Queensborough Community College(QCC) located in Bayside,Queens provides a Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust center that is free to all and as an art & design student I have been in the holocaust center several times over the past Two years. However, I never took into accountability how tragic these events were until I had to do paper about it. The Holocaust Center is to educate individuals about the holocaust which Displays many events and artifacts of the Holocaust such as, the stories of the Holocaust survivors , the painting that was made by Rosemarie Koczy(artist and holocaust survivor) and the uniforms that was worn in the concentration campus.
First off, when arriving to the building which is located on a hill in between the Art & Design and Administration building I was amazed by the architecture of the building.The Holocaust center is the only building on campus that is made out of glass and steel with a modern day look that includes a balcony that is open to the public.As I enter through the double glass doors on the side of the holocaust center I first seen a timeline of events that led up to the holocaust. One event that was written on the timeline was “1933, Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany, Nazis burn the Reichstag( Parliament) and blame Communists, Hitler is granted emergency powers, Franklin Roosevelt takes office as President of the U.S.” After reading the timeline of these horrible event as I processed my way into the rest of the exhibit I saw these quote on the wall “And When the Last Survivor is gone, Who will tell the holocaust?” I didn’t think in depth about the quote so I proceeded some more through the dim lighting exhibit where I came across several different stories and videos of holocaust survivors.
Secondly, there was two stories that were shocking to me. One story was by Hanne and Max liebmann. On October 22, 1940 german authorities arrested hanne and max from their western german households along with several thousand another jews to be sent btom comcrastion camps in southern france. Hanne and Max not knowing each other at the time were deported to gurs ( a french concentration camp). Despite inhuman conditions of the concentration camps such as disease and starvation Hanne and Max friendship grew.However, the Oeuvre de Secours aux enfants(OSE) transferred hanne and max to different refugee shelters but later escape to Switzerland where they later found each other and on April 14 1945 Hanne and Max got married. This story shocked me because even through tragic times they stuck together and found friendship in each other and later on got married and had three kids.
Another story that shocked me was the story of Daniel Trocme. Daniel Trocme a teacher in Germany during WW2 pleaded to the gestapo to free 18 of his young male students after they were arrested in a raid in Masion De Roches. However, his request was not made and he was killed along with 11 of his students. Thia saddened me because for someone to put their life in danger to get their students back and then turn around to get killed by the gestapo is really sad and inhuman for the people that killed them.
Finally, the artifacts in the holocaust museum amazed me. One artifact was a painting made by Rosemarie Koczy. The colourful abstract painting located in the beginning of the exhibit displays a face that appears to be in distressed
Koczy is a living testimony on how the holocaust was and the effects it left on the survivors. After the WW2 was physically over in Germany people were physically, financially and emotionally damaged by the war.Rosemarie Koczy Stated “ The drawings I make everyday are burials I offer to those I saw die in the camp. In the Jewish tradition, the dead body is wrapped in a shroud as an act of respect and a right. Perhaps now you will understand why I make these painting.”This amazed me because Koczy helped people deal with their pain of the Holocaust by paining.
Another artifact that was displayed in the museum was a concentration camp uniform. As I got to the end of the exhibit there was a uniform displayed in a case in the corner that was well lit by a light. As I came closer I read the rectangular book that was placed by the uniform display I was quite amazed about the different types uniforms each concentration camp had for the prisoners because this was something that i never was learned or heard in school or in public discussion before.
Benzion Peresecki was a Lithuanian holocaust survivor who wore this prison jacket at Kaufering which was a network of subsidiary camps of the Dachau concentration camp. After benzion liberation he held on to the jacket for 33 years even taking it to the United states with him after he immigrated from Germany. The uniforms which were blue and brown striped had handwritten numbers on the right pocket which i’m assuming indicating the prisoner number.
Im Conclusion, I learned so much about the holocaust during my visit at the Kupferberg center located on QCC campus by the stories i read to the artifacts that were displayed through the museum. Exiting the museum i came back to the same quote that i once saw when I entered the museum “And When The last Survivor is Gone, who will tell the Holocaust?”I believe it our duty to tell the Holocaust to future generations to come. I hope many other people will visit the Holocaust center.