July 20, 2000
ONLINE EXHIBITION PROVIDES GLANCE INTO LIFE DURING NAZI DEPORTATIONS
Artifact Center of Online Exhibition at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
WASHINGTON, D.C. — What was it like to live as a young Jew in Berlin during the Nazi deportations? Do You Remember When..., a new online exhibition presented by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, details the life of Manfred Lewin, a young Jew who was active in one of Berlin’s Zionist youth groups until his deportation to and murder in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Manfred recorded these turbulent times in a small, hand-made book that he gave to his Jewish friend and gay companion, Gad Beck. Mr. Beck, a Holocaust survivor who still lives in Berlin, donated the booklet to the Museum in December 1999. The exhibition centers around the 17-page artifact, which illustrates the daily life of the young couple and their youth group. It provides a vivid account of the hopes and fears of Jewish youth during the deportations, as well as a glimpse into gay Jewish life during the Holocaust. The exhibition can be found at: www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/doyourememberwhen/.
Do You Remember When... combines Manfred’s words with oral testimony, historic photos and traditional Hebrew songs sung by Manfred and Gad’s Zionist youth group. “The online exhibition allows us to tell the different stories contained in the book, which would have been difficult in a traditional exhibition setting,” explained Klaus Müller, curator of the exhibition. “This online exhibition gives the website visitor three-dimensional access to an artifact that would not be possible for an artifact on display at the Museum. In doing so, the booklet, once only meaningful for Gad and Manfred, has become a time capsule, a reminder of the friendships that were cut short by the Holocaust.”
In the fall of 1941, Manfred and his family were ordered by the Nazis to report for deportation, along with 50,000 other Jews. In an attempt to save Manfred, Gad disguised himself in an oversized Hitler Youth uniform and marched into Manfred’s holding camp, demanding his release. The ploy worked, but Manfred said he couldn’t leave his family and returned to the camp. That was the last time Gad saw his friend.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national institution for the documentation, study and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country’s memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. A unique public-private partnership, the Museum has welcomed more than 14 million visitors since its opening in April 1993. Its newest special exhibition, Flight and Rescue, is on display through October 21, 2001, and documents the escape of 2,100 Jews from Poland to the Far East.
For more information regarding the online exhibition, please contact Andy Hollinger at (202) 488-6133 or email@example.com.