Holocaust & Memory Reframed
The aim of the project ‘Holocaust and Memory Reframed’ was to produce a series of international art installations and initiatives based at the Lake District Holocaust Project over two summer and autumn periods in 2016 and 2017.
The exhibitions look at work that explore aspects of Post Holocaust arts and culture and relate to “the representation of the unrepresentational”.
As part of this project, “The Memory Quilt” and “Breath Becomes Air” – were displayed in the Summer and Autumn of 2016, followed in July and August 2017 by “Hidden Threads”.
Fourth & final exhibition for this project: “yromem” – Miroslaw Balka
We are delighted that one of the World’s leading contemporary artists, Miroslaw Balka, agreed to conclude this remarkable two year programme with a powerful installation entitled “yromem”. The exhibition in The Lake District Holocaust Project premises on the first floor of the Windermere Library building, is open until November 4, 2017.
Miroslaw lives in Otwock, Poland, a town that, before World War 2, had a very large Jewish population and his work remains rooted in the place of his birth. He deals with both personal and collective memories, especially in relation to his Catholic upbringing and the collective experience of Poland’s fractured history.
Miroslaw has exhibited in leading galleries throughout the world, including the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale and recently in a retrospective “CROSSOVER/S” at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan.
Sir Nicholas Serota, former head of Tate Modern and now Chairman of Arts Council England, describes his work as both “beautiful and unsettling. He suggests that “there could be no finer or appropriate context for one of his exhibitions than the Lake District, the spiritual home of English Romanticism, which also has connections to one of the defining moments of human history, the Holocaust”.
Time spent in the company of survivors is time spent in the company of those who experienced and witnessed events that are indescribable and yet these witnesses hold out their hands to us and try to explain, and we hold out our hands to them in the attempt to understand.
We know that they speak not only for themselves but also for those lost in the Holocaust……
As time passes then the question of how we engage with these time led changes is inexorable and we are duty bound to both honour the testimonies and to be a witness on behalf of the witnesses.
The ways in which we can do this will evolve along with the ways that people will engage with the testimonies. It is in this way that the context within which we negotiate with these testimonies will, in a quite profound way, be reframed.
A vital truth that lies at the core of these witness testimonies will remain though. We forget at our peril.
For further details of this and all the exhibitions, please visit our Arts and Events pages.
Hidden Threads – Heather Belcher
The third exhibition Hidden Threads in the series for Holocaust & Memory Reframed displayed the work of Heather Belcher, a leading Textile Artist, from 6 July to 27 August.
Heather, who works mainly in felt, based two of her large scale pieces on a coat which was donated to Platt Hall Gallery of Costume in Manchester. The coat was made by Mayer Hersh one of the child Holocaust Survivors in 1963. Heather visited Platt Hall and took detailed photographs and measurements of the coat for reference for her pieces The Naming & The Named.
The Alfred Huberman Writing Award
Nearly 500 entries were received from both primary and secondary schools both in Cumbria, Lancashire and as far afield as Surrey and Sussex. The standard was exceptionally high.
The entries were read by officers of the Lake District Holocaust Project and sent to Catherine Edmunds for her judgment and finally to the Huberman family. Catherine is not only a writer and poet but also the daughter of one of the child Holocaust Survivors who came to the Lake District – Jana Tanner – and has written the story of her mother’s experiences in the Second World War in her book My Hidden Mother.
Catherine thought that “the best writing was superlatively good”. The decisions were unanimous and Shirley Huberman and her children, Maurice, Brian & Caroline made the final placement decisions.
More details can be seen at Alfred’s website http://alfredhuberman.com/
The First prize winning entries for each category can be found on our Education page on this site.
Visit by Arek & Jean Hersh to the Lakes School – July 2017
Arek, one of the child Holocaust Survivors, made a return visit with his wife Jean to talk to some of the students at the Lakes School and to be filmed for a broadcast in 2018. Arek regularly visits the Lakes School on the former site of the Calgarth Estate where he stayed in 1945.
In Harmony – Arza Helgott
An exhibition of hand carved sculptures by Arza Helfgott were displayed in the Lake District Holocaust Project’s gallery adjacent to the permanent exhibition that tells the story of the child survivors, from 1 June to 2 July 2017.
Arza exhibits both an ability to work with, and enormous sensitivity, to work with a variety of materials including different types of wood and stone. Her efforts are the same as those confronted by all sculptors, which is to search to find the balance between the opposing energies that they have to deal with; to recognise the inner energy that the raw material contains and then to confront the dichotomy that inner energy can only be released by intervening with it through carving and sculpting, and in so doing disrupting that very same, internal energy.
Arza’s husband is Ben Helfgott, one of the child Holocaust Survivors and they visited the exhibition together with family and friends.
The Auschwitz Dandelion
Trevor Avery was awarded an individual Arts Council grant for an exhibition, workshops and publication. The Taraxacum Kok-saghyz was grown at an Auschwitz sub-camp at Raisko to produce rubber.
An exhibition by Trevor Avery & Rose Smith was displayed in the gallery from 6 April to 26 May 2017.
UK Memorial Commission
Trevor Avery & Rose Smith attended meetings at Manchester Town Hall & Downing Street to view and discuss with others the shortlisted designs for a new Memorial & Learning Centre to be built next to the Palace of Westminster.
No decisions will be made until Autumn 2017, but the Holocaust Commission Committee that was set up to carry out the conclusions of the Holocaust Commission Report 2015, are seeking a wide variety of views.
For more details please see
’45 Aid Society 72nd Reunion
We were delighted to attend the reunion in London on 1 May. The Reunion is always well attended by as many of the remaining child Holocaust survivors who could make the event, their children and grandchildren.
This year the Reunion celebrated the liberation of the children and their arrival in Windermere.
A new and very moving film that tells something of the children and the Society they formed, can be seen on the Society’s website at
Holocaust Memorial Day
A special oak tree was commemorated at a poignant ceremony to remember the child Holocaust Survivors. The ceremony was held in the grounds of the Lakes School at Troutbeck Bridge as the school stands on the grounds of the former site of Calgarth Estate where the children stayed for several months in 1945.
The oak tree was grown from an acorn gifted to Trevor Avery on a visit to Oswieçim, several years’ ago. It was planted in the grounds by Ben Helfgott, an Honorary President of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and one of the children who came to the Lake District.
Among the attendees were Sam Laskier and his friend Sam Gontarz, both survivors of the horrors of Auschwitz, as well as families and friends of other survivors. Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron who also attended the ceremony said “This tree and this place are a reminder that we must all stand up for the values of respect, tolerance and decency, and fight prejudice and intolerance. The Kaddish was read by Michael Brown.