Survivor Portraits – Lucy Chladek
May 11, 2022
Lucy Chladek was born in 1937. Even after surviving the Holocaust, she and her family were still not safe.
The stories behind the pink triangle
May 6, 2022
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia we reflect on the untold testimonies from the persecuted LGBTIQ community during the Holocaust.
Uncovering an exhibition that was never seen
April 26, 2022
Last July, Wendy Sharpe took to the walls of the Museum to paint a large mural titled “Vu iz dos Gesele?” Sadly, due to Covid lockdowns, the mural would never be seen by Museum visitors, until now, with the release of a new documentary by Joshua and Karly Marks about the exhibition. Here’s what the filmmakers had to say.
“Never Again”: Raising Genocide Awareness
April 21, 2022
During Genocide Awareness Month, Dr Breann Fallon explores the hard truth that the crime of genocide prevails around the world – and that genocidal atrocities are occurring right now, in more than one place. We examine the definition of genocide as a crime, some of the cases of genocide that have been ignored and the key warning signs we should be looking out for.
What happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust?
April 13, 2022
Not much has been written about Jewish soldiers fighting in the Allied armies against Germany during World War II. One estimate puts the number at 1.5 million. Resident Historian, Emeritus Professor Dr Konrad Kwiet examines what happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust.
“This year in Jerusalem”: the story of a Seder plate
March 24, 2022
This Seder plate from our collection was given to Samuel Steif in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1948. It depicts the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery – a meaning that would have taken on a deeper significance right after the Holocaust. It is engraved not with the traditional saying “Next year in Jerusalem”, but rather, “This year in Jerusalem”.
Telling the Holocaust through poems
March 17, 2022
For many Holocaust victims and survivors, poetry was used to convey experience in ways that traditional language simply could not. Holocaust poems have emerged as an important medium to express emotions of suffering, despair and even hope.
Gandel Survey finds a quarter of Australians don’t know about the Holocaust
February 10, 2022
A recent Australia-wide survey by the Gandel Foundation found that a quarter of Australians don’t know about the Holocaust. Our Head of Education, Dr Rebecca Kummerfeld provides some important insights.
The Wannsee Protocol and The Villa at the Lake
January 20, 2022
On 20 January 1942, high-ranking officials of the Nazi State assembled at a villa on lake Wannsee in Berlin to sign the infamous Wannsee protocol, a plan for what was to be known as the “Final Solution”.
A story hidden in the seams
December 13, 2021
These Christmas-themed charms in our collection were made by a seamstress named Trude Baumann, within the walls of Oederan concentration camp between 1944 and 1945. Delicately detailed using small pieces of green and red felt, they showcase her talent for intricate stitchwork.
Uncovering a family’s last letters
December 3, 2021
This new donation to our collection will keep our curators and a Yiddish translator busy for at least three years.
Survivor Portraits – Jack Feiler
November 29, 2021
Jack was born in a village just outside of Krakow, where a small group of Jews were hiding in a farmstead. With Nazis patrolling the area, the cries of a baby in hiding created an imminent danger.
Shining light on the chanukiah from Theresienstadt
November 23, 2021
This chanukiah was used by Rosalie and Ernst Salm to celebrate the festival of Chanukah, during the three years they were incarcerated in the Theresienstadt. It appears to have been made by hand from a low-grade metal; there are no distinctive marks from the chanukiah’s maker, though it was created by inmates within the walls of the ghetto-concentration camp.
Malka Bulkowstein and the Children’s Memorial
November 16, 2021
Adek Bulkowstein experienced a loss so great that he was never able to speak of it with anyone: His wife, Lila, and five-year-old daughter, Malka, were both murdered in Treblinka.
“She gave me life”: How Irena Szumska-Ingram saved her Jewish husband
November 15, 2021
In November 2009, Irena Szumska-Ingram was honoured posthumously with the Righteous Among the Nations award for saving the life of Bernard Hellreich – the man who would later become her husband.
Survivor Portraits – Peter Gyenes
October 21, 2021
Peter Gyenes was born in 1941 in Budapest, Hungary. His story highlights the power of kindness and compassion.
Regina Zielinski: Escape from Sobibor
October 8, 2021
Regina Zielinski: Escape from Sobibor By Roslyn Sugarman, Head Curator Every year on 14 October we remember Regina Zielinski, Australia’s only Sobibor death camp survivor. Regina (Riva) was born on …
October 1, 2021
Holocaust ‘fashion’ By Dr Jonathan Kaplan, 2021 Museum Research Fellow Despite the horrific conditions of the Nazi camps, prisoners tried to maintain control over their own bodies in whatever ways …
Survivor Portraits – Alice Loeb
September 30, 2021
Alice Loeb was born in 1943 in Zurich, Switzerland. She was born stateless, as her parents escaped from Austria in 1938 after the Nazis invaded.
