Letters of Loss and Refuge: an exhibition at Sydney’s B’nai B’rith Centre

March 15, 2019 by Community newsdesk
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The exhibition “Letters of Loss and Refuge” will open at the B’nai B’rith Centre in Kensington on Sunday.

Procured from the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town the exhibition was curated and written by Professor Shirli Gilbert (professor of modern History and director of the Parkes Institute for Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations at the University of South Hampton) is based on her book From Things Lost.

After an accidental fire in the Johannesburg at the home of Norman and Carol Schwab in 1986, a large wooden trunk that had lain unopened for years in the garage was discovered. In it lay a treasure trove of correspondence between Norman’s father Rudolf Schwab and relatives and friends during the Holocaust years and later.

Rudolf Schwab had fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on the advice of a German school friend, Karl Kipfer and found sanctuary in South Africa in 1936.

His family had lived in the small city of Hanau in Germany since the 1600s and were prominent and well known for their community involvement.

His collection of letters written to family and friends covers 4 decades, 5 continents and includes both sides of the correspondence, (Rudolf kept carbon copies of his own letters as well as those he received). This invaluable collection gives us insight into his life, his struggle as a refugee, his displacement, his loss of family and his reconnection with those who survived, also strangely with his friend Karl.”

The exhibition will be open at the B’nai B’rith Centre, Barker Street, Kensington, UNSW from 17 March to 14 April 2019.

Opening times Monday to Thursday 10am – 4pm, Sundays 10am – 2pm

For bookings contact the B’nai B’rith office on 9321 6315 email: council@bbnsw.org.au 


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