Exhibition a sober reminder of Nazi brutality

May 7, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Titled “Registered, persecuted, annihilated: The Sick and the Disabled under National Socialism,” the Queensland-first exhibition showcases the brutality of Nazi Germany’s Aktion T4, the so-called Nazi ‘euthanasia’ program.

Bart Mellish, Professor Margaret Sheil, Dr Darren O’Brien and Dr Mary Crawford

This week, the Queensland Museum hosted the launch of this travelling Holocaust exhibition from Germany.

Dr Darren O’Brien, president of The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, said he was thrilled to finally launch the exhibition after more than one year of planning throughout a global pandemic.

“I am hopeful the exhibition will act to inform many Queenslanders, including those beyond the Jewish community, to contemplate this bleak history and take away the message that many of the best medical minds of the time became enmeshed in the pursuit of an abhorrent vision of a racial utopia,” Dr O’Brien said.

Guest speaker Professor Margaret Sheil, chair of the advisory board of Queensland Museum and QUT Vice-Chancellor, said this exhibition was a timely reminder to not turn our backs on the many people overseas who are facing big challenges during the COVID pandemic.

“It’s Queensland’s opportunity to understand what happens when a society turns its back on the vulnerable, the sick and the disadvantaged. And there are thousands of stories here in this exhibition alone,” Ms Sheil said.

Other guest speakers included Dr Mary Crawford Executive Director and Chair TJ Ryan Foundation, and Bart Mellish, Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans’ Affairs, Trade and COVID Economic Recovery.

Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies Vice-President Jason Steinberg said it was timely to present the exhibition as part of Australian Holocaust Memorial Week.

“Quality exhibitions like this demonstrate why we need to educate all Queenslanders on the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust. This is why we are focussed on establishing a permanent Holocaust Museum and Education Centre,” Mr Steinberg said.

The exhibition, which came from DGPPN (the largest scientific medical association focussing on mental health in Germany), was brought to Brisbane thanks to the hard work and organisation of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and support of the Gandel Foundation, as well as Courage to Care who facilitated the funding.

The exhibition was also made possible thanks to The Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, TJ Ryan Foundation, and Queensland Museum.

The exhibition is free to all and will be on display at Queensland Museum from 30-April – 9 May 2021 and at Royal Brisbane and Women’s hospital from the 17-21 May 2021.

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