With opening weekend sold out, the world-renowned exhibition is expected to be the most attended in the library’s 30+ year history.
Simi Valley, CA – The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute has officially unveiled the “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” exhibition. Its West Coast premiere at the Reagan Library is expected to be the most attended in the library’s 30+ year history. Before the opening, more than 45,000 people from 45 states purchased presale tickets. The debut of the 12,500 sq. ft. exhibition marks the first of four final North American stops.
Created by Musealia together with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland, and now being toured through North America by World Heritage Exhibitions, the exhibit displays the largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts linked to the history of this German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
More than 700 artifacts, including hundreds of personal items such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes that belonged to Auschwitz deportees are on display in this exhibit.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute has also made grants available for students to tour the exhibit at little to no cost. In doing so, the foundation hopes that younger generations can learn from history first-hand regardless of their background or financial situation and develop a greater understanding of the magnitude of the Holocaust. Thus far, more than 9,000 individual students and school groups have reserved tickets to tour the exhibition, with the majority receiving complimentary admission thanks to generous patrons of the foundation.
Emphasizing the importance of the exhibition today, Piotr Cywiński, Auschwitz Memorial Director, said: “We are approaching the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and antisemitic rhetoric is once again on the rise in our world. We all need a sobering reminder of the evils that are possible when this kind of hatred is allowed to fester in our society. The Auschwitz exhibition serves as this reminder and will help guide us toward a more responsible, peaceful, accepting future.”
“It can be difficult to comprehend the enormity of the Holocaust from a history textbook alone. This was part of the impetus behind this project: to bring visitors into an accessible narrative where they can confront the true reality of the Nazi regime and learn from their visit here,” said Luis Ferreiro, Director of Musealia. “We encourage visitors to take their time to process the powerful and devastating artifacts on display in the exhibition and leave with a new perspective that they can apply to their daily lives.”