pictured: Mary Bauer before she was deported to Auschwitz.
An update on the update, this has been delayed until Friday, March 30. We will be accompanying Holocaust Surivor, Los Angeles resident Mary Bauer to Long Beach to join a group from the new Center for Holocaust and Tolerance Education, from Chandler, Arizona, to receive an authentic Holocaust era railcar for their new museum. Photos and videos will be made available for the press. Contact griggsc(at)evjcc dot org or call 480-897-0588.
Holocaust era rail car arrives in Port of Long Beach
11-ton car first artifact for Chandler, Ariz. museum, first of its kind west of the Mississippi
What: A Holocaust era rail car arrives in the United States at the Port of Long Beach nearly 11,000 miles from its start in Macedonia, which was occupied by Germany during WWII. The rail car is a cornerstone piece to the Holocaust & Tolerance Museum project under development in Chandler, Ariz.
Several people will gather at Pier A to welcome the car to the U.S., including local LA Holocaust survivor, Mary Bauer [Bauer will be available for comments.]. Rabbis from Arizona will offer a blessing.
When: 8:00 a.m., Friday, March 30
Port of Long Beach
SSAT – Pier A
2700 Pier A Plaza
Long Beach, CA 90813
Why: The Holocaust & Tolerance Museum project seeks to be a premier museum and education facility for the Southwest, including Southern California — teaching acceptance, social action and respect using lessons from the Holocaust. Rail cars, like the one arriving on Thursday, were integral to Germany’s ability to transport and murder mass numbers of Jews as they worked to carry out the ‘Final Solution’.
“Museums cannot simply be photos or artifacts on a wall,” said East Valley Jewish Community Center Executive Director Steve Tepper. “They must provide an experience to leave a lasting memory. A piece like this 11-ton rail car gives future generations some context to understand the horror of the time period, so that they won’t let it happen again.” [Tepper will be available for comments.]
Visuals: Rail car itself on the ship, inside access likely; Holocaust survivor reaction, crowd reactions, Rabbi offering a blessing
About the project
In November 2009, the East Valley Jewish Community Center announced plans to build a museum dedicated to educating the public about the Holocaust in order for them to take action on issues facing the world today. The museum will be part of its current campus at 908 N. Alma School, Rd., Chandler, AZ 85224. Exhibits may include Holocaust history and education, exhibits on other genocides, and rotating exhibits on current diversity and tolerance issues.
Museum railcars are given certification of `being of the type and era` used to transport Holocaust victims, and this car will meet that certification criteria. Germans used these cars not only for victim transport, but for day-to-day transportation of cattle, and other goods.
About Mary Bauer
Holocaust survivor Mary Bauer was a teenager in Hungary when she and her mother were deported and imprisoned at Auschwitz. At the concentration camp, Bauer was forced to weave the shorn hair of fellow prisoners into items for the Nazi war effort. In the spring of 1945, she and her mother were liberated by the Russian Army. She became a nurse and immigrated to America five years later. Now 84, Bauer tells her story in an effort to raise awareness about the horrors of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Railcar photos taken in Macedonia available immediately. Video footage captured at the port available.