Acclaimed Hollywood director Samuel Fuller is featured in the Museum’s current special gallery exhibit Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg—John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens. Fuller was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to Jewish parents in 1912. He later moved to New York City and became a crime reporter at the age of seventeen. Fuller joined the U.S. Army during World War II and was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division, nicknamed “The Big Red One” for the red “1” patch worn on the shoulder of the Division.
The First Infantry Division took part in the Allied invasion of North Africa and Sicily, and the unit stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944. In 1945, Fuller witnessed the liberation of Falkenau concentration camp, a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp. He was asked by his commanding officer to film the atrocities of the camp with his camera, a gift from Fuller’s mother. His footage became part of the French documentary Falkenau: the Impossible.
In July, the Dallas Holocaust Museum presents two film screenings that accompany the current special gallery exhibit Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg—John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens:
The Big Red One stars Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill as a sergeant and a soldier of the U.S. First Infantry Division, a group of GIs who witness the armed conflict in North Africa and Sicily, Omaha Beach, and Belgium. The unit liberated Falkenau concentration camp and saw the horrors of the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia. The film, based on Fuller’s personal experience during World War II, depicts his service in the First Infantry Division and the liberation the infamous concentration camp.
Emil Weiss’s 1988 documentary Falkenau, the Impossible features interviews with Fuller at the site of Falkenau concentration camp. The documentary also includes original footage shot by Fuller of the camp.
Filming the Camps is on view at the Museum now through August 3, 2017. The exhibition, curated by historian and film director Christian Delage, was designed, created, and distributed by the Mémorial de la Shoah (Paris, France), and made possible through the generous support of SNCF.
Community Partners: VideoFest, Dallas Jewish Film Festival, Denton Black Film Festival, 3 Stars Jewish Cinema
– Janet Montealvo Hitt, Marketing Coordinator, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
On Sunday, April 23, the Dallas community came together at Temple Emanu-El to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and to honor those who survived.
The theme of Yom Hashoah 2017 was Jewish resistance. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, music, testimonies, and prayers were used to reinforce the message that Jewish resistance in the Holocaust must be remembered and honored in today’s time.
“We are here tonight in a society stricken with amnesia to remember,” began Rabbi David Stern, addressing a crowd of over 500 individuals in the Stern Chapel. “We are here tonight in a world which too often turns a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed to listen. We are here in a culture which makes it easy to harden our hearts to the suffering of others, to open our hearts to their struggles. We are here to affirm that ‘never again’ means ‘never again’ to us, ‘never again’ to anyone.”
The powerful words “Never Again” are a reminder to all that the tragedy of the Holocaust must not happen again. However, these words have recently lost some of their effects as evidenced by the rise in hate speech and antisemitism across the nation, including Texas. When being a bystander to hatred seems like an easy path, we must stand up and remember those who resisted and fought for others in the face of unspeakable horrors and death.
Holocaust survivors sat in the first rows at the commemoration. Their strength and unrelenting faith serve as evidence to what humans can endure and overcome with enough hope and courage.
“Resistance of any kind during the Holocaust required great courage,” said Museum President and CEO Mary Pat Higgins. “Today we remember and marvel at Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, the armed resistance in ghettos and death camps across Poland most notably the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Sonderkommando uprisings in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Sobibor.”
The Jews had everything taken away from them by the Nazis and their oppressors. Without family, food, weapons, or freedom, many refused to be completely dehumanized and stood up for themselves and others by participating in resistance activities.
To further speak on the theme of Jewish resistance, the testimonies of three Holocaust survivors who fought against Nazi oppression were read aloud by their respective children.
Mark Jacobs read the testimony of his father Mike Jacobs; Julie Meetal Berman read the testimony of her father Les Mittelman; Marsha Gaswirth read the testimony of her father Leon Bakst.
Following each testimony, a member of the Israeli Scouts joined a speaker to light two of the six white candles used to signify the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
The Honorable Florence Donald Shapiro, the Museum’s Chairman of the Board, ended the evening with a powerful message to all in attendance.
“The education the school students receive in the Museum, and how we honor our survivors, their lost loved ones, and the victims of the Holocaust, is through these stories, through this education. This is how we honor the children of the Holocaust: by educating the children of today. In the year 2017, this is how we continue our resistance.”
– Janet Montealvo Hitt, Marketing Coordinator, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance opened the new special gallery exhibit Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg—John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens on Thursday, February 16, 2017. Christian Delage, the exhibit curator, and Déborah Sinclair, Head of Touring Exhibitions in North America, for Mémorial de la Shoah, spoke at the opening reception. Delage pointed out many notable details about the three men, their filming, and the impact of what they encountered.
