Stories hold tremendous power. The stories we tell play a meaningful and impactful role in how we are remembered and how our legacies live on. The ‘Transfer of Memory’ exhibit understands this and the importance of passing on stories as they illuminate the lives and experiences of 44 Holocaust survivors living, or who lived, in Minnesota.
This exhibit showcases big, full-colored portraits of each survivor. They were photographed in their homes, here in Minnesota, by photographer David Sherman who initiated the Survivor Portrait Project for this exhibit. Sherman aimed to beautifully capture and document each survivor so that with each portrait, we will remember their face, their name, their stories.
With each portrait comes a harrowing story of both courage and loss. Though the vast array of horrors each survivor endured is almost unimaginable, the exhibit provides a heartrending medium for us to learn their stories and for them to be remembered. And while each survivor could fill volumes with their accounts, Lili Chester was given the exceedingly difficult task to carry on each survivor’s memory and condense their stories and experiences into a few short paragraphs. Chester knows all too well the importance of remembrance as both her parents are Holocaust survivors as well.
Chester captured Margot Dewilde survival story of working with the underground movement in Holland creating forged ID papers before she and her husband were sent to Auschwitz where she became a human guinea pig for Dr. Mengele’s horrific experiments.
Another survivor, Helen Bix, recounted her perilous journey escaping from Germany to Shanghai where in 1943, the Japanese forced her family into abhorrent conditions in the Hongkew ghetto.
These are just snippets of the stories and lives of each survivor, but you will be able to read their full stories next to their portraits at the exhibit.
The ‘Transfer of Memory’ website describes the exhibit, “As a collection, these images focus on life and hope. From Europe to Minnesota, it was here they fashioned their dreams, their futures, and their families. Their lives are constant reminders about the value of freedom and the enduring human spirit.”
Currently, the ‘Transfer of Memory’ exhibit is on display at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport. The traveling exhibit will be displayed at the airport through February 5th finding perfect timing with the tremendous influx of people coming in from all corners for the Super Bowl. With this surge, hopefully more eyes will see this remarkable exhibit and will bare witness and continue the memory of each survivor.
To see the exhibit, located near gate C18 in the film screening room at Terminal 1 and in the Gallery across from gate H3 at Terminal 2, you will need a boarding pass to get through security. However, ‘Transfer of Memory’ will next be displayed at the Basilica of St. Mary’s in Minneapolis from February 7th through March 11th.
To learn more about the exhibit, where it will be displayed next or if you’d like to participate in the project, go to the ‘Transfer of Memory’ website.