Auschwitz artifacts on loan to Sydney museum

June 17, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The Sydney Jewish Museum has received artifacts on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

Artifacts

The loan marks and important development in the relationship between the two institutions and thus between Australia and Poland.
The objects to be displayed at the Sydney Jewish Museum include men’s, women’s and children’s shoes, tooth brushes, spectacles, powder compacts and an empty Zyklon B container.

They testify to the industrialised killing process developed by the Nazis during the Second World War.   Upon arrival civilians were stripped of all personal items before being sent to what they were told would be a shower.  Once in the sealed chamber, Zyklon B canisters, were dropped into a shaft killing everyone inside.  Murder on this scale was unprecedented.

Konrad Kwiet, Pratt Professor of Holocaust Studies at The University of Sydney and Resident Historian at Sydney Jewish Museum said that an important part of the museum’s work is acquiring remarkable relics left behind by the Holocaust, and linking its commemoration to the Australian community.

Anna Lopuska, the Deputy Head of the Preservation Department at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum will deliver the objects on Wednesday.

A spokesperson the Sydney Jewish Museum said: “The loan marks and important development in the relationship between the two institutions and thus between Australia and Poland.  ”

Prior to the official handover on Wednesday, she will be deliver an insider’s talk on the conservation issues at Auschwitz.  The challenges of preserving the site for the future have caught the world’s attention and her lecture will explore these issues.

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