On the Threshold of Oblivion: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors in Chile

Image of older man in plaid shirt sitting at table with window behind him
March 24, 2023 - 4:00 PM


One of the worst examples of intolerance in history happened in Europe, during the years of Nazism, when millions of our fellow beings, for the mere fact of being supposedly different, were socially stigmatized. The Jews, the Romani and Sinti peoples, communists, homosexuals, the mentally or physically disabled, and political opponents were persecuted and mercilessly exterminated; millions lost their lives, others, fortunately, were able to flee from Europe or survive the horror of the genocide and were liberated at the end of the war. Some survivors of this horrid tragedy of the Jewish community found refuge in this Chile, perhaps the corner farthest from the scene of war, and could remake their lives. The majority today has fallen and only a couple hundred remain, those who were young children or adolescents today are between 75 and 105 years old. Chilean Jewish photographer, Samuel Shats, will give a presentation of his photographic work based on the personal history of survival and reconstruction of 31 of these survivors of the Holocaust.

This program is co-sponsored by the CWRU Departments of Modern Languages & Literatures and Religious Studies, Office of Student Affairs,  International Studies Program, Judaic Studies Program, Max Kade Institute, Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, Alianza Latina, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.