A new exhibit focusing on women held at the Nazi’s major concentration camp for women opens today at the (holocaustcenter.org) in Farmington Hills.
“Women of Ravensbruck: Portraits of Courage,” details the lives of those imprisoned, with a special focus on the few survivors with ties to southeast Michigan. It will be on display through June 24.
Florine Mark, President and CEO of Weight Watchers Group, will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony today at 2:30 p.m. Her speech, “The Courageous Woman Inside Each of Us,” will honor the women of Ravensbruck and acknowledge all women as part of National Women’s History Month.
“We are very honored to have Florine Mark speak at the opening ceremony,” said Goldman. “Her leadership role in the community and business expertise is an inspiration not only to women, but to all of us.”
The exhibit features the stories of these locally based women, other survivors researched by the late artist Julia Terwilliger, and those who did not survive Ravensbruck. Terwillger’s artwork has immortalized the faces of the women of Ravensbruck in one of the newest exhibits of Holocaust art to emerge.
Seven large wooden panels with mixed media and photo transfer images of Ravensbruck women, young and old, those who survived and those who did not are featured. The collection also will contain original artifacts from the camp, including a handmade recipe book and gifts secretly exchanged by the women.
Center executive director Stephen M. Goldman conceived the idea for the exhibit in collaboration with guest curator Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel in 2001, while he was the director of the Florida Holocaust Museum.
“This is a long overdue testament to these women who survived deplorable conditions and inhumane treatment,” said Goldman.
The exhibit, on loan from the Florida Holocaust Museum, will feature both art and history. In addition to Terwilliger’s artwork, the exhibit will include historical photographs, documents, and other informational materials plus rare artifacts. The exhibit is supported by Lauren and Sam Bienenstock in honor of their family members imprisoned at Ravensbruck, who will be featured in the exhibit.
The Holocaust Memorial Center is open Sunday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last admission at 3:30 p.m.); and Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (last admission at 1:30 p.m.). The museum is closed on Saturday and public holidays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students and $5 for children.
For more information, call 248-553-2400, or visit holocaustcenter.org.