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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Holocaust exhibit tells survivors’ stories

Holocaust. A word that evokes sympathy for those persecuted, disgust for those involved and reality for those who survived.
“When They Came to Take My Father Away” is an exhibit at the MSC Forsyth Gallery sponsored by Texas A&M Hillel and the Bryan Rotary Club. The exhibit displays photographs of Holocaust survivors taken by world-renowned photographer Mark Seliger.
In 1996, Seliger published a book of photographs of survivors along with their statements. The Holocaust Museum in Houston extracted the original photographs and created a traveling exhibition that is now on display at the Forsyth Gallery.
Each photograph in the exhibit has a panel next to it with a quote detailing either the subject’s experiences during the Holocaust or sentiments about the Holocaust.
“When you start reading, some of the things these people endured are staggering, and it’s a very powerful exhibition,” Curtis said.
The museum’s mission statement is to build an awareness and appreciation for the visual arts, and Curtis said showcasing Seliger’s work fulfills the mission.
“It is difficult to effectively photograph human beings, and he’s done such a brilliant job,” Curtis said.
This exhibit is a startling look into the lives of Holocaust survivors.
“With each passing day, there are fewer survivors still in the world and we are quickly losing our living links to these events,” said Adam Seipp, a professor in the history department.
According to Curtis, the aim of this exhibition is to build a greater understanding of the tragedy of the Holocaust and a greater understanding of the need for diversity.
“Recently, A&M has emphasized the importance of diversity with Vision 2020. Building a globally aware student population is essential to improving the world around us. Stepping outside of our shoes for a moment and immersing ourselves into the lives of those who have lived through unspeakable tragedies can only strengthen our desire to end current injustices,” Curtis said.
Through this exhibition, Curtis is hoping to raise awareness for Amnesty International. Amnesty International’s website said it is a “global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.”
Although A&M does not have an Amnesty International chapter, Curtis said she hopes students will come together and support the fight to end injustices across the world.
“The holocaust is not just important because of what it can tell us about the past. Genocide and crimes against humanity are still a reality in our world today. The story of the holocaust shows us in brutal detail the processes through which governments can destroy their own people and neighbors can turn against their neighbors,” Seipp said.
Professor Adam Seipp will give a lecture on Holocaust survivors at the MSC Forsyth Gallery at 6:30 p.m. today.

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