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June 10, 2013 12:02 am

Curator Says Holocaust Artifacts Vital for ‘When We Have No Survivors’ (VIDEO)

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Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Photo: wiki commons.

Suzy Snyder is a curator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. On a current four-city tour to celebrate the museum’s 20th anniversary, she writes on CNN.com that the museum continues its race “to rescue the evidence of the Holocaust by working in 40 countries to preserve these materials.”

Recounting her experiences while on tour, Snyder writes of meeting a woman in Los Angeles  “who was born in 1939, after her father was deported from Vienna, Austria, to the concentration camps, where he spent the next five years.”

“Her mother and grandmother worked for the Jewish community and were never deported from Vienna. This woman spent her childhood in the hospital of the Viennese Jewish community, where her mother managed to survive and keep them from being deported.

“It was amazing that three generations of Jewish women managed to survive Nazi occupation. It is extremely unusual. They had to care for themselves, surviving day to day, and care for their very young child. It seems unfathomable they made it.”

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Following up on her essay, Snyder appeared on CNN’s Sunday morning television show to explain in greater detail her recent efforts to obtain artifacts from the Holocaust.

“We are looking at a diminishing survivor community and this is the last chance we might have to speak to survivors of the Holocaust. And so the artifacts that we collect on the road these last six months are really the last groups of materials that we will get from survivors…and when we have no survivors these artifacts are the things that will speak to us.”

During the interview Snyder unveiled new artifacts that the museum had obtained, including uniforms worn by a father and son who worked for Oskar Schindler, a little girl’s dress, and passports of Jews who were able to flee Europe.

Watch the video of Snyder below:

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