Sunday, January 13, 2019

3:00 pm

Exhibit Opening

Dora: Discovery and Despair


Please join us for an exhibition opening featuring evocative photographs and precious artifacts from the little-known World War II slave labor camp of Mittlebau-Dora. This is the first time Los Angeles has hosted this exhibit and it is the last opportunity to view the artifacts before the artifacts are returned to the Mittlebau-Dora Museum in Germany. 

In 1943, the Nazis brought prisoners from Buchenwald to the southern Harz mountainside near Nordhausen, Germany to begin back-breaking construction of what would become the world’s largest underground factory. Dora-Mittelbau became the model for several secret and unrealistic underground industrial complexes that the Nazi leadership planned in reaction to the Anglo-American strategic bombing offensive. Sixty thousand prisoners labored to build the V-1 and V-2 missiles; more than one-third perished. 

Dynamited and sealed after the war, the site of the factory was inaccessible until after Germany’s reunification in 1990.

In 1994, Alvin Gilens, a veteran photographer of Holocaust memorials and sites, was invited by Dora-Mittelbau to document the remains of the camp and factory. The exhibition of his interpretive photographs opened in 1995 at the Meyenberg Museum in Nordhausen, Germany on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

The traveling exhibit includes Gilens' original photographs, as well as artifacts unearthed from the tunnels. Mr. Gilens will be present at the opening and his book, "Discovery and Despair: The Dimensions of Dora," will be available for purchase.

Speakers include:

  • Alvin Gilens, internationally acclaimed photographer
  • Kathrin Steinbrenner, Deputy Consul General of Germany 
  • Irwin Field, Jewish community leader and former publisher of the Jewish Journal

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required: