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Weiss standing in front of an image of Holocaust survivor Ron Unger. (Photos by HMTC)

HMTC Announces Photographer Daniel G. Weiss To Release New Series Featuring Holocaust Survivors

Daniel Weiss was deeply moved after hearing the late Irving Roth speak to a group of students from the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in 2016. Irving Roth, a Holocaust survivor and renowned Holocaust educator was the first director of education of The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center (HMTC) in Glen Cove. Inspired by Roth’s vitality and energy, Daniel wanted to take his portrait. He reached out to Dinah Kramer, a retired teacher and daughter of Holocaust survivors, who was working with Roth at the time. In the course of their conversation, the germ of the idea to photograph Holocaust survivors was born. After three years, the completed exhibit of 18 local Holocaust survivors was on display at the Port Washington Library in January 2020.
Plans for the exhibit to travel to other locations were stalled by the pandemic. Since May 2022, the exhibit has been displayed at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, the Suffolk Y JCC, the Sid Jacobson JCC, the Merrick Library, and the Bryant Library. It will be on display at HMTC in May 2024 with the official opening on Sunday, May 5 at 2 pm. And, in the Fall of 2024, the photos will be on display at the Peninsula Library in Lawrence. Student groups have come to see these photos and it has become a wonderful vehicle to teach the history of the Holocaust. “This project has not only given a voice to those who have lived through unimaginable horrors but also serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up against hate and bias in these challenging times,” stated Weiss.
Teachers who have seen the exhibit have requested the photos to use as a way to teach this important history in their classrooms. The photos are printed on 30” by 40” canvases and are not portable. Donna Rosenblum, Workshop Educator at HMTC, together with the help of Dinah Kramer, docent educator and 2G presenter, and Bernie Furshpan, board member and Marketing Director at HMTC, created portable versions. HMTC has been using Weiss’ photos and survivor stories as part of their traveling presentation at schools. Through this presentation, they hope to inspire the next generation to be compassionate, and empathetic, and make a difference in the world. Recently, Bernie Furshpan printed larger-than-life banners displayed on the front exterior at HMTC as part of their “Our Stories. Our Voices.” campaign.
Daniel has become more passionate and dedicated to keeping these stories alive, considering it a moral obligation. With his new series, he hopes to shed light on the unique experiences of each survivor and inspire others to preserve the stories of those who have been through unimaginable hardships. Unlike his previous work, which celebrated their resilience and positive outlook on life, this series takes a more direct approach with tighter shots and direct eye contact. The message is clear: “Remember me,” or “Don’t forget us.” Through these poignant images, Weiss aims to remind us of the horrors of the past and the importance of never forgetting the survivors and their stories. This series will be a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust.
Weiss believes that his photographs can convey a powerful message, one that can help people understand the true horrors of the Holocaust and the strength of the human spirit. His work is a testament to the importance of preserving history and ensuring that the lessons of the past are not forgotten.
—Submitted by The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center

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