Student Exhibit Studies the Holocaust

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Faces of Survival

UTSA students study conditions that set the stage for genocide

SAN ANTONIO – While humanity often looks to the Holocaust of World War II as the exemplar for genocide, other nations have carried out systematic attacks against ethnic and religious minorities. On April 15, the Institute of Texan Cultures will open "Faces of Survival," a UTSA student-curated exhibit studying the circumstances that can lead to a genocide, in any place, at any time.
Genocide did not begin or end with World War II. In the modern era, the atrocity has taken place in other nations: Cambodia, Rwanda, Guatemala and more. In History 6483, Comparative Genocide, UTSA graduate students, along with a cohort of UTSA Honors College undergraduate students studied the architecture of these horrible acts to see how and why they happen.
"I teach courses on genocide because history gives us important tools that can help us predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder," said Kolleen Guy, associate professor of history at the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts and instructor for the class. "Knowledge is the first step toward change."
The Institute of Texan Cultures exhibit features a concentration camp uniform among the artifacts on display. Student researchers have collected accounts of the atrocities targeting ethnic, political or undesirable classes or groups, and photographs documenting the end result. The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio has supplemented the students’ findings with additional artifacts and materials.
To add to the discussion, "Escaping Nazi Germany: One Man’s Journey," a presentation by writer and Holocaust survivor William Samelson, is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m., April 16, preceded by a free gallery walkthrough, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
"Genocide is not the inevitable result of hatred or irrational leaders," said Guy. "History shows that there are warning signs and risk factors that we can identify. Once we know those risks, we can work toward prevention. Our community can become part of the solution."

Faces of Survival is on display from April 15 to Nov. 15, 2015.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit


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