The Melbourne Holocaust Museum (MHM) has opened two new permanent exhibitions, honouring the survivors of the Holocaust.
The first is Everybody had a name; nobody has a grave. This is what survivor Tuvia Lipson would tell visitors and schoolchildren when sharing his story. The experiences shared in this exhibit honour the survivors who are determined to inspire and educate future generations and prevent such atrocities from happening again.
Survivors share their experiences, along with those of their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends, to commemorate the victims and amplify their voices.
This exhibition is divided into six sections, taking visitors on a journey from life before the war, to the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of WWII through to liberation and its aftermath. Powerful photographs and evocative artefacts break the expansive and tragic events into small stories.
Melbourne Holocaust Museum CEO Jayne Josem said, “We have taken great care in creating this exhibition to ensure that this vital history is engaging for a wide variety of visitors.” Josem encourages visitors to “put away any preconceived notions about museum exhibitions and encounter the powerfully inspiring and beautifully designed story space”.
Visitors will be moved by the history, provoked by its messages and yet inspired to do better in the world today.
Due to the sensitive nature of this exhibition’s content, it may not be suitable for children under 15 years old.
The second new exhibition, Hidden: Seven Children Saved, is designed for children aged 10 years and older. The heart of the exhibition focuses on the experiences of seven children who all survived the Holocaust in hiding: Joe de Haan, John Lamovie, Halina Zylberman, Paul Grinwald, Henri Korn, Sonia Kempler and Floris Kalman.
Hidden is an immersive exhibition allowing visitors to hear firsthand the survivors’ perseverance and bravery, along with the acts of kindness and courage of others, that helped to save their lives. Its testimonials, showcased by photos and artefacts, keep the child’s perspective in mind. With moving images, soundscapes, dioramas and projections, this exhibition educates on the impact of restrictions and discrimination against Jews in the Nazi Europe era.
In addition to the two permanent exhibitions, visitors can experience Walk with Me: an immersive survivor testimony. Holocaust survivor John Szaja Chaskiel takes viewers to the sites of his incarceration and the streets of his hometown; with a VR experience it feels as if one is walking right beside him.