Campus News

Union South commemorates liberation throughAuschwitz-Birkenau: Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp exhibit

The exhibit commemerates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp on Holocaust Memorial Day. 

The exhibit commemerates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp on Holocaust Memorial Day. 

Image By: Will Cioci

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Union South’s Gallery 1308 is home to the exhbit “Auschwitz-Birkenau: Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp” throughout the week.

Jan. 23, 2020 is Holoaust remembrance day to honor the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp — and the reason for the exhibit making its way to Madison, according to exhibit organizer and senior lecturer Dr. Ewa Miernowska. 

“The United States is experiencing a high number of antisemitic incidents and I think there remains in our society a feeling of antisemitism, islamophobia and a fear of immigrants that shows some prejudices,” Miernowska said. “If they are not unchallenged they can dangerously become socially acceptable.”

The exhibit displays a collection of posters portraying the progression of Nazism in Germany during World War II, specifically the German occupation in Poland. 

The posters create a visual timeline of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, beginning with its creation and ending with the Death March that marked the camps closure. Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest site of extermination during WWII.

“I think the exhibit shows how those trends could evolve into something more threatening,” Dr. Miernowska said. “So I think that the exhibit is not only an exhibit about the event and the celebration of the liberation of Auschwitz, but also a warning so we understand how easily something can happen when we are not expecting.” 

The work in the exhibit was created by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and is displayed in Wisconsin courtesy of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division. 

The exhibit is put on by the Department of German, Nordic, and Slovic, the Polish Heritage Club, the WUDud Art Committee and the Center for Jewish Studies, and will be on display in Gallery 1308, Union South from 10 a.m.- 10 p.m., Nov. 11-16. 

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