For Omaha artist Ophir Palmon, the Holocaust is more than a history lesson. Born and raised in Israel, he found it part of his everyday life.
“For me, the Holocaust isn't a tale,” Palmon said. “My childhood was filled with people who had survived the concentration camps ... even though I had never seen (the camps), it was a vivid experience.”
Palmon's photography exhibit, “Future, Beware,” is part of a recent emphasis on Holocaust remembrance at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The exhibit is appearing in conjunction with three lectures.
Palmon and UNO history professor Moshe Gershovich launched the project after the appointment of Waitman Beorn as the first Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the university.
“I always think it's important to think about these things, about the Holocaust,” Beorn said, “because it's a human experience ... and the creation of this position, and of this exhibit, shows the investment that the university and community are making.”
Palmon's UNO display is a collection of his photos documenting the journey of a group of Jewish American teenagers participating in “March of the Living.”
Held in Poland, the event is an annual remembrance in which about 10,000 Jewish students from around the world march from Auschwitz to Birkenau.
The march commemorates the death marches of Holocaust victims toward the end of World War II, Palmon said.
“Ophir's images are very striking, very poignant,” Beorn said.
The exhibit will be on display in the Osborne Family Gallery on the first floor of the UNO Criss Library through Feb. 22. It is free and open to the public.
The schedule of lectures, all in the Criss Library, is:
» Thursday, 7 p.m.: “Auschwitz: A History of the Camp from Incarceration to Extermination,” Beorn.
» Jan. 24, 7 p.m.: “Escaping Nuremberg: How Adolf Eichmann Fled Justice,” Gerald Steinacher, assistant professor of history and Hyman Rosenberg Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
» Jan. 27, 7 p.m.: “The Ambitions of the SS in the East: Visualizing the Built Environment of Auschwitz,” Paul B. Jaskot, professor of the history of art and architecture, DePaul University. The date also is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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