On October 16, 2018, German-Italian photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano unveiled 60 large-scale portraits of Holocaust survivors from the United States – including nine from Massachusetts – Germany, Ukraine, Israel, Russia, and Belarus – on Boston Common as part of a compelling arts and remembrance project entitled LEST WE FORGET. The exhibition will be on display through November 10, 2018.
The exhibit, which has traveled to public spaces around the world including Germany and the Ukraine, was brought to the U.S. in 2018. Before coming to Boston, it was displayed at the United Nations headquarters in New York in January and at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. in April. The exhibit is designed to provide a human angle to Holocaust remembrance by giving history a face and a voice and sharpen the awareness for anti-Semitic tendencies of our times.
Toscano is a photographer and filmmaker from Mannheim, Germany, where LEST WE FORGET was presented for the first time in 2015 to commemorate the end of the Second World War, 70 years ago. Over the last three years, Toscano has traveled to meet with Holocaust survivors in Germany, the United States, Ukraine, Israel, and Russia to take their pictures and listen to their stories. His portraits are meant to provide voice and visibility not only to these survivors, but also to all those they represent.
Among the nine photographs that were taken in the Boston area is that of Rena Finder who survived the Holocaust because of Oskar Schindler, immortalized in Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List.” To this day, Ms. Finder is committed to share her story in the hope of keeping the lessons of the Holocaust alive: “Schindler showed the world that there is always something you can do. And Mr. Toscano shows the world what is possible.”