From the loving intimacy of family life to the horrors of Hilter’s reign of terror in Europe, a new exhibit at Hodges Library will examine both beauty and brutality through the brief life of Kitty Weichherz, a Slovak girl growing up in the 1930s and early 1940s.
In Her Father’s Eyes: A Slovak Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust shows what the Holocaust took away through the story of a young girl whose uncanny affinities to Anne Frank make her easily recognizable. In 1929, Béla Weichherz, a traveling salesman from Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, began an illustrated diary about his new daughter, Kitty. In this diary, which he kept throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, he recorded countless details about all aspects of her life. But soon after the Holocaust began, Béla’s journal ended, and neither Kitty nor her parents survived. This exhibition tells the story of an entire life in the days before and during the Holocaust. It remains a powerful and poignant document of daily life in Europe on the eve of Hitler’s Final Solution.
In Her Father’s Eyes: A Slovak Childhood in the Shadow of the Holocaust will run from October 6, 2008 to December 2, 2008 on the first floor of John C. Hodges Library.
The exhibit is made possible by Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education; Youngstown State University’s Department of History, Center for Applied History, and Center for Judaic and Holocaust Studies; The University of Tennessee Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, The University of Tennessee Program in Germanic Studies, The Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies, Hodges Library, and Ready for the World.
The accompanying volume In Her Father’s Eyes: A Childhood Extinguished by the Holocaust is edited by UT’s own Assistant Professor of German Daniel H. Magilow and is available from Rutgers University Press. Professor Magilow is also curator of the exhibit.