The Nuremberg Trials in 1945 used an unprecedented form of evidence—film of the war and the liberation of concentration camps. The raw footage compiled into a documentary titled Nazi Concentration Camps, became crucial evidence, presenting the crimes the Nazis committed in an unflinching and authentic format to the court.
John Ford, Samuel Fuller, and George Stevens, the directors featured in the exhibit, filmed the atrocities committed by the Nazis, particularly at the concentration camps of Dachau and Falkenau. The U.S. government wanted to capture the crimes and horror of the Holocaust to use as evidence. The use of a “single take” filming technique was used to ensure no one could claim the footage had been cut or modified.
The first panel of Filming the Camps shows the name of the exhibit in stark grey letters on a black background. Music from George Stevens’ 1936 musical Swing Time emanates from the panel calling to mind the pre-war light-hearted comedy starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
“I didn’t want to immediately shock [visitors], so the exhibit starts with the music coming from Swing Time 1936, and you can see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing,” said Delage, referring to the first panel of the exhibit. “That’s what I wanted the visitors to be confronted with.”
Influenced by the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, George Stevens joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II and headed a film unit under General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stevens’ unit included a team of 44 filmmakers and writers and shot footage documenting D-Day with his personal 16mm home movie camera. His footage is some of the only color films of World War II.
During his four years of service, he filmed the liberation of Paris and the horrific scenes of the infamous Dachau concentration camp. Stevens’ footage of the camp became crucial evidence in the Nuremberg Trials.
Renowned director John Ford was well known before the war for westerns such as Stagecoach and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as well as the films The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley. During World War II, Ford commanded the Field Photographic Branch under the Office of Strategic Services and made propaganda films for the U.S. Navy Department. He won back-to-back Academy Awards during this time for his documentaries, The Battle of Midway and December 7th.
Samuel Fuller served as a soldier in the 1st Infantry Division, nicknamed “The Big Red One.” He captured footage of the liberation of Falkenau, a sub-camp of Flossenbürg concentration camp, under the orders of his captain with a camera Fuller’s mother sent him.
In 1945, Ford created a documentary of the war incorporating Stevens’ footage of Dachau. The film, shown first to American audiences, was used as evidence of Nazi crimes at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Ford also documented the Nuremberg Trials. The footage showed the dead at Dachau, disoriented and emaciated survivors, children, guards, and tools used on the victims.
The courtroom at the Nuremberg Trials set up a focal placement of the film screen, and the judges watched the documentary evidence three separate times during the trial. The Nazi prisoners on trial watched the film along with the public.
“The criminals were confronted [with] their crimes, and the graphic footage disturbed most of them,” said Delage. “We know that because a psychologist named [Gustave] Gilbert watched them during this screening [and] on a daily basis so he was writing notes and we know exactly what each defendant thought during this moment.”
The war and the camps deeply affected the three directors and their future work.
Following the war, Stevens’ films gravitated toward more serious subjects. He went on to direct the Academy-Award winning films Shane, Giant, and The Diary of Anne Frank. After the war, Fuller directed many films including The Big Red One, based on his wartime experiences.
The lively music at the start of the exhibit serves to show what the directors, namely Stevens, did before the war and how unprepared the filmmakers and the public were to face the horrors of the Holocaust.
“[Swing Time] is what George Stevens did before going into World War II,” said Delage. “That’s why he’s so sad in the photo you can see at the top [taken at the Nuremberg Trials] because his life was never the same after and the same for John Ford and the same for Sam Fuller.”
The exhibition contains film and photographs of World War II as well as clips from the filmmakers’ pre-war films.
The exhibition, curated by historian and film director Christian Delage, was designed, created, and distributed by the Mémorial de la Shoah (Paris, France), and made possible through the generous support of SNCF.
This presentation was made possible through the support of the Consulate General of France in Houston, the Embassy of France in the United States, and SNCF.
This presentation is sponsored by the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Studio Movie Grill, the Consulate General of France in Houston, the Embassy of France in the United States, and SNCF, and is on view at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance February 16—August 3, 2017.
Community Partners: VideoFest, Dallas Jewish Film Festival, Denton Black Film Festival, 3 Stars Jewish Cinema
– Janet Montealvo, Marketing Coordinator, Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
Mark your calendar for two special Museum events coming in January, 2017.
On January 24th, the Museum will hold a panel discussion on the refugee camp experience. The discussion will be a companion program to the Museum’s current special gallery exhibit, Rebirth after the Holocaust: Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950.
Join us for the panel discussion and tour the exhibit to learn about the revival of Jewish culture following World War II and the Holocaust, as well as the hardships refugees faced in displaced persons camps as they sought to reclaim their lives and start anew.
