Holocaust, August Wilson centers to partner on ‘Nazi Olympics’ exhibition

Holocaust, August Wilson centers to partner on ‘Nazi Olympics’ exhibition

The Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture have announced a partnership to present “The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936.” The acclaimed national exhibition on the 1936 Olympics in Berlin will debut in Pittsburgh, Oct. 25, and run through Feb. 28, 2013.

Curated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the 4,000 square-feet exhibition explores the issues surrounding the 1936 Olympic Games including the Nazis’ use of propaganda, the intense boycott debate, history of the torch run, and the historic performance of Jesse Owens.

The exhibition was secured by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and will be hosted at the August Wilson Center. Exhibition co-chairs are community leaders and volunteers Daniel and Barbara Shapira and Franco Harris.

The collaboration highlights each organization’s desire to encourage community programs that promote diversity and historical events that have shaped the world.

“This significant exhibition brings together two of our community’s cultural jewels, along with the ongoing work that both organizations are doing to create a more tolerant and civil society filled with arts and culture,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “In this case, we are reflecting on history through sports, which is a uniquely Pittsburgh way to demonstrate how our contributions have changed the world, and how the world has impacted our respective communities.”      

The exhibition comes to Pittsburgh on the 75th Anniversary of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This year also marks the untimely passing of Pittsburgher Les Banos, who attended the 1936 games as a young boy and had worked closely with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and the August Wilson Center to bring the exhibition to Pittsburgh. Banos was a Holocaust survivor and rescuer, spy, and renowned Pittsburgh sports photographer whose vision was to see this powerful exhibition, along with related programming and partnerships occur in his adopted hometown.

The exhibition is being sponsored by individuals and organizations, including the Falk Foundation, which works to achieve a tolerant, just and inclusive society.

Visit The Holocaust Center at jfedpgh.org/HolocaustCenter.aspx or the August Wilson Center at AugustWilsonCenter.org for more information.