On August, 30, an exhibition was presented in Lviv on the “Janowska Slave Labour Camp – Industry of Terror” telling about the key center for Nazi terror in Lviv and in Western Ukraine during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation. The exhibition was designed as part of the project “Lwów, לעמבערג, Lviv, Lemberg’43: City That Did (Not) Survive”, a series of activities to commemorate the 75 th anniversary of liquidation of Lviv ghetto and Janowska concentration camp.
Bohdana Taranina, the exhibition curator and a research fellow of the museum, shared about the key idea of the exhibition. It is meant to show the operations of the slave labour camp through the lens of memories of victims and their perpetrators. “Our exhibition is interactive, it is filled with visual and audio materials, with things that tell about everyday routines of the camp life. An important part of the exhibition includes the testimonies of former prisoners and of wachmans (guards) of the camp.”
“The research of the history of the slave labour camp is not limited to this exhibition only. it is only the beginning. In the future, we plan to redesign the premises and to create the memorial site for the victims of Janowska camp. This year has become an impetus for all of us, to join our efforts, and to never forget this chapter of history,” points out Olha Honchar, a director of the museum “Territory of Terror.”
Olha Lidovska, director of the museum “Following the Traces of Galician Jews”, believes the opening of the exhibition on the history of the Holocaust in Lviv to be an important step since this topic has long been avoided: “Janowska slave labour camp is one of the largest disasters of European Jews. However, it is important to remember this history not only for the Jews, but also for Ukraine, to be aware about every chapter of its country.”
According to Mykhaylo Pleskov, President of Lviv Regional Administrartion of “B’nej B’rit Leopolis”, the exhibition is interesting to have many materials first displayed for the general public. “One of the events from a series of memorial events is entitled “Lviv – the City of (Un)Memory.” The exhibition is another evidence to the fact that Lviv is the city of memory,
indeed,” concludes Mykhaylo.
After a briefing, Bohdana Taranina, the exhibition curator, guided a tour along the exhibition for visitors and the media.
In the evening, everyone interested could attend a night opening of the exhibition. The 1940s music was playing quietly at the premises of the museum, the same as during the camp operations, when the music accompanied prisoners at work. Exhibition authors told a tragic story of the Janowska camp orchestra where some of the most talented musicians of Lviv and Europe were forced to play. Visitors were most interested in a 3-D model of the camp reconstructed according to the documents of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission to Investigate Nazi Crimes, as well as on the basis of drawings by Zei Porat, and layouts of Fritz Gebauer. The exhibits also include a seal of the Lviv Judenrat (administrative authority of Jewish self-government) of 1941 – 1943, from the collection of the Sheremetyevs Museum. The seal is on display in Lviv for the first time.
The exhibition is open from August, 30, till December, 31, 2018. During this time, there are scheduled lectures and discussion events, as part of the exhibition project. After opening the permanent display of the museum, the exhibition will be included into one of its locations, the Industry of Terror.”