The Importance of Holocaust Remembrance

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02.17.2020

Dr. David Patterson, the Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies, discusses the importance of educating people about the Holocaust.
The Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at UT Dallas is hosting an exhibit commissioned by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC).
The “Texas Liberators Witness to the Holocaust” display features 21 stories of Nazi concentration camp liberators who hail from Texas. These liberators’ journeys through World War II brought some of them face to face with the horrors of concentration camps.
Those stories, as well as information about the Holocaust, can be found in the exhibit that is on display through March 12. Cheyanne Perkins, the THGC director of programs, recently talked about the exhibit as she set it up on the fourth floor of the Erik Jonsson Academic Center, adjacent to the Ackerman Center suite.

“We partner a lot with universities and Holocaust museums around the state, but also high schools, libraries, the state capitol and museums. We do educator’s workshops upon request to go over resources that teach Holocaust studies to kids at different age levels,” Perkins said. 

Cheyanne Perkins, director of programs for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
Many educators wonder how best to approach such an important yet challenging piece of history, she said. The THGC uses exhibits like this to provide information to the public and to guide educators on addressing these topics with students.
“With an exhibit like this, they can dig deeper into it if they want, but if not they’ve left with a little more knowledge and can seek it out on their own,” Perkins said. 

The exhibit, part of a more comprehensive project developed by Texas Tech University students and faculty, travels across the state and has invited surviving liberators to see how others respond to the stories.
David Patterson, Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies, said the exhibit provokes questions that will lead to learning — a key mission of what the Ackerman Center achieves every day.
–Sarah Wall