On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. To mark 75 years since the liberation and this exhibit, students in Rabbi Spodek’s “Holocaust and Memory” course created a memorial museum exhibit entitled “Six Degrees of Liberation”.
Alongside their classroom lessons, students visited the Holocaust Memorial Center throughout the semester and learned from staff about their professional standards for museum installations - including how many words should be included for the visitors, how artifacts are selected and deployed to supplement a historical narrative, and how technology enhances today’s museum experience. Students then selected a topic for research connected to liberation and then moved “six degrees” in various directions to capture a broader view of the tragedy of the Holocaust. Students’ exhibitions included an artifact that they created, a technology component and an enduring understanding/lesson from their particular historical research.