The president of Gamaraal Foundation Anita Winter
Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future” once said the Holocaust survivor, writer and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Our Exhibition is created in order to keep the memory alive. The author of the exhibition Fishel Rabinowicz was in the same concentration camp as Ellie Wiesel – Buchenwald. Both survived the horrors and both have something to say to the world and the humanity. Wiesel with words, Rabinowicz with images and art.
Although their lives continued in different directions after the liberation of Buchenwald, the main message of their art is the same: “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”.
In Gamaraal foundation we fight indifference every single day, spreading the messages of the survivors, keeping their testimonies, educating the new generation. It is crucial to continue doing it, because the living legacy and the eye-witnessed testimonies of the holocaust survivors will not be with us forever. We are obliged to keep their memories and spread the word. Fishel Rabinowicz helped with the selection of his pieces of art for this exhibition but he does not feel strong enough to draw and create any more.
The drawings of Fishel Rabinowicz touched everyone who saw them – this is the reason the Israeli PM B. Netanyahu, presented to the German Chancellor Mrs. A. Merkel the work Shoah-Holocaust, an original print of Rabinowicz’s work on behalf of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem as a meaningful and appropriate gift to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.
His beautiful personal interpretation of Jewish mysticism through a traditional paper-cut technique leave the visitors time and space to reflect on his life, on Shoa and the immortality of Jewish spirit. The art of Fishel Rabinowicz is about pain, healing, memory and forgiveness seen through the perspective of Judaism and mysticism.
And here we go – attaining knowledge, passing on knowledge, because knowledge is power and it can fight antisemitism, xenophobia, hatred and indifference. This exhibition comes at a moment of growing concern about the rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial across Europe and the world. Each piece of art from this exhibition of Fishel Rabinowicz is here to show that the atrocities of the Shoah did happened and that his memories are alive, he survived and he is here in Switzerland helping us educating next generations. His exhibition targets above all young people and should raise awareness about the value and importance of tolerance.
Every Friday I call Fishel Rabinowicz before the beginning of Shabbat and he always answers in Yiddish: “Gitten shabbes, gesint and shtark” which means “Have a good Shabbat and be healthy and strong”. So let we all be strong and united when it comes to remembering our past and not repeating the same mistakes in the future. Thank you, Fishel Rabinowicz , it takes courage to remind yourself again and again about the horrors you experienced in order to share your story with us and to send the clear message Never again.