By the time the Anne Frank: A Private Photo Album exhibit closes on March 30, 2013, more 22,089 people will have visited the Museum to view the exquisite photos. The following day the walls will become bare again.
The walls will be painted and patched; and not by magic I assure you, as the new gallery exhibit, A Monument of Good Deeds will be installed.
A Monument of Good Deeds
An exhibition open from April 8, 2013 - June 30, 2013
“I wish you would build a monument for us. One that would reach the sky. A pillar that the whole world would be able to see - a statue not from marble and not from stone, rather from good deeds. I believe in complete faith, that only a monument made this way, could secure a better future for you and for your children.”
—Donya Rosen, age 10, written on a scrap of paper while hiding in a forest on June 23, 1943
On loan from the world’s premier Holocaust memorial museum, Yad Vashem, this special exhibit makes its first North American museum appearance at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance: A Monument of Good Deeds.
Through photographs, paintings and illustrations taken, painted and drawn by young people during the Holocaust, this unforgettable exhibit reminds us all not only of what is lost to us but why we must never forget “good deeds” and celebrate their occurrence as an act of both memory and testimony.
Based on the vision of an empty classroom where 13 victims of the Holocaust once sat, the exhibition features 13 interactive and educational panels displayed on chalkboards. Through sketches, poems, diaries and handmade games, we are invited into their lives to experience their hopes, dreams and fears.
What’s evident from the exhibit is that these young people—innocent, creative, enduring—expect to return to a normal life.
But, as we come to realize through the exhibit, many of the 13 will die—representative of the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Yet, some of them survive, we learn, and, after rebuilding their lives, they go on to lead lives of tremendous generosity. Good deeds.
For visitors to the exhibit, an invitation awaits. Some of the chalkboards offer interactive experiences, enabling hands-on participation not by mere classroom observers, but by participants who may ultimately express their interpretation of the classroom environment they experience.
Finally, the exhibit reveals the back story of Donya Rosen, a 10-year-old child hiding in a forest and missing her family, who leaves a note asking for the building of a monument built from good deeds—a monument not in honor of her life and other children who suffer horrific deeds, but for children yet to come, so that future generations will encounter only good deeds.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, 211 N. Record Street, Dallas, TX 75202 (In the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas at the southwest corner of Pacific and Record). Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.