New Illinois Holocaust Museum Exhibit Explores Stories of Survivorship

Doll belonging to Ida Sefer Roche from Bosnia. Ida’s father was in a Bosnian concentration camp and released. Upon returning home, he gathered belongings, including this doll, to take with him to meet his family. Sefer currently resides in Chicago. (Photo by Jim Lommasson, courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.)

Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. is set to make its world premiere at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie. The new exhibition explores the journey and fight of survivors of the Holocaust and past genocides that have taken place around the world, including in Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Syria. Each story is told through everyday objects paired with personally annotated photographs.

Illinois Holocaust Museum's Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.

Typewriter that belonged to Beatrice Ring’s mother, used to obtain visas to escape Nazi Germany. Beatrice resides in Wilmette, Illinois. (Photo by Jim Lommasson, courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.)

“Jim’s work so beautifully brings together photography with testimony,” says Museum Chief Curator Arielle Weininger of featured photographer, Jim Lommasson. “The process of hearing each survivor’s story and seeing it portrayed visually, in tandem with their cherished object, has been so touching, and the end result is incredibly powerful.”

Running July 19 to Jan. 13, Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. is a can’t miss event — here are five reasons why:

1. Be the very first to lay eyes on and experience this exhibition. Stories of Survival will make its debut at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center before touring museums across the country.

2. Get local: Stories of Survival features all Chicago survivors or their descendants.

3. See photographs by renowned photo-documentarian Jim Lommasson paired with each object.

4. The stories, told through a multimedia experience, are incredibly moving yet relatable, and every accompanying object has extraordinary meaning beyond its everyday purpose.

5. The new exhibition helps mark the 10th anniversary of the museum’s opening and formation by Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman.

Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. at Illinois Holocaust Museum

Teddy bear that belonged to Ursula Meyer retrieved after surviving the Theresienstadt ghetto/concentration camp. The lender is Marianne Hesse, niece of Ursula, who lives in San Francisco. (Photo by Jim Lommasson, courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.)

Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory. is supported by the generosity of Breakthrough Fund: An Innovation of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago; Lester and Edward Anixter Family Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; Women’s Leadership Committee of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center; Abraham and Irene Horn; Nicor GasGeorge and Judith Giddens; Flyback Productions; The Golder Family Foundation; and numerous community partners.

For more information, visit ilholocaustmuseum.org/storiesofsurvival

 

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Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.