About the Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
ATTRIBUTED TO PASTOR NIEMÖLLER

Located at the Asper Jewish Community Campus, visitors enter the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre by walking through a replica of the boxcar doors which sealed the fate of so many of those transported to the death camps during the Holocaust. The Centre’s exhibits consist of artifacts donated by Manitoba Holocaust survivors and their families. Text panels further outline the history of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust Education Centre was founded by local survivors who were dedicated to building a museum where various groups, especially students, could come and benefit from presentations by Holocaust survivors and educators and look at their precious artifacts which illustrate even further the families and the world that these brave men and women have lost.

The Holocaust Education Committee plans and organizes the activities of the HEC. In addition to the presentations in the HEC, outreach programs see Outreach Programs exist for schools and groups, which are located at distances, which would make it too difficult for them to travel to our centre. Our major educational program each year is the Annual Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium, held each year at the University of Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre. A keynote speaker presents to high school students from all over the province and breakout sessions take place in the afternoon with local survivors. This year, some 2000 students from across Manitoba attended a most successful event.

The Holocaust Education Centre also co-sponsors events during Shoah Week such as this year’s Survivors and Heroes program on May 5, 2011 and the Names Instead of Numbers Exhibit at Westminster United Church in March/April 2012. Together with the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, it administers the Asper Foundation Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program for Jewish students attending public schools.

The mandate of the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre is to raise awareness and understanding of the history of the Shoah through education. We address the fact that society continues to witness genocide due to continuing racism and hatred and that we must all be vigilant in opposing racism, antisemitism and other forms of bigotry.