The refugee camp experience panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum and is open to the public. Featured panelists will be announced later.
On Sunday, January 29th, at 2 p.m. the Museum will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day—the day when the world comes together to honor the millions of Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Marking the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day allows us to reflect upon the profound tragedy of the Holocaust. We also come together to share a moment of peace and hope for the future. The program is free. Admissions fees for Museum exhibits apply.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum presented its inaugural Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell Upstander Award to the Cardinal in recognition of his outstanding commitment to human rights and dignity at a special reception at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.
The new award named in honor of Cardinal Farrell will recognize prominent individuals whose actions are in line with the Museum’s mission to educate school children and adults about the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. The award is one of the Museum’s highest honors.
In videotaped acceptance remarks, Cardinal Farrell, appearing from the Vatican in Rome, said: “I have always believed that we are one human family, and we all have to get together and help each other create a better world for everybody. We all need to love and care for each other.”
On September 1, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Farrell to a new post at the Vatican, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life—focused on the lives of ordinary Catholics around the world—making him the highest-ranking American clergyman serving at the Vatican. Since 2007, he had served as the seventh Bishop of Dallas, as well as the chancellor of the University of Dallas. On November 19, 2016, Pope Francis raised Farrell to the rank of Cardinal.
“Cardinal Farrell has dedicated his life to helping others. As a person who stands up against hatred, speaks out and takes action to assist victims, he exemplifies what it means to be an “Upstander,” said Mary Pat Higgins, President, and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. The opposite of a bystander, an Upstander is a person who stands up and speaks up for what is right, even if, at times, they stand alone.
Shortly after his arrival in Dallas in 2007, then-Bishop Farrell quickly demonstrated Upstander activities in the community. He has led marches and spoken at Dallas City Hall to promote immigration reform and compassionate treatment of all immigrants, especially thousands of undocumented migrant children fleeing political violence in Central America. He condemned domestic violence, stressed the importance of female engagement in the Church and brought attention to parishes in need of money. He is honored lay volunteers for their service and commitment. In 2014, he invited the family of a Dallas Ebola victim to stay at a church-owned- house as they waited in quarantine to see if they had contracted the deadly disease.
“We help people because we’re Catholic, not because they’re Catholic,” he said at the time in response to a reporter who asked why the diocese was helping the non-Catholic family.
Following the tragic shooting on July 7 of police officers in downtown Dallas, which killed five officers and injured nine others, along with two civilians, then-Bishop Farrell joined both civic and faith leaders in prayer for peace and healing.
Last year, at the behest of then-Bishop Farrell, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas co-presented the special gallery exhibit Holocaust by Bullets with the Dallas Holocaust Museum. The exhibit presented ten years of research and investigation by a Catholic Priest, Father Patrick Dubois, about the systematic murder of two million Jews who were shot and left in unmarked graves in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine during the Holocaust.
Holocaust Museum Board-Chair Elect Florence Shapiro presented the Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell Upstander Award to Bishop Greg Kelly, Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
“In celebrating an occasion such as this one tonight, I am reminded of the words of Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory, Mrs. Shapiro said.
“Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.”
“To our friends at the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, thank you for your gift of hope as you stand with us as partners in every true sense.”
Join us on Thursday, December 8 for a special screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Long Way Home, narrated by Morgan Freeman. The film will be screened in conjunction with our current special gallery exhibit, Rebirth after the Holocaust: Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950.
The Long Way Home tells the story of thousands of Jewish survivors as they tried to reclaim their place in the world following World War II and the Holocaust. Using rare archival footage and stills, news reels, and interviews, the film depicts the challenges refugees faced in displaced persons camps—refugee centers set up specifically for survivors of the Holocaust.
This companion film echoes the true stories of survival and liberation presented in the Museum’s current exhibit. Come see the film and tour our exhibit to witness the revival of Jewish culture in the unlikeliest of places, as well as the struggle to establish a homeland. Learn about the years of delayed freedom, uncertainty, and physical hardship before the refugees were finally permitted to begin new lives in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere.
The Long Way Home starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, at the Museum. Run Time is 120 minutes. The screening is free, but RSVP is required. Register at Eventbrite.
People often ask me about the purpose of the Dallas Holocaust Museum, and I’m quick to respond that we teach the importance of standing up to counter hatred and prejudice.
Shaping minds and positively affecting behavior is at the core of our mission.
With all that is happening in the world today, including the strong emotions and rhetoric raised by the 2016 Presidential Election, our work is more important than ever.
