VANCOUVER’S SCHINDLER JEWS
Schindler Jews presents the story of Oskar Schindler who rescued over 1000 Jews during the Holocaust, through the unique perspective of four Schindlerjuden who later immigrated to Canada and found new lives in Vancouver. The exhibit is based on the personal narratives, documents, photographs and artefacts of the four Schindler survivors – Else Dunner, Bernard Goldberg and Esther and Leon Kaufman – ensuring that their unique voices will not be lost.
Schindler was an unlikely hero. A member of the Nazi party and a war profiteer who exploited cheap Jewish labour, he benefited from lucrative German army contracts. This portrait defies the heroic archetype common in popular imagination. It challenges our preconceived notions of what constitutes a hero and why some people choose to act while others remain bystanders. Despite Schindler’s apparent character failings, Schindlerjuden in Vancouver and elsewhere have long demonstrated gratitude and devotion to the man, whose name has become synonymous with rescue during the Holocaust.
The exhibit addresses issues of racism, moral decision-making, and rescue during the Holocaust and during the more recent genocide in Rwanda. The exhibit concludes with an examination of acts of rescue during the Rwandan crisis including Romeo Dallaire, Captain Mbaye Diagne, Philippe Gaillard, Paul Rusesabagina and Carl Wilkens.
Sponsorship provided by the Bertha Fraeme Endowment Fund, of the VHEC. With special thanks to Faye Abrams, Barry Dunner, Manu Kabahizi and Lyliane Thal for their assistance.