A new permanent Holocaust exhibition was set up at Auschwitz last year, appropriately titled “SHOAH.”
The exhibition is part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and is housed in Block 27.
SHOAH, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, aims to give a complete overview of the Holocaust—how it happened, who was targeted, and how it was enacted.
“We wanted to present the main aspects of Shoah and put Auschwitz in a wider context of the Nazis’ attempt to exterminate the Jews,” said Avner Shalev, the exhibition’s curator.
“In a place like this it doesn’t have to be presented in a chronological order. We wanted to present it in a visual way to give a visitor the sense of experience.”
The exhibition was designed and curated by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust trust. It replaces a communist-era display, which Yad Vashem said did not draw in many visitors.
Visitors to SHOAH will take in imagery, maps, photos and graphs displaying what life in Nazi Europe was like for Jews before, during and after the Holocaust.
In honor of the opening, Nobel laureate and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel wrote a message to those who will visit the new exhibit:
“Open your heart, visitor. And your mind. And your soul. As you walk through the exhibition ‘SHOAH’ and are enveloped by the sights and sounds of the past, hear the voices of the victims, see the drawings of the children, touch the names of the murdered.”
“Be this place’s messenger. Take with you a message that only the dead can still give the living: that of remembrance.”