Queensland’s first holocaust museum and education centre was officially unveiled on Friday June 30 in the heart of Brisbane’s Cathedral Precinct.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined with the Chair of the Queensland Holocaust Museum and Education Centre (QHMEC) Jason Steinberg, Queensland Holocaust survivors and Archbishop Mark Coleridge to officially inspect the Queensland Holocaust Museum and Education Centre.
The centre honours the legacy of those who faced human rights abuse and genocide and aims to inform and inspire Queenslanders to stand up to all forms of racism and prejudice
It features the locally-recorded stories of Holocaust survivors and their families, living in Queensland, as well as tributes to non-Jewish people who risked their lives to save Jewish people, including those awarded the prestigious “Righteous Among Nations” honour.
An online museum capability will soon be available, and a unique mobile facility is being developed to travel throughout the state to ensure all Queenslanders have access to the valuable resources available through the centre.
QHMEC Chair Jason Steinberg said it was the responsibility of all Queenslanders to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten.
“Our multi-faceted and engaging museum tells the story of the Holocaust in a way that it has never been told – through the voices, stories and artefacts from Queensland survivors,” he said.
“There were around 27,000 Holocaust survivors who migrated to Australia and Queensland became home to more than 200 survivors.
“At our museum, visitors will hear first-hand filmed testimonies from Queensland survivors who tell their stories about life before, during and after the Holocaust,” he said.
The opening follows the introduction of new Hate Crimes legislation to ban the display of hate symbols, such as those representing Nazi ideology.
When enacted, the legislation will impose increased penalties for offences that are motivated by hatred or serious contempt and the existing offence of serious vilification.
Archbishop Coleridge welcomed the civic and cultural partnership which now allows people such as Peter Baruch, a survivor from Poland, and Sue Smee, a survivor from Hungary, to share their stories of survival with younger generations.
“It is an honour to join with the Jewish community in this inter-religious partnership that promotes remembrance and understanding,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“The partnership sends a strong signal that we are all sisters and brothers in a world which desperately needs to build bridges not walls, to choose peace not violence.
“It is good that many have come together in this project – religious bodies, government and the wider community – to tell a story that can never be forgotten, a story that belongs to us all,” he said.
The Queensland Holocaust Museum and Education Centre is located at 168 Charlotte St and will be open to the public for tours from July 11, 2023 according to the QHMEC website.