The Holocaust is the Sydney Jewish Museum’s showcase permanent exhibition that traces the history of the Holocaust; the state-orchestrated persecution and annihilation of six million Jewish people by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945.
The exhibition also recognises the many other groups that the Nazis persecuted, whom they perceived as inferior or a threat to their regime. These include political opponents, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Roma, Sinti and Slavic people, and Soviet prisoners of war.
The Holocaust traces the history of the Holocaust by way of themes, loosely following an historic timeline and using documents, photographs, original artefacts, film, maps, interactives, and audio and video testimony to guide the narrative. Many of the artefacts on display were donated by Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Australia after World War II.
The exhibition starts with European Jewish life prior to World War II. On the eve of World War II, approximately nine million Jews lived in Europe. The exhibition then follows the events that enabled the destruction of democracy and the solution to the “Jewish problem”. Also central to The Holocaust’s narrative are stories of Jewish resistance and the actions of courageous men and women who risked their lives to save Jews. The exhibition’s end goes beyond liberation in 1945, and highlights stories of migration to Australia, and the remnants of the survivors and victims of the Holocaust that were left to the next generations.
This exhibition offers no easy answers; it prompts visitors to consider the ethical implications of the processes, choices and decisions that were made in this complex and tumultuous period of history.
To enhance the visitor’s experience of this exhibition, a free app is available. Voices gives the opportunity to listen to the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, perpetrators, witnesses and experts as you move through the Museum. Please note, this app only works within the Museum. For more information on Voices, click here.