Holocaust exhibit comes to Hale


Hale Library’s second floor is housing “The World Knew: Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity,” an exhibit focusing on the Holocaust hero, Jan Karski. The exhibit’s opening ceremony was Friday, featuring a viewing of the exhibit, refreshments and some remarks made by those who helped bring it to K-State.

“The World Knew” tells the story of Karski’s life before, during, and after the Holocaust, focusing on the work he did to right the wrongs being committed by society. Walking through the exhibit can take anywhere from 15-25 minutes.

The exhibit, which was curated by the Polish History Museum in Warsaw, Poland with help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, aims to educate people about the atrocities of the Holocaust. It was previously displayed at the U.N. in New York. The exhibit centers around the experiences of Karski, a Polish diplomat whose goal was to stop the atrocities committed at death camps.

“One person can do many things, and we have to encourage and respect those people,” said Waldemar Biniecki, an instructor with the College of Education.

In May 2012, Karski was given a posthumous Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. He is described by many historians as a “World War II resistance movement fighter.”

The boards that make up the exhibit chronologically details Karski’s life, from attending school in Poland to viewing the atrocities of death camps and wartime ghettos during World War II. Karski went on to tell many government officials in the U.S. about the atrocities of the Holocaust, but was met with skepticism.

“Not many people know of the individuals, so I think it’s great that we’re promoting the individuals,” Sydney Bowen, senior in hotel and restaurant management, said. “The exhibit itself is great. It really flows.”

Students who have already walked through the exhibit said they found it to be a great tool for further educating the public about the Holocaust. Many believe that Holocaust education, especially at deeper levels, is a key part of building well-rounded and educated citizens.

“We have to spread the knowledge,” Biniecki said. “It’s important for students to know about the atrocities, about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.”