Next week, the Museum, the Dallas Independent School District, and Jewish day schools from around the region will host the first-ever, privately-funded “City-Wide Read and Performance” at Fair Park Music Hall.
More than 12,300 students from 153 DISD Schools and local Jewish day schools—along with 500 educators—will engage with an innovative, interactive and creative Holocaust education program based on the book, The Children of Willesden Lane. The book tells the true story of a young Jewish girl who used her musical talent to find her way in her new home after escaping the Nazis as a passenger on the Kindertransport.
The unique “City-Wide Read and Performance” project began more than a year ago when the Museum discussed the idea with the book’s co-author, the concert pianist Mona Golabek. Similar programs produced amazing results in 20 cities across the U.S. with a total of 150,000 student participants. In Dallas, the program quickly gained traction through the generosity of a Dallas resident who cares deeply about children’s education and underwrote the project cost. That donation, which was a matching gift that attracted other donors’ generosity—along with the work and dedication of event co-chairs Helen Risch and Ynette Hogue—made this program a reality.
Last summer, the Museum’s education team provided age-appropriate Holocaust education training and curricula to 500 English, History, Art, and Performing Arts teachers, librarians and administrators.
Using a curriculum centered on the book and the history of the Holocaust and its lessons, educators teach about anti-Semitism, race, religion, morality, and courage in an age-appropriate manner. The book highlights topics that touch the lives of many children today, including overcoming adversity, growing up without one or both parents and experiencing prejudice. Following Texas Education Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirements, the curriculum covers the geography of Europe, Hitler’s rise to power, the Kindertransport, and vocabulary including words such as “refugee,” “bystander,” and “identity.”
At the start of the school year, each DISD fifth grader received a complimentary copy of the book, excerpts of which they read during their Social Studies, English Language Arts and ESL classes. They were also encouraged to read with their families at home.
In October, students expressed their feelings about the book and the Holocaust in their art and performing arts classes.
From Monday to Wednesday of next week (November 14th to 16th), the project culminates with a performance by Mona Golabek. She will present a series of interactive concert performances for more than 12,300 students at the Music Hall.
Character education is at the core of the “City-Wide Read and Performance,” and this, in turn, impacts children’s emotional, moral and intellectual development. The program will yield huge dividends for the children in attendance, their families, and our communities.
Higher academic performance, improved attendance, reduced violence, fewer disciplinary issues, reduction in substance abuse, and less vandalism are reported as outcomes of a sustained focus upon character education.
Students have also reported feeling safer at schools in which they and their peers are taught the value of respect, responsibility, compassion and hard work. From a practical perspective, it’s simply easier to teach children how to exercise patience, self-control, and diligence.
We know from independent studies on the impact of a student’s visit to the Museum that if we can reach students at an early age, we can inspire them to become Upstanders—people who stand up and speak up for what is right, even if, at times, they stand alone.
When the British Army marched into the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15, 1945, their long and traumatic days of fighting had not prepared them for the horrors they would encounter inside the camp.
The air around the camp had turned sour with the stench of 10,000 unburied bodies. Even more shocking were the tens of thousands of “walking corpses,” those who were hanging onto life by a thread due to disease and starvation.
The British had not come to Germany to liberate anyone, yet found themselves in charge of keeping alive thousands of Jews and other refugees who had been brought to the camp to die.
Jean Bloch Rosensaft was the guest speaker at the October 6 opening reception of the Museum’s latest special exhibit. She shared that both her parents and future in-laws resided at the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp and became important leaders there.
Rosensaft, an Assistant Vice President at Hebrew Union College in New York, and her father, a Holocaust survivor, organized the Bergen-Belen exhibit, using historical evidence and eyewitness accounts given by survivors, including their family members.
Even though the prisoners had been liberated and given refuge in the displaced persons camp, their troubles persisted. About 500 people died every day from typhus and malnutrition. Many could not digest their rations, while some resisted life-saving injections from Army doctors because of their experiences with poor or nefarious medical treatment in the camp.
The British were not prepared for this kind of refugee crisis. Circumstances in the camp became dire. Thanks to press coverage seen and heard around the world, news of poor living conditions within the camp reached the ears of President Harry Truman, who had taken office just three days before the liberation. Camp conditions quickly and dramatically improved.
Jewish refugees in the camp began to organize and decided to build a life for themselves, however temporary, while they waited to find a host country or migrate to Israel.
Within six weeks, the camp committee had set up a school where children were taught modern Hebrew. The focus on teaching this lingua franca gave the camp’s Jews, originally citizens of many different countries, the ability to communicate.
The committee organized cultural, religious, and political activities for the survivors, including two theatre troupes that put on plays about survivors’ experiences in the concentration camps. A form of psychological healing, noted Rosensaft, occurred during the performances when audience members’ experiences and feelings were affirmed by what performers reenacted on stage.
