OUR COLLECTIONS
The story of the Danish Rescue is the topic of our most
recent exhibition, Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark,
which opened on October 15th. This newsletter focuses on Danish
stories from the Museum’s exhibitions and Collection as we share our
pride in the exhibition, our first for visitors as young as age 9.
Especially now, it is important to teach the history of the Danish
resistance and escape, to remember and celebrate that ordinary people
can take active roles to help ourselves and our neighbors. We hope
you’ll visit the exhibition and learn more, or check out our virtual
exhibition page on the Bloomberg Connects app.
to Act: Rescue in Denmark tells the remarkable story of
the rescue of the Danish Jews during the Holocaust to visitors aged 9
and up. Explore what courage means, and what it took for ordinary
people to create one of the most effective—and exceptional—examples
of mass resistance and escape in modern history. Age-appropriate
themes of separation, bravery, and resilience will help people young
and old make connections to their own lives and reflect on the
dangers of prejudice—as well as their own potential for
compassionate, moral, and courageous collective action.
Our core exhibition The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do
tells the history of Jewish life before, during, and immediately
after the Holocaust using personal stories. For example, the Donde
family was forced to escape to Sweden in 1943 after the Nazis began
arresting Jews in Denmark. In 1944, Israel Donde joined the Danish
Liberation Brigade formed in Sweden; the brigade armband he wore is
Faces of Life After the Holocaust features 75
portraits by famed photographer Martin Schoeller
in the artist’s signature style of extreme close-up. The exhibition,
on view in the Museum's 3rd floor Rita Lowenstein Gallery, includes
the portraits, a film, bios, and quotes from each of the sitters.
“One can learn a
great deal from the Danish people about what to do
if the time comes that such a terrible situation
should happen again. After the war I asked, why
didn’t all people do as the Danish did? … We must
educate people to understand that you always have
to try to avoid evil.”
generation should learn that the time has come to
say that there is no more place for war. If we
focus our efforts to raise ourselves up, the world
can be radically improved and be a better place for
all its inhabitants.”
The Garden of Stones is a living memorial and
permanent installation at the Museum by acclaimed British land artist
Goldsworthy. The trees, planted by Holocaust
survivors and their families, grow out of hollowed boulders. Meant to
be visited and revisited, the garden matures over time and transforms
with the seasons.
A tree planted outside the Museum, with roots born of
the Holocaust, branches out to a better future. This silver maple
tree is named “The Children’s Tree” in memory of a group of students
from Theresienstadt and their teacher, Irma Lauscher.
In January 1943, Lauscher and several children planted a tree in
Theresienstadt and nurtured it with their own water rations. In
November 2021, a tree grown from the cuttings was planted in front of
the Museum. The tree’s story is represented in Courage to
Act: Rescue in Denmark with this illustration:
Delve into additional Courage to Act resources
right now on your phone using the Bloomberg Connects App. Hear from
child actors who portray characters in the exhibition and meet the
passionate curators and dedicated individuals who meticulously
curated this immersive experience. Listen to a collection of
testimonies and watch Voices in the Void, an animated film
about this same story of resistance. Plus, more is on the way,
including a glossary and further resources for parents.
The Museum’s second annual New York Jewish Book Festival’s
family day will welcome award-winning author Lois Lowry,
who will speak about her classic book Number the Stars.
This story takes children into the Danish Rescue and resistance
through the eyes of a child, providing a moving and accessible
resource for parents and educators to talk with children about this
chapter in history.
Join us on Sunday,
November 19th, at 3:00pm ET in person with a book signing to follow or
to Act: Rescue in Denmark was recently reviewed by
Dierdre Liebman, an 11-year-old journalist for Scholastic Kids Press.
We’re grateful to Dierdre for telling the story of the Danish Rescue
and our exhibition. She wrote:
The people of Denmark did everything they could to spare
the lives of their Jewish friends and neighbors. They secretly
arranged to have the Jews flee by boat to neighboring Sweden.
“There were people who hid the refugees, who clothed the
refugees, who gave them food, who escorted them to hiding places,”
said Ellen Bari. “People helped in every way imaginable.”
“It’s on all of us
to look after our neighbors,” Ellen Bari, the curator of “Courage to
Act: Rescue in Denmark,” told Deirdre.
Interested in donating objects related to your family's experience
during the Holocaust? Click here to learn more and
begin the process.
at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council;
the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims
Conference) the New York State Council on the Arts with the support
of Governor Kathy C. Hochul and the New York State Legislature;
Battery Park City Authority; The Goldie and David Blanksteen
Foundation; Marcia Horowitz Educational Fund for Cross-Cultural
Awareness; and other generous donors.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
36 Battery Pl
New York, NY 10280-1502