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Calgary-connected Holocaust survivors share stories of resilience in new Glenbow exhibition

Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors debuts at Glenbow at The Edison May 27
Free exhibit focused on Holocaust survivors with a Calgary connection runs at Glenbow at the Edison through July 3. Photo submitted.

It's a one-of-a-kind exhibit Glenbow at the Edison says every Calgarian needs to see. Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors is a commemorative and educational photography exhibition on now through July 5, with free admission for all. The exhibit features both living and deceased Holocaust survivors with a connection to Calgary and sheds light on each of the survivors’ Shoah (Hebrew word for the Holocaust) experiences, while also providing a glimpse into their lives lived post-war. 

The Here to Tell exhibition showcases 39 portraits of living survivors and 122 images of deceased survivors, accompanied by their stories. While acknowledging the many who lost their homes, families, communities and ways of life during the Second World War, Here to Tell also highlights the resiliency and hope exemplified by survivors more than 76 years later. The striking black-and-white images capture this contrast. Whether photographed in person or held proudly by descendants, the collective commitment to hope over despair serves as a powerful and timely reminder today.

“Reimagining Glenbow means looking to preserve the voices within our community,” said Nicholas R. Bell, President & CEO, Glenbow. “After reading the profoundly impactful stories shared in Here to Tell, we knew it was vital that Glenbow host this interactive photo album for visitors to meet and learn from the resilient Holocaust survivors whose journeys reached our city. We encourage all Calgarians to experience this important exhibition and hear the stories of courage and resilience.”

Marnie Bondar and Dahlia Libin are the organizers behind Here to Tell and co-chairs of the Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education Department of Calgary Jewish Federation. They are also descendants of survivors, bringing this project that much closer to home.

While the call for participants was met with a swift and enthusiastic response, participating in this project was not an easy task for the survivors and their descendants. With the rise of antisemitism, some living survivors expressed feeling overwhelmed at the thought of publicly sharing their stories; a few even bowed out of the project entirely.

“We will soon be in a world without Holocaust survivors. We need to tell and preserve their stories, particularly in a time when racism and antisemitism continues to be so prevalent in our world,” said Bondar. 

In conjunction with the portraits and stories from the survivors, an 18-panel Yad Vashem - the world Holocaust Remembrance Centre - display reinforces the important lessons about the Holocaust. As well, visitors are offered a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Here to Tell in a 30-minute documentary shown at the exhibition.

Here to Tell: Faces of Holocaust Survivors is on view at Glenbow at The Edison until July 3, 2022. Admission will be free, thanks to the generous support of the Calgary Downtown Association. Timed tickets must be reserved in advance, available on Glenbow’s website. The exhibition will be open Wednesdays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 6 p.m.

For more information and to book tickets, visit