{Reactions to “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust Exhibit} Client: Simon Wiesenthal Center

It was a powerful experience, compiling the quotes of those who were inspired by “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust exhibit this past year. From politicians to high school students to Holocaust survivors, here are some of my favorite reactions from those who wrote and emailed in gratitude for the exhibit …


770,000+ Lives Touched in California & Florida: Reactions to “The Courage to Remember” traveling exhibit

“I think it gives the older generation hope that this story will be passed on and it will just continue like a chain reaction. Please join me in attending the ‘Courage to Remember’ traveling exhibit at the Tulare County Library so this generation can continue to be a voice for the victims of the Holocaust.”

– Holly Wilson, 17, attended the Visalia exhibit, reached out to the Foundation for California to see how she could help promote the exhibit to her community

“Often times, history goes by us, and we don’t even realize it. Make that commitment [to see this exhibit] and make sure that these things don’t happen again. They happened because of actions and inactions of leaders throughout the world.”

– Santa Ana Chief of Police Carlos Rojas

“What [this exhibit] does is make people ask more so they can learn.”

– Holocaust survivor Ruth Gruber, who spoke at the Sacramento exhibit opening

“All of us should really learn about the Holocaust. Some of us don’t really appreciate what it means. Seeing an actual survivor was pretty chilling. I just Tweeted, ‘I just hugged a survivor from the Holocaust.'”

– Edith Corona, 16, on meeting survivor Elane Gellar at the Santa Ana “Courage to Remember” opening ceremony

“Most teenagers today don’t even care about this anymore. We need to really focus on what happened. We need to realize that life is really precious. I felt really gifted that I got to meet a survivor.”

– Mitzi Reyes, 16, attended the Santa Ana “Courage to Remember” opening ceremony

“You can’t see this sort of thing and not be moved. And college is where we want students to have those kinds of experiences. We want them to see things they would not ordinarily see, and have them shape the kinds of people that they become.”

 – Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh

“I am writing to thank you and your organization for the opportunity to host and display “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust exhibit at the Armed Forces History Museum September thru October 5th 2012.

As you know, the exhibit was put on display at the Westfield Mall in Clearwater, FL prior to being set up at our museum. The publicity from the grand opening event at the mall generated not only much interest at the mall but also at the museum.

It is our desire, as stated in our mission statement, to educate our younger generations as to the sacrifices made by so many to protect our freedom. Therefore, your wonderful exhibit brought the message home to many visitors of all ages. The comments we received were many and mostly from young adults who have never heard about these atrocities.

I hope our museum will have the opportunity to again host the exhibit when in Florida. Appreciation is extended to you, your staff and your wonderful sponsors, SNCF and the Museum of Tolerance, for not letting the world forget the horrors and sadness endured by the Jewish community. While we can’t undo the past, your efforts surely serve to perpetuate the memories so future generations will never have to endure the suffering as so many millions did in the past.”

– John J. Piazza, Sr., President, Armed Forces History Museum, FL

“Many people would leave the community room where the display was placed and come to the reference desk to share their thanks for the library hosting this event.  We would like to extend their thanks that they brought to us to your foundation and your sponsors for making it possible.”

 – Ann Jones, Librarian, Vista Branch, San Diego County Library

“This vital exhibit reinforces the need for remembrance, and it challenges each human being to speak out against the injustices and hateful ideologies of our day. These aspects are raised to a whole new level in our increasingly inter-connected world which has it own set of dangers and threats. Yet, with educational resources like this exhibit, there is reason to hope that tolerance and goodwill will be fostered among communities.”

– Laszlo Kalman dr., Consul General, Hungarian Consulate, Los Angeles

“Thank you very much for providing Beale Memorial Library the golden opportunity to host the Courage to Remember exhibit in May 2012. Thank you also to the exhibit sponsor, SNCF, for funding this exhibit. The panels were placed in the library’s main lobby, and with my office being next to the lobby, I was able to witness first-hand just how strong the interest was among our community members in learning about the Holocaust. The powerful images and narratives of the exhibit fulfilled the community’s need for knowledge and awareness as gleaned from the people who came to see the exhibit.

I hope we could have this exhibit again next year for the benefit of those who didn’t get to see the exhibit last May. More power to the Foundation for California.”

– Maria Rutledge, Head Librarian – Beale Memorial Library, Long Beach

“Being a survivor, when so many lost their lives, showed me a purpose, and I have dedicated my life to make sure that the atrocities of World War II are never forgotten so the Jewish community and all those who are discriminated against are protected from another Holocaust.”

– Cantor Emil Levy, CEO of the Flame Society and a Holocaust survivor, speaking at the opening ceremony for the exhibit in Clearwater, FL

 “As a Jewish Marine Corps veteran, I was both mesmerized and brought to tears by the exhibit. Very powerful.”

 – Shelly Bauer, Public Relations Director, Tampa Bay Veterans Alliance, Inc.

Tolerance and education about the Holocaust is necessary across this country and “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust exhibit is providing that for all people. My hope is that this tour will continue to educate future generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust and help to prevent similar catastrophes.

Again thank you to Valencia College and the many sponsors that helped to make this incredibly educational event happen: The Simon Wiesenthal Center, SNCF & The Foundation For California. Thank you for the tremendous work you have done and will continue to do in the future.

– Corrine Brown, Member of Congress, FL-05

During the month of January 2012, Congregation Beit Shalom was honored to receive the photographic display, “The Courage To Remember”. The local newspaper, the Times Delta, picked up the story of this special event and showing, and gave us continuing news coverage in several newspapers. We also received a large color spread in the magazine, “Lifestyles”. The educational and emotional impact was significant. It is through educational outreach and moral guidance provided to small agricultural communities like ours, that anti-Semitism can be stopped and/or prevented.

– Cynthia Fischer, Para-Rabbinic, Congregation Beit Shalom, Visalia, CA

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