• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland
  • NEWS

  • 15 January 2019

    What was the daily experience of Jews hiding from the German machine of extermination and those who brought them help sometimes even risking their lives? An exhibition that juxtaposes these two distinct yet intertwined perspectives will be inaugurated in Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum on 24 January, three days before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    The travelling display showcases personal stories of Holocaust survivors and rescuers from ten different countries set against a broader historical context. The project is a joint initiative of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw) and the Silent Heroes Memorial Centre (Berlin).





    The Jewish genocide in war-torn Europe claimed millions of lives. In the face of the tragic fate of Jews, local populations of German-occupied countries along with some ordinary Germans faced a dilemma that they had probably never envisaged: how to react to such a mass atrocity? While individual responses to this question differed widely, only few offered help to people seeking to survive.


    The exhibition ‘Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust’ presents accounts from ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The Lithuanian part of the exhibition will showcase the stories of the Shochot family, a mother with two little sons who went into hiding after the liquidation of the Telšiai ghetto, and Sofija Binkienė, who – supported by her family –  managed to give a shelter to many refugees from the Kaunas ghetto and was later recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

    By outlining stories of survivors along with those of rescuers, the display highlights the complexity of human relations under extreme conditions. The testimonies are also shown against a broader historical background to offer a better understanding of local opportunities for Jews to survive and for helpers to provide aid.

    The exhibition had its premiere in Brussels with the official opening in the European Commission headquarters and later was presented also in Amsterdam and Bratislava. Vilnius will be the fourth stop on the exhibition’s tour around Europe.


    Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust

    Opening and preview: Thursday 24 January 2019, 17:30 hours

    On display: 24 January – 17 March 2019

    Venue:  Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Naugarduko st. 10/2, Vilnius 01309, Lithuania


    European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Silent Heroes Memorial Centre at the German Resistance Memorial Center Foundation



    Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), Germany


    Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Memorial Chambon sur Lignon, Memorial de la Shoah, Danish Jewish Museum, ‘Tkuma’ Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Castrum Peregrini; Museum of the Second World War, Poland; NIOD, the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN), Slovakia

    European Commission in Brussels

    Print Print Share: