The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education
The Center for Holocaust and Humanity education opened in 2000 and was founded by a group of Holocaust survivors and their families. Cincinnati has important historical ties to the Holocaust. After the Holocaust, hundreds of survivors relocated to Cincinnati, mostly coming from Eastern Europe. These survivors formed the Jewish New American Society. This organization allowed for the preservation of Jewish community while providing a support group for integrating into Ohio Society with other trauma survivors. This group later became the Jewish Survivors of Nazism. In addition to organizing cultural events, the group also struggled with how to appropriately preserve the memories of their experience and those community members that they’d lost. In 1994, the older members the Jewish Survivors from Nazism combined efforts with the children of local Holocaust survivors. From this, a new group called the Combined Generations of the Holocaust was formed and the center was born a few years later.
Backstory and Context
The center’s permanent exhibit, titled “Mapping our Tears”, guides visitors through various aspects of Nazism and the Holocaust, such as ghetto life, Nazism, and propaganda, while focusing on the strength of the human spirit alongside showcasing the suffering. The most notable feature of the exhibit is a theater located in a replica of a 1930s European attic. This attic contains video monitors, which stream footage of Holocaust survivors talking about their experiences. The permanent exhibit also includes the Cincinnati Hillel Collection, which contains over 200 pieces of local and global Jewish artifacts. The exhibit is designed for those with little or no knowledge of Jewish tradition and community, and thus is accessible to all.
The center also offers traveling exhibits that can be taken to schools, libraries, community centers, etc. These exhibits offer dynamic and engaging ways to educate the public about the Holocaust and Jewish society and culture. In addition to the permanent exhibit, the center also hosts a number of traveling exhibits, including Holocaust survivor speakers and special death camp exhibits.