‘Transfer of Memory’ exhibit opens at St. Olaf
A powerful exhibition featuring the portraits and narratives of Minnesota Holocaust survivors is on display for the first time in nearly two years for a month-long run at St. Olaf College.
“Transfer of Memory” documents the stories of people who survived concentration camps or were forced into hiding as children, and later came to live in Minnesota. The exhibition debuted a decade ago and has been viewed by tens of thousands of people in stops across the Midwest. It aims to provide a visceral link between the Holocaust and the generations of people who lack direct memories or connections to the horrors many experienced during World War II.
Laura Zelle, director of Holocaust Education for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and co-curator of the exhibition, along with Susie Greenberg, said the stories shared in “Transfer of Memory” provide a critical lesson about the potential results of hate and discrimination.
“In sharing the photos and stories of these survivors we also recognize that there are countless tales that will never be told,” she says. “It becomes our responsibility to be their collective memory, to acknowledge that those lost stories are still a part of the chronicle of our human history.”
In sharing the photos and stories of these survivors we also recognize that there are countless tales that will never be told. It becomes our responsibility to be their collective memory, to acknowledge that those lost stories are still a part of the chronicle of our human history.“Transfer of Memory” Co-Curator Laura Zelle
The exhibition opened September 30 and runs through October 28 in The Link, located on the main level between the Center for Art and Dance and Tweet Hall of Music. It is open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jane Becker Nelson, director and curator of the Flaten Art Museum, says students and faculty members from multiple academic departments at St. Olaf will visit “Transfer of Memory” and incorporate it into their lesson plans.
“‘Transfer of Memory’ provides space to explore issues of tolerance, prejudice, and discrimination,” she says.
The exhibition will also help set the stage for another upcoming exhibition of material in the Tetlie Collection of World War II Propaganda Posters. Becker Nelson says the museum secured funding to conserve, digitize, and frame some of the posters after consulting with — and getting the endorsement of — the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
A reception for “Transfer of Memory” is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13. The program will feature Steve Hunegs, JCRC executive director; Hannah Niederman ’23, co-president of the St. Olaf Jewish Student Organization; David Sherman, photographer; and Deanna Thompson, director of the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community.
This exhibition is curated by JCRC staff members, Laura Zelle and Susie Greenberg, and is a collaboration between David Sherman, Lili Chester, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. For more information about the exhibition, please visit http://transferofmemory.org/. Follow @TransferMemory on Twitter, @TransferofMemory on Instagram, and @TransferofMemory on Facebook.