Have you ever asked yourself, “Would I risk my life to save a book?”
That question is at the foundation of a current display at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.
A special exhibition, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis, is on display until Jan. 2, 2022, at the museum located in the Historic West End District.
Unknown to many people, The Book Smugglers exhibit tells the World War II true story of Jewish ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts from the Nazis who were destroying anything related to the Jewish culture and society.
Risking their lives and the lives of others, a small Lithuanian group of partisans and poets decided to save everything they could to preserve their Jewish culture. They hid books under their clothing and buried books in bunkers.
Most of the literature and art the ghetto residents saved was hidden in plain sight from the Nazis. A group of 40 writers, educators, and activists joined forces in the ghetto to rescue as many Jewish artifacts, books, photographs, and more as they could.
The Dallas exhibition features artifacts and reproductions, such as panels with paintings and drawings, photographs, poetry, diaries, testimonies, and music representing the Jewish heritage of the Lithuania ghetto area.
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum admission is $16 for adults and $12 for students. General admission includes The Book Smugglers exhibition. Reduced admission fees are available for seniors, educators, visitors with disabilities, and military members.