Dan Reich, Curator & Director of Education at the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the mission of, and the happenings at, the museum. After 22 years at the museum, Dan Reich will be retiring soon.
Dan Reich. A photo from the museum's archives, depicting a Dachau Death March.
Among the topics discussed is the upcoming expansion of the museum. Set to open in mid-2022, the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum will quadruple the space of the existing facility to 35,000 square feet. The new facility will fuel the Museum’s mission to preserve the legacy of the Holocaust, teach about the Museum’s many purposes, and empower visitors to make the world a more tolerant place by rejecting all forms of hate, racism, and bigotry.
An artist's rendering of the upcoming expansion, set to open in mid-2022.
Also discussed is the moving story of Ben Fainer, Holocaust survivor and co-author of "Silent for Sixty Years." Ben Fainer spent the entire war as a Nazi prisoner, surviving for six years in six different camps. After losing his mother, three siblings, and over 250 other relatives in the Holocaust, Ben was liberated by American soldiers while on a final death-march in the spring of 1945. Ben didn’t just survive, he thrived. He was able to put his tragic childhood behind and live an incredible post-war life. Ben became a speaker at the museum, sharing his story to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Ben passed away in 2016.
One of the aspects of Ben's story that is discussed is a bracelet... Ten years ago, a bracelet was uncovered in Germany that was made by Ben Fainer in his youth in a concentration camp. After Ben's passing, his family donated it to the museum to honor him. The bracelet will be part of the exhibition in the upcoming expansion.
Ben Fainer shares his story with students before his passing.
To hear stories from other Holocaust Survivors, click here.