June 14th, 2021 is also Announced as Opening Date of International Exhibition
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.
Kansas City, MO – January 26, 2021 – Tomorrow, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Union Station will join countries and communities around the world to commemorate the January 27th, 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, 76 years ago. Tonight, on the eve of this important date, Union Station will present a special free, live music performance at 7:00 pm on the Station’s Facebook account.
Also tomorrow, the Station will be lit in commemoration of the day. Station officials are encouraging the public to register for and attend an important live, online presentation the evening of January 27th — titled, “Icons of the Holocaust: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory” — hosted by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. Free registration is available at https://mchekc.org/ihrd/.
Significantly, June 14th, 2021 is also being made official as the opening date of Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. to be presented in Union Station’s Bank of America Gallery. That important date marks the 81st anniversary of the first transport of 728 Polish men to the Auschwitz camp in 1940. Among them were soldiers, members of the resistance, students, as well as a small group of Polish Jews. This is considered to be the beginning of the operation of this German Nazi camp.
“With the final details of this significant presentation of history coming together in the last few weeks, we are pleased be able to announce the opening date on this international day of remembrance,” said George Guastello, president & CEO of Union Station. “Since we first announced plans to bring Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. to Kansas City and the entire region, we’ve been working to solidify an opening date. As you might imagine, there has been overwhelming interest in supporting and attending this world-class presentation of vitally important history. We are honored and humbled to be the host of something this significant and we look forward to welcoming our first guests this coming June 14th.”
These bookend dates – January 27th and June 14th – are not only historically significant, but also powerfully relevant in a current context.
“Symbolic dates create the structure of our memory,” said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Auschwitz Memorial Director. “But we should not simply tie the memory to anniversaries. Remembrance must live in us all the time so that every day we find the strength to repair the world in which we live and in which our children will live. The liberation of Auschwitz happened on January 27, 1945. It was the end of a hell that began on June 14, 1940. And it is on this symbolic day that we want to officially open the Auschwitz. Not so long ago. Not so far away exhibition in Kansas City, the third place in the world after Madrid and New York and to date visited by over 800,000 guests.”
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. – presented at Union Station by Bank of America — is the most comprehensive exhibition about Auschwitz ever to travel internationally. It features more than 700 original artifacts and 400 photographs, many of which have never been publicly available. The story will unfold across Union Station’s 20,000 sq. ft. Bank of America Gallery and introduce objects and survivor testimony through 20 thematic galleries.
“The exhibition presents the story of Auschwitz through the authenticity of more than 700 original objects,” said Luis Ferreiro, Musealia Director and CEO. “These are unique fragments of history that have been painstakingly preserved for future generations, and that will be now displayed for the first time in the Midwest. This stop at Union Station will also become the last chance to experience the exhibition in the US before it returns to Europe.”
Since announcing the exhibition in September 2020, the entire region has shown great interest and anticipation. Advance ticket purchases have already set a record for Union Station touring exhibitions.
“With over 10,000 advance tickets sold, the interest in this exhibition has already and understandably proven to be without precedent,” said Jerry Baber, Executive Vice President & COO of Union Station. “We want to ensure visitors are given every opportunity to learn as much about Auschwitz and the Holocaust as possible. Toward that end, we’ve also been actively working with the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) to curate an extended public speaker series that will feature Holocaust history experts who will bring important and relevant perspectives. This exhibition brings to the forefront one of the most important and relevant pieces of history to our community. We are honored to be only the third worldwide site to host this exhibition.”
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.
The exhibition will allow visitors to experience artifacts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum including hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that belonged to victims and survivors of Auschwitz. Other artifacts include concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp; fragments of an original barrack for prisoners from the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp; a desk and other possessions of the first and the longest serving Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; a gas mask used by the SS; an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland; and a postwar Picasso Lithograph of Prisoner.
Exhibition visitors will trace the development of Nazi ideology and the transformation of Auschwitz from an ordinary Polish town known as Oświęcim to the most significant Nazi site of the Holocaust—at which approximately 1 million Jews, and tens of thousands of others, were murdered. Victims included Polish political prisoners, Sinti and Roma, Soviet POWs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and those the Nazis deemed “homosexual,” “disabled,” “criminal,” “inferior,” or adversarial in countless other ways. In addition, the exhibition contains artifacts that depict the world of the perpetrators—SS men who created and operated the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps.
Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away. was conceived by Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and curated by an international panel of experts, including world-renowned scholars Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt,
Dr. Michael Berenbaum, and Paul Salmons, in an unprecedented collaboration with historians and curators at the Research Center at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, led by Dr. Piotr Setkiewicz.
The exhibition is currently running in New York at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through May 2nd. From there, it travels to Union Station Kansas City, the last chance to see it in the United States before it returns to Europe.
Among others, the following community partners, foundations and families have put their support behind bringing this international tour to Kansas City; Bank of America, Edward F. Swinney Trust, Bank of America, N.A.Trustee., Marion & Henry Bloch Family Foundation,Hall Family Foundation, Sosland Family, In loving memory of Fred and Maria Devinki, Craig & Ida Kolkin and Family, and Steven & Karen Pack Family Fund.
For more information on how you or your organization can support Union Station and its presentation of Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., contact Christy Nitsche, Union Station Director of Advancement & Community Engagement at: [email protected] or 816-460-2208.
Advance VIP Admission Passes are on sale now and allow guests to visit the exhibition any time during the scheduled run. These Passes can be purchased at UnionStation.org. Group reservations are also now open, with information and initial inquiry forms at UnionStation.org.
ABOUT Union Station Kansas City — a 501(c)3 non-profit organization — is a 106-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. Recently awarded “Favorite Attraction”, “Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction” and “Favorite Historic Attraction”, the organization — dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history — is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science City; the new Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; the popular Model Railroad Experience; H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility annually hosts hundreds of community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Visit WWW.UNIONSTATION.ORG for details. Also, follow us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE.
Musealia is a Spanish-based global producer of large-scale historical exhibitions that are presented at museums and education centers all over the world. Its vision is to create and manage exhibitions that are distinguished by a strong narrative character, historical rigor, emotional impact, and educational value.
ABOUT THE AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU STATE MUSEUM
Fulfilling the wish of survivors, on July 2, 1947, the Polish parliament created the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of two preserved parts of the former German Nazi camp: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The Memorial today includes an Archive and a Collections department, and undertakes research, conservation, and publishing activities. It is, above all, an education center that teaches visitors about the history of Auschwitz and the Shoah. More than 2.32 million people visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in 2019.
Artifacts and images from dozens of institutions and private collections from around the world will be on view at Union Station. These sources include:
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oświęcim
Auschwitz Jewish Center, Oświęcim
Buchenwald Memorial, Weimar
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
Christian Schad Museum, Aschaffenburg
Czartoryski Museum and Library, Kraków
Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot
Hartheim Castle Education and Memorial Centre, Alkoven
Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle
House of the Wannsee Conference, Berlin
Imperial War Museum, London
Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich
Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw
Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens
Mauthausen Memorial, Mauthausen
Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
Memorial Centre Westerbork, Hooghalen (The Netherlands)
Montreal Holocaust Museum, Montreal
Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.
NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam
Slovak National Archives, Bratislava
Terezín Initiative Institute, Prague
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, London
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem