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On an ordinary suburban street: a brief history of Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre

Cooke, Steven and Frieze, Donna-Lee 2015, On an ordinary suburban street: a brief history of Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre, Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 548-568.

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Title On an ordinary suburban street: a brief history of Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre
Author(s) Cooke, StevenORCID iD for Cooke, Steven orcid.org/0000-0002-8679-5195
Frieze, Donna-LeeORCID iD for Frieze, Donna-Lee orcid.org/0000-0002-5914-6739
Journal name Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society
Volume number 22
Issue number 3
Start page 548
End page 568
Total pages 21
Publisher Australian Jewish Historical Society
Place of publication [Australia]
Publication date 2015-11
ISSN 0819-0615
Keyword(s) cultural heritage
Holocaust
museum
Summary The Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) in Melbourne Australia, set well away from the sites of European atrocity, became one of the first permanent museums dedicated to the Holocaust in the Jewish Diaspora when it opened in March 1984. It was the response to the imminent passing of the survivor generation. You can enter this past from the present through an ordinary, nondescript door, opening from a suburban street. You walk up a short flight of carpeted stairs, as you might in your own house, but there waiting for you is something other than the faces of your children or parents. (Harry Redner).Upstairs in Leo Fink House, the original location for Melbourne's first permanent Holocaust exhibition, where thousands of school students now listen each year to the testimonies of Melbourne's dwindling number of Holocaust survivors, an unremarkable white door shows the original entrance. Before the changes to the location of the exhibition, and the building of the Hadasa and Szymon Rosenbaum Research Centre, the first visitors to the museum would have entered Leo Fink House from the street through Redner's 'nondescript door', past a brass plaque with words in English, Yiddish and Hebrew, and would have climbed the stairs to enter through a white door to view the intimate exhibition.These traces of the former configuration of the JHC reveal changes to the institution as it responded to different priorities, opportunities and a growth in visitor numbers during its 30-year history. The concept of biography helps us think through these changes, but also points to a longer historical focus.
Language eng
Field of Research 210299 Curatorial and Related Studies not elsewhere classified
210204 Museum Studies
2103 Historical Studies
2204 Religion And Religious Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083517

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