“An eye for an eye”
September 24, 2021
“An eye for an eye” By Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian “Jewish Youth!… Do not be led astray. Of the 80,000 Jews in the ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’ (Vilna) only …
A friendship book rescued from a second-hand bookshop
July 22, 2021
A small ‘autograph book’ or ‘friendship album’ kept by a young German girl came into our possession in 2015: it had been rescued from obscurity from a second-hand bookshop in Bondi in the mid-1980s. How it came to be there one can only speculate.
Preserving a lost religious world
July 1, 2021
These silver Judaica items tell a story of a lost religious world. They survived the Holocaust and post-war communism, and were smuggled out from Hungary to Australia, one by one, in the 1980s.
4 lessons you can learn today from Holocaust survivors
June 30, 2021
If you are in need of inspiration today, here are words from four Holocaust survivors on resilience, perspective, happiness and humour.
Survivor Portraits – Maurice Linker
June 25, 2021
Maurice Linker was born in 1930 in Czernowitz, Romania. Maurice and his family survived the Holocaust with the help of the Mayor of Czernowitz.
Survivor Portraits – Beate Stricker
June 1, 2021
Beate Stricker was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1930. Beate’s father sourced the necessary papers for the family to leave immediately after Kristallnacht. Their destination was Australia.
Kapos: collaborators, perpetrators or victims?
May 20, 2021
Kapos: collaborators, perpetrators or victims? By Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian Jewish Kapos played a pivotal role in the history of the Holocaust. Imprisoned in concentration camps, Kapos were …
Survivor Portraits – Anne Heilig
April 30, 2021
Anne Heilig was born in Berlin, Germany in 1935. Hitler had already come to power and the persecution of the Jews in Germany had begun. Anne and her parents were lucky enough to receive a visa to Australia.
Honouring the dead
April 6, 2021
Honouring the dead Author: Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian Jews follow religious laws and traditional rites of burying and honouring the dead. The deceased are thoroughly washed as an …
Survivor Portraits – Vera Kertesz
March 12, 2021
Holocaust survivor Vera Kertesz was born in 1933 in Czechoslovakia. She was an only child and believed if her parents had had more children, the family would not have survived.
A firefighter’s charms
March 12, 2021
A firefighter’s charms These small metal charms in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s collection were made in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. They belonged to Pavel Thorsch, a member of the Feuerwache (FW); …
Juden Raus! Out with the Jews! – The Anschluss of Austria
March 11, 2021
Juden Raus! Out with the Jews! – The Anschluss of Austria By Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian On 12 March 1938, Hitler’s army marched into Austria. The subsequent Anschluss …
Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards
March 2, 2021
Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards Bordered by blue tape and creased by decades of history, the birthday cards given to Jacqueline Dale (nee Feldman) on the occasion of …
Survivor Portraits – Leon Milch
February 25, 2021
Holocaust survivor Leon Milch was born in 1932 in Podhajce, Poland, a vibrant town of 6000 people, of which half were Jewish. He and his brother lost both of their parents in the Holocaust.
The hidden ink sketches of Chaim Uryson
February 9, 2021
The hidden ink sketches on Chaim Uryson A collection of eight ink sketches recently piqued our curators’ attention once more. These sketches in our collection were done by Polish Jewish …
Survivor Portraits – Peter Reismann
February 2, 2021
Holocaust survivor Peter Reismann was born in 1939 in Budapest, Hungary. At 4 years old, he remembers hurrying into a dark and small bunker.
The perpetual markings of Auschwitz
January 27, 2021
The perpetual markings of Auschwitz By Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and marks 76 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Only in Auschwitz …
Survivor Portraits – Yvonne Engelman
December 17, 2020
Holocaust survivor Yvonne Engelman was born in 1927 in Dovhe, Czechoslovakia. After promising her father she’d survive, Yvonne survived Auschwitz.
International Migrants Day: Waves of Jewish migration to Australia
December 17, 2020
International Migrants Day: Waves of Jewish migration to Australia The waves of Jewish migration to Australia before and after World War II have been turning points in the history of …
Remembering Kristallnacht in Australia
November 9, 2020
Remembering Kristallnacht in Australia On this day 82 years ago, the Nazis unleashed Kristallnacht – or the Night of Broken Glass – a bloody pogrom in Germany, Austria and Sudetenland. …
Oma’s Coffee Mug
October 7, 2020
A recent addition to our collection, this Villeroy & Boch mug that bears Nazi imagery on its base has an interesting history.