"Stay Together"

The Fate of Jewish Families in 1944

"'Stay together' my mother said… We wanted to stay together, like everyone else. Family unity is one of our important traditions, as the enemy well knew. And he now used that knowledge, spreading the rumor in the ghetto that the Jewish population would be transferred to Hungarian labor camp where – and this was the essential thing – families would remain together. And we believed it. So it was that the strength of our family tie, which had contributed to the survival of our people for centuries, became a tool in the exterminator's hands."
Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea

In this exhibition, we follow the stories of a range of Jewish families and their destinies in the pivotal year of 1944.

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In 1944, the demise of Nazi Germany was already on the horizon. The German army, suffering defeat after defeat, was slowly pushed back towards Germany.  And yet, despite the military losses, the Nazi extermination machine continued to operate at full throttle.  1944 was the year in which the last remaining Jews in Greece, Italy, France, Holland, Slovakia and Germany were sent to their deaths; the year in which the Jews of Hungary were deported to Auschwitz, and the last remaining ghettos of Lodz and Kovno were liquidated.  In the selfsame year, Minsk and Vilna in the east had already been liberated, as had Paris and Rome in the west.

Confronted with a brutal reality of ongoing persecution, Jewish families tried desperately to save their members from a seemingly inescapable fate.

  • The Batis Family

    The Batis Family

    Ioannina, Greece
  • The Blecher Family

    The Blecher Family

    Vilna, Lithuania
  • The Chanoch Family

    The Chanoch Family

    Kovno, Lithuania
  • The Cohen Family

    The Cohen Family

    Kovno, Lithuania
  • The Drimer Family

    The Drimer Family

    Bârsana, Romania
  • The Fischer Family

    The Fischer Family

    Bratislava, Slovakia
  • The Haber Family

    The Haber Family

    Bălţi, Romania
  • The Hellmann Family

    The Hellmann Family

    Nikolsburg, Czechoslovakia
  • The Herzberg Family

    The Herzberg Family

    Berlin, Germany
  • The Horwitz Family

    The Horwitz Family

    Amsterdam, Holland
  • The Jónás Family

    The Jónás Family

    Sacaseni, Romania
  • The Klein Family

    The Klein Family

    Batyu, Czechoslovakia
  • The Rein Family

    The Rein Family

    Lodz, Poland
  • The Steiner Family

    The Steiner Family

    Bratislava, Slovakia
  • The Urbach Family

    The Urbach Family

    Montech, France
  • The Zalkind Family

    The Zalkind Family

    Vilna, Lithuania
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Support for the Exhibition comes from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany