The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, in partnership with the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, is bringing the traveling exhibit “Witness to the Holocaust: WWII Veteran William Alexander Scott III at Buchenwald” to Augusta.
The exhibit will be on display at the library’s Main/Headquarters Branch on Telfair Street in downtown Augusta from January 25 to February 7. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be located on the first floor of the library.
The “Witness to the Holocaust” exhibit is a photographic essay compiled by William Alexander “W.A.” Scott III. Scott was the son of the founder of the first black-owned daily newspaper in the United States — The Atlanta Daily World. Scott grew up in Atlanta, attended Morehouse College and later because the editor of the newspaper. He was also a civil rights activist, WWII photojournalist and a witness to the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
The exhibit also includes panels drawing parallel between the Jim Crow Laws and the 1880s-1960s implemented in the United States and the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935-1945 implemented in Germany and Nazi-controlled areas of Europe.
“We are always looking for exhibits that will bring people in to educate and inform the community,” said Aspasia Luster, a library assistant at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library. “We also wanted to contact the local Jewish community to see if they would be interested in doing a tie-in program about the holocaust, so I emailed the Augusta Jewish Community Center and have been in contact with Marc Gottlieb, who is the chairman of Augusta Holocaust Remembrance Committee.”
Gottlieb will be leading a program on February 6 at 6 p.m. that chronicles a trip he took in 1992 with students and chaperones to visit concentration camps in Poland, Luster said.
“I will be doing a presentation titled ‘It’s Not Easy Not to Hate,’” Gottlieb said. “Every two years a program called ‘March of the Living’ sends 5,000 high school students and college freshman to Poland and Israel, and I went as a chaperone. I took quite a few photos, and the presentation is based on those slides.”
Gottlieb said that he will be discussing the slides and how the trip affected him personally.
Gottlieb also expressed that, in this day and age, with everything going on in the world, we cannot have enough interfaith communication. We still have our own internal problems, he said, adding that 12 million people other than the military were killed in that war [WWII], and that some people still deny the holocaust happened.
“A lot of the people from the WWII generation who saw things like this in person are dying out,” explained Luster when asked about the significance of the exhibit. “People need to know that something of this magnitude that was so terrible, that it happened before everybody is gone. Also, it shows you the extent of what racism can do. It can brainwash a society into killing other human beings just because they’re different.”
Anyone will be able to view the exhibit during regular library hours.
“Witness to the Holocaust”
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library’s Headquarters Branch
January 25-February 7
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, 2-5:30 p.m.