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Boost for new Holocaust museum

National

A new Holocaust Museum located in the Catholic Church's historic Fennescey House has been given a massive boost following the announcement by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg that the Federal Government will provide $2.5 million to expand its exhibitions and education program.

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Visiting the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Andrew Steiner Education Centre this week, the Treasurer said the museum was the latest addition to a national network of Holocaust museums to ensure that “every South Australian school child is able to come through and learn about this tragic period in world history and to learn the importance of tolerance and humanity”.

With well-established Jewish museums in Melbourne and Sydney, the Federal Government has also provided $3.5m for a Holocaust museum in Brisbane while Perth’s Jewish Community Centre received funding for a major redevelopment last year.

The Adelaide museum will be officially opened on November 9 prior to the Remembrance of the Shoah Service in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, an annual interfaith event instigated by Archbishop Philip Wilson in 2014.

Accompanying Mr Frydenberg on his visit was Federal Member for Sturt James Stevens and former Member for Sturt Christopher Pyne, as well as South Australian Premier Steven Marshall who expressed strong support for school visits to the museum.

“This is a very, very important museum,” said Premier Marshall.

“It is a compelling story. It’s a horrific story but it will also lead to a better world.

“One of our greatest quests is to educate the next generation about this very dark chapter of our world’s history.”

An emotional Andrew Steiner, a Holocaust survivor and artist who has devoted much of his life to educating South Australians about the history of the Holocaust, said “it’s really an extraordinarily wonderful moment for me to see my dream and vision realised after so many years”.

“Our role here in the museum is to work towards a better, more just, fairer, compassionate world.”

He said his friendship with Archbishop Wilson had been instrumental in the establishment of the museum in Fennescey House and he also expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Patrick O’Regan for the continued support of the Adelaide Archdiocese.

Archbishop O’Regan said the connection between the Jewish community and the Catholic Church in Adelaide dated back to St Mary MacKillop who was befriended and supported by the Solomon family after her ex-communication. He said there was potential for developing that link through the new museum and the Mary MacKillop Museum at Kensington.

 

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