(December 2022) In Focus: The Holocaust through the VHEC Collection  

The Holocaust stands apart as an unprecedented event in human history. Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators carried out the systematic and state-sponsored persecution and annihilation of six million European Jews and five million non-Jewish victims.

Words and statistics cannot convey the full dimensions of the Shoah. This exhibition instead focuses on original artefacts that illuminate the experiences of both individuals and societies during the Holocaust and its aftermath.

In Focus: The Holocaust through the VHEC Collection brings to the forefront more than ninety artefacts and archival records from the VHEC collection. Most of these artefacts were donated by local Holocaust survivors, eyewitnesses and their families. Others were donated by collectors dedicated to preserving the historical record. Each artefact tells a unique story—whether of loss, persecution, resistance, survival or hope—and humanizes themes of Holocaust study.

Originally created by the VHEC and mounted in 2018, the In Focus exhibition has been reimagined with a new selection of artefacts. Many of the artefacts provide broad historical context while others speak to personal experiences during tumultuous events. Arranged thematically, the artefacts invite viewers to engage with the history of the Holocaust in an intimate and meaningful way.

Original exhibition produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre © 2018

Curator: Dr. Ilona Shulman Spaar
Researchers: Meredith Shaw, Katie Powell, Thalia Cohen Bacry, Ellyn Hill
Collections: Caitlin Donaldson
Historical Advisor: Dr. Lauren Faulkner Rossi
Editor: Lise Kirchner
Design: Public
With special thanks to Katie Renaud and Karina Vertlib

Exhibition redevelopment team:
Tessa Coutu
Caitlin Donaldson
Jasmin Ghorbani
Lise Kirchner
Chase Nelson
Franziska Schurr
Shyla Seller

Design: Illene Yu
Copy editing: Jesmine Cham

And with profound gratitude to the Holocaust survivors, their families, and the community of individuals who have entrusted the VHEC with their materials and memories for the purpose of advancing Holocaust education and remembrance.

2018 exhibition supported by the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant program, the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation, London Drugs, Coast Hotels, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver, Dr. Robert & Marilyn Krell, Leon z”l & Evelyn Kahn and Family, Isaac & Judy Thau, Jody & Harvey Dales, Birgit Westergaard & Norman Gladstone, the Ben & Esther Dayson Charitable Foundation, Rabbi Yosef Wosk, Bob Markin & Ralph Markin z”l, and the Lohn Foundation.

2022 exhibition redevelopment supported by the Marsid Family Foundation and the Al Roadburg Foundation.

(Coming Soon) Age of Influence: Youth & Nazi Propaganda

The VHEC is developing an exhibition exploring the role and impact of propaganda during the Holocaust. The exhibition will emphasize the different ways the Nazis propagated antisemitism and how it played a key role in the persecution of Jews. Visitors will be invited to actively question, analyze and seek truth, and understand how and why propaganda continues to be relevant today.