In the run-up to the exhibition, a Nazi freight train car like the ones used to transport Jews and others to the Auschwitz concentration camp arrived at the site on Thursday. It will be part of next year’s exhibition.
Auschwitz survivor, David Lenga, 95, said during the event: "We all owe it to the Holocaust victims – both those who lost their lives and those who were fortunate to survive – to show our respect. We must remember them with dignity and gratitude and recognize the horror they endured”. Another Auschwitz survivor, 99 year-old Joe Alexander was also present.
The Auschwitz. Not so long ago. Not so far away exhibition is the first touring exhibition on the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz. It has been prepared jointly by the Auschwitz Museum in Poland and Spanish company Musealia.
It explores the dual identity of Auschwitz as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.
It includes more than 700 original objects such as suitcases, eyeglasses and shoes that belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz.
Other artifacts include concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; fragments of an original barrack for prisoners; a desk and other possessions of the first and the longest serving Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; and a gas mask used by Adolf Hitler's elite SS security force.
John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Foundation, has said that the exhibition ”does not only commemorate the vast human losses that mankind experienced in what was one of the darkest chapters in its history, but also points to the efforts that should be undertaken to uphold the memory of the millions of people who lost their lives”.
The exhibition has already been shown in Madrid, New York and Kansas City. It is currently on display in Malmoe, Sweden, where it closes in January.