VIRGINIA — They are Minnesota survivors of Nazi savagery. They managed to escape from Adolph Hitler’s “ultimate solution” Holocaust plan for them.
And their stories and photos are now chronicled in a traveling exhibit — “Transfer of Memory” — that will visit the Virginia’s B’nai Abraham Museum and Cultural Center throughout October.
More than 35 Minnesotans, who came to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s and settled in the Gopher State, are profiled in the exhibit, which is sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council.
“We are working in conjunction with Professor Sue Devereux at Mesabi Community College (who has taught Holocaust course at the college for more than 14 years) and anticipate programming for many different classes and groups in the community,” said Dr. Charles Ostrov of the Twin Cities, who is treasurer of Friends of B’nai Abraham Educators, in an email to the Mesabi Daily News.
“There will also be an exhibit of photos taken at Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps in the gallery at the college library for the month of October.”
Costs of the exhibit in Virginia will be picked up by the Friends of B’nai Abraham “... at no cost to the community as we feel that it is important information in dealing with the past and current world situation,” Ostrov said.
Dr. Ostrov has a personal connection to Virginia. His father and mother operated Ostrov’s Super Market on Second Avenue and Fifth Street South, just a couple blocks from the Jewish Synagogue.
The exhibit’s photos are by David Sherman, who was a born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa.
The stories were written by Lili Chester, who was born in Austria and is the first child of two Holocaust survivors.
The B’nai Abraham Synagogue in Virginia was built in 1909-10; it was the last remaining active synagogue on the Iron Range until its congregation dwindled to a handful of members who could no longer maintain the handsome brick structure.
It closed its doors in the mid-1990s. It was acquired in 2004 by Friends of B’nai Abraham, who raised funds, and continue to do so, for the building’s restoration and reuse in order to serve as a museum and cultural center
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