The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “Deadly Medicine” exhibit was transported to the Reece Museum at ETSU for a limited amount of time.
Conjunctive with the exhibit was a talk given by the Chair of ETSU’s Literature and Language Department Katherine Weiss, Director of ETSU’s Women’s Studies Department Phyllis Thompson and Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina Teresa Stephens. Collectively they gave an hour-long talk about the literary and artistic response to the Holocaust.
Katherine Weiss talked about “absurdist” artists and its relation to Samuel Beckett, a playwright who is credited with works such as “Waiting on Godot.” This work is a play based on two men waiting on a man named, you guessed it, Godot. His other famous works include “Happy Days,” “Endgame” and “Catastrophe.”
Phyllis Thompson focused on children’s literature and the Holocaust from a child’s point of view. She spoke about Nelly Toll, a young girl at the time of the Holocaust who painted while in hiding. She also talked about Friedl Dicker Brandeis, a woman who had the opportunity to escape the Nazis, but chose not to. She was captured and placed in a concentration camp where she taught art to the children who also lived there.
Another topic she spoke on was a book called “The Butterfly” by Patricia Polacco. A children’s book about a young girl who finds out that there is another girl in her basement who is hiding from the Nazis.
Teresa Stephens spoke about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A Christian writer who spied on the Nazis and was killed for conspiring against Adolf Hitler.
After a short Q&A session, everyone walked through the “Deadly Medicine” exhibit, which documented firsthand accounts of Holocaust survivors. It is a powerful exhibit that does a fantastic job of giving viewers an accurate look into history.
Two more talks are planned for this event. They are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Sept. 26. These are fantastic opportunities to view this exhibit before it goes back to its home in Washington D.C.