The second theme focuses on the experience of the individual. It illustrates what it is like to be rendered powerless and demonstrates how victims felt and responded as a direct result of intolerance and intimidation. Fear caused people to assume false identities or to go into hiding, or to be on the run for years and always in search of a secure hiding place.
The stories in this section bring to life the way in which Nazi discrimination directly impacted on peoples’ lives. They challenge us to reflect on how discrimination is experienced today, and to consider, how would we have reacted then and how do we respond in similar situations today?
Exhibition Panel: Cesha Glazer
In 1942, Cesha Glazer worked in Winter’s Laundry outside the Warsaw Ghetto. Her job was to clean Nazi uniforms. Her parents had been deported to Treblinka concentration camp, but the young Jewish girl was determined to survive. She was young, blonde and attractive. She used her non-Jewish appearance to assume a new identity – that of a Christian Pole.
Cesha obtained false identity documents and with support of two older women – her “aunts” – she rented a flat outside the Ghetto. Here she not only ensured her own survival, but also found the courage to hide six Jewish people in a small alcove behind her kitchen area. The fugitives stayed with her for 18 months.