Exhibition HerStories. In the Footsteps of Jewish Women in Europe

This exhibition, created in