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AUG 14, 2012

Holocaust Museum Open Interactive 'Tree of Life' Exhibit, To Remember Munich Athletes

Last week, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH), the city's only free museum dedicated exclusively to the history of the Holocaust, celebrated the grand opening of its new exhibit, "Tree of Testimiony: USC Shoah Foundation Institute Interviews."

The exhibit consists of 70 video screens displaying the more than 51,000 interviews maintained in the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's archives.

The video sculpture, supported in part by a grant from the Wilf Family Foundation, occupies an entire wall of the museum.  Screens of varying sizes display individual interviews.  Visitors can hear the interviews through the museum's award-winning audio-guide system, which is distributed free to guests.  It will take an entire year for all of the thousands of interviews to be played, emphasizing the enormity of the tragedy.

The video wall is the brain child of Museum Board President E. Randol Schoenberg, who conceived the installation after seeing similar exhibits at museums around the country.

"I realized that if we found a way to show visitors the thousands of interviews recorded and maintained by the institute; we'd create something extraordinary.  Not only would the sheer breadth of the archives and its exhibition portray the Holocaust's scope; we'd help visitors connect directly to survivors through their testimony and create a lasting monument to them as well," Schoenberg said.

Stand-alone computers in the Tepper Family room on the museum's exhibit floor and in the librarey will allow visitors to search for particular testimonies or areas of interest.

LAMOTH is at 100 S. The Grove Dr. For more information, call 323-651-3704 or visit

  • Moment of Silence

LAMOTH will hold a moment of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics at 3p.m., Sunday, Aug. 12, at approximately the time when the closing ceremonies of the 2012 games in London will hit their mid-point.

LAMOTH Executive Director Mark A. Rothman will lead the moment of silence at the Jewish National Fund plaque in Pan Pacific Park.  THe plaque is surrounded by a copse of trees planted in the victims' honor.

It is across the park from LAMOTH itself, and it lists the name of each of the Israeli athletes killed after Black September terrorists took them hostage in their dormitory rooms in the Munich Olympic village. 

"Our moment of silence will throw light on the shadow the International Olympic Committee cast on the London games" by not officially remembering the tragedy of 1972, said Rothman.

"Otherwise, the glory of gold medals-no matter how earnestly earned-cannot brighten that shadow."