The Holocaust Resource Center’s mobile exhibit Prejudice and Memory is one of the first of its kind in the world. Designed for use in schools and museums, the exhibit travelled around Ohio for two years. Finally the cost of moving the exhibit, and the wear and tear, led to a decision to house it permanently at the National Museum of the US Air Force. It was designed by graduate students in Wright State University’s museums and archives program under the direction of Brian Hackett of the Montgomery County Historical Society. Funding came from private donors, Culture Works, and especially, from the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Renate Frydman has supervised the project from its inception and through its travels, and oversees the educational programs now in place at the Air Force Museum. Prejudice and Memory is intended to answer a wide and growing demand from teachers and students in western Ohio for information on the Holocaust as an object lesson in race hatred and prejudice, and what happens when we fail to oppose them.
The main exhibit consists of a free- standing rectangular display about eight feet long and six feet high, with a set of Plexiglas panels containing photographs and text. The tops of the panels have jagged edges to represent the “broken glass” of Kristallnacht in 1938. Behind the panels (which are removable, in the hopes that we can afford to have alternate panels made at a future date) is a permanent backdrop, a life-size photograph of children looking through the barbed wire of a concentration camp. Also part of the exhibit are a number of artifacts donated by local survivors (a camp uniform, ghetto money, a violin with a fascinating history, flags, original photographs, etc). Prejudice and Memory is accompanied by information handouts (for students and the public) and curriculum guides (for teachers). There is also a comprehensive booklet, “The People of Prejudice and Memory,” available in the museum gift shop.
Also included is a remarkable series of photographs of the camps by Cy Lehrer.
The exhibit’s grand opening was held at the Dayton Museum of Natural History (now the Boonshoft Discovery Museum) from September 21 to November 23, 1997.
Please contact the Air Force Museum at (937) 255-8048, ext. 462, to arrange group tours.