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Autumn 2011

Message from the Director

October 2011

Twenty-five years.
It’s been quarter of a century since I first saw these photos found at Auschwitz.

October 1986. I was on a special trip to Eastern Europe, then still under Communist control, when I got separated from the group. Auschwitz had already been closed for the day, and I was alone. Hoping to find my group, I frantically began to run from building to building, searching, terrified, trying to find anyone alive in this ‘Citadel of Death,’ as my friend, survivor Henry Skorr called it.

When an Auschwitz employee motioning with a finger, I entered a locked room, and saw beautiful photos carried into Auschwitz by those deported there.

These photos were to change my life…I just didn’t know it yet.

Twenty-five years ago, if someone said I would still be thinking about these Auschwitz photos–let alone researching their stories, teaching about them and almost ‘living’ with them–well frankly, I would have thought them insane.

Yet here I am. And here you are.

It is now many stories, many lives, many years later, and new research continues to emerge, just as new minds continue to be opened.

I believe that, together, we can make a difference by learning the history and remembering the lives–but not only remembering–by making sure that our knowledge links memory to action. I am hopeful, even confident, that together in our small and big ways, as individuals and as groups, we can work toward creating a world of tolerance, a world of justice, a world of hope. At the conclusion of a Tolerance Seminar I taught in Cyprus to Palestinian and Israeli educators, an Israeli superintendent of schools corrected me when I spoke about ‘Teaching Tolerance in the Classroom” and said, “No, Tolerance is not enough. We must go further; we must work to create a world of love.

To that, I can only say, Amen.

Ann Weiss, Director, Eyes from the Ashes Foundation

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