Holocaust Project and the Legacy of Genocide – Opening and Discussion

Holocaust Project and the Legacy of Genocide – Opening and Discussion

May 7, 2023
2:00 pm

Holocaust Project and the Legacy of Genocide – Show Opening and Discussion

2:00pm Documentary From Darkness into Light: Creating the Holocaust Project 
This documentary was created as part of the original touring exhibition, Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light, that premiered in 1993. It takes you into the studios of Chicago and Woodman as they share their journey into the darkness of the Holocaust and out into the light of hope.

2:30pm Talk – Through the Lens of Treblinka: The Changing Relevance of the Holocaust
Presented by Dr. Michael Nutkiewicz


About The Holocaust Project

In 1985, artist Judy Chicago and her husband, photographer Donald Woodman, began a long personal journey to understand the historical ramifications of the annihilation of European Jewy. Though she is the descendent of twenty-three generations of rabbis, Chicago knew little about her Jewish heritage. She and Woodman, also an assimilated Jew, decided to incorporate Jewish ritual into their wedding. Their study with Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and their exposure in 1985 to “Shoah,” the classic film by Claude Lanzmann, stimulated a long period of inquiry into the Holocaust and Jewish history that was guided by Holocaust educator Isaiah Kuperstein. They traveled for two and a half months through the “landscape of the Holocaust,” including France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the then Soviet Union. Later visits to Hiroshima and Israel were the culmination of their travels. Their scholarly and visual research, however, continued throughout the project.


Through the Lens of Treblinka: The Changing Relevance of the Holocaust 

Eighty years ago, the Nazis dismantled the Treblinka Death Camp in Poland. Approximately 800,000 people had been murdered, mostly Jews but also Poles, Roma, and Russian POWs. After it closed, the Germans plowed the area under and established a farm to hide the terrible truth. It is difficult for a visitor to imagine what happened at Treblinka: no traces remain and the site is now represented by 17,000 artistic large granite stones with names of the places from which the victims originated. 

The question 80 years later is why, in an age of media and technology that brings the world into our homes is it difficult for us to grapple with current genocides, mass murder, and human rights abuses that are not hidden from sight? In this presentation we will discuss the proposition and question: We have the examined past, but do we have a useable past?

About Dr. Nutkiewicz

Michael Nutkiewicz earned his Ph.D. in History from UCLA. He taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of New Mexico. Michael served as Director of The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Senior Historian at the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Executive Director of the Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles, and manager of the refugee resettlement program at Catholic Charities-New Mexico. He has published in the areas of Jewish and European history, the uses of oral testimony, and social justice education. Michael wrote the teachers’ guide for Judy Chicago’s Holocaust Project. Michael’s annotated translation of an aid worker’s 1921 Yiddish memoir about pogroms in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War was released by Slavica Publishers in October 2022.

Through the Flower Art Space 107 Becker Ave, Belen New Mexico