The camp held nearly 20 marriage ceremonies a day with open invitations, and over the lifetime of the camp, more than 2,000 children were born. The Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp not only provided refuge for survivors, it was also enabled survivors to find community and regain control over their lives.
By the middle of 1950, the majority of the Jewish refugees had migrated to Israel, Canada, South Africa, or the United States, with only a small number remaining in Germany.
The memory of the displaced persons camp lives on in Jean Bloch Rosensaft, whose exhibit depicts not only the hardships in the displaced persons camp but also the hope for the future that so many reclaimed in their temporary home in northern Germany.
Find out just how resilient these survivors proved to be. Learn about the underground organization set up by survivors to resist forced repatriation after liberation. Experience all this and more when you visit the museum’s special exhibit “Rebirth After the Holocaust: Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp, 1945-1950,” which runs until January 31, 2017.
–McGuire Boles, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
Deny the Holocaust in the United States and get ready for the verbal debate you’ll have. Try denying the Holocaust in most European countries and you can count on being fined and hauled off to jail.
Between the two philosophies of protected speech, who do you think got it right?
On July 26, a panel of three experts attempted to answer that very question at the Museum’s Holocaust & Human Rights Educator Conference. The panel, “Free Speech & Hate Speech: Can They Coexist?,” included Cheryl R. Drazin of the Jean and Jerry Moore Southwest Civil Rights Counsel and the Anti-Defamation League of North Texas and Oklahoma; Dr. Rick Halperin, Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University; and Dr. Gregory Stanton, Research Professor in Genocide Studies at George Mason University and Founder and President of Genocide Watch.
Panelists noted that Holocaust denial is just one of many forms of speech—including drawing swastikas and wearing Nazi uniforms—that Europe has cracked down on since the end of WWII. Meanwhile, in the United States, “hate speech” remains a protected form of discourse that has been upheld by major court decisions time after time.
Ms. Drazin sides with the United States on this one. She takes the “libertarian” view of free speech, insisting that “only by protecting the most offensive and heinous speech can we protect all speech.”
Dr. Halperin, on the other hand, takes a “humanitarian” view of free speech, lauding the European approach to criminalizing hate speech and shutting down hate groups. To give listeners a better idea of the two underlying philosophies, Dr. Halperin juxtaposed the American belief in a fundamental “right to life” with the declaration of a “right to life with dignity” as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By its very nature, he argued, declaring a “right to life with dignity” would necessitate laws against hate speech.
Skeptical of both approaches to free speech, Dr. Stanton argued for a more moderate, “communitarian” approach. “Hateful rhetoric,” he says, “can be monitored at the community level.” Hateful words that cause harm to a particular community can be addressed with an emphasis on a community’s wellbeing as opposed to an emphasis on the individual’s right to make hateful remarks.
All of the panelists agreed that Americans must pay better attention to the presence of hate speech on television, on the Internet, and in everyday interactions. Even if all speech is legal, it is our responsibility to confront hate speech with countervailing speech—a principle, as Dr. Stanton pointed out, hearkens back to Thomas Jefferson.
Hateful and offensive speech should put Americans on guard to combat such rhetoric and prevent extremism from turning into acts of violence. Whether hate speech is protected or not, our mission to protect human dignity starts with our choice of words. And to that end, we should never be afraid to speak up.
If you haven’t done so, be sure to visit the Museum’s special exhibit, “Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija.”Based on Edward Serotta’s book Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia, and the Lessons of the Past, the exhibit, which runs through Sept. 18, 2016. It features photos of Holocaust survivors, Catholic Croats, Muslims, and Orthodox Serbs caught in the horror of the longest siege of a city in the history of modern warfare.
And, we hope you will join us on Sept. 18 when, in recognition of the International Day of Peace, when the Museum will host “Peace Day Dallas – Meet Three Holocaust Survivors.” The survivors will each speak—one at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Each survivor speaker will tell their story then answer your questions. Please allow at least 1 hour for each survivor. On this day, there is no charge to hear the survivors or to tour the Museum. However, space will be limited.
–McGuire Boles, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
As journalist and photographer Edward Serotta approached one of the last places of refuge in war-torn Sarajevo—an aging synagogue run by a cross-section of Sarajevo citizens—he could hardly believe the devastation that lay before him.
Refugees of all backgrounds, ethnic groups, and religions had gathered at the Jewish humanitarian aid agency known as La Benevolencija with nothing but the clothes on their backs, while Serotta himself, a neutral party in the conflict, entered the synagogue in a flak jacket and blast helmet.