New Holocaust exhibit at Chatham University reflects on past horrors to prevent further harm

The new Revolving Doors exhibit at Chatham University takes visitors on a journey through time and teaches powerful lessons about antisemitism throughout history.

“To my knowledge, this is the first exhibit that is grappling with antisemitism at the same time that we’re talking about the Holocaust,” said Lauren Bairns Father, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh’s executive director.

The exhibit, built by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, contains artifacts that span decades.

Each one has a QR code that you can scan with your phone to read more about each item.

Some of the authentic pieces predate the Holocaust. Others are from the Holocaust, like a concentration camp prisoner’s coat.

“When we study the Holocaust, yes, it’s the past, but it’s also relevant in the present,” said Bairns Father. “It helps us identify things are happening now.”

That is why visitors will also see a corner of the exhibit dedicated to the Tree of Life synagogue attack right here in Pittsburgh. It’s a reminder that antisemitism still exists today.

“Certainly, the Holocaust is the worst example of how deadly antisemitism can be, but then in our own city, we saw antisemitism is still a horrible threat,” said Bairns Father.

The goal is for people to reflect on some of the toughest days in history, learn from them, and prevent further harm from happening.

“We’re motivating people to say something if they see something. To act for each other. To protect each other,” said Bairns Father.

The exhibit, which opens to the public Wednesday, is inside the Jennie King Mellon library at Chatham University and will be open from noon to 3 p.m.

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