Jacket from Dachau tells story at exhibit

Jacket from Dachau tells story at exhibit

A rare Holocaust jacket exhibit titled “The Jacket from Dachau: One Survivor’s Search for Justice, Identity and Home,” is currently at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College.
Co-curated by Dan Leshem, director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College, and Cary Lane, assistant professor of academic literacy at Queensborough Community College, the jacket belonged to Holocaust survivor Ben Peres, originally from Lithuania, according to a press release from the Kupferberg Holocaust Center.
During World War II, Peres was forced into a ghetto and later imprisoned by the Nazis at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, from 1944 until its liberation in 1945.
“This authentic jacket provides anyone who comes near it an opportunity to be instantly transformed into the past — few Holocaust survivor stories can be told so completely.” Leshem said.
In 1968, with $4,173.70 from Germany’s reparations effort, Peres and his mother put a down payment on a house in Bellmore, Long Island. 
There, he and his wife Chaya raised their son Michael and daughter Lorrie. 
Throughout the years, he never spoke to anyone about the jacket’s existence. Ben died at age 52 after suffering a stroke during his daughter’s bat mitzvah. 
“The center approaches the Holocaust as a human story extending beyond the boundaries of any single discipline,” Diane B. Call, president of Queensborough Community College, said. “It is neither a museum nor a library — we are a learning laboratory where students, survivors and members of the global community learn through their hearts, minds and actions.”

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