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National Briefing / ILLINOIS

Holocaust exhibit to feature letters

September 29, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

More than 250 World War II postal documents relating to the Holocaust -- cards, letters and stamps -- have been acquired by an Illinois foundation and will be displayed in a new suburban Chicago museum.

The collection includes letters secretly carried by children through the sewers of Warsaw during the 1944 uprising, a 1933 card from a Dachau camp commander outlining strict rules for prisoner mail, and a 1943 letter from a young man who spent time in Auschwitz to his parents.

"These artifacts underscore the very personal dimension to this catastrophe," said Richard Hirschhaut, the executive director of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, where the exhibit will be housed next year when the museum opens.

The Holocaust memorial exhibit belonged to longtime postal memorabilia collector Ken Lawrence of Pennsylvania, who meticulously collected the documents for more than three decades in response to the claims of Holocaust deniers.

The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, based in Northbrook, Ill., recently bought the collection and has added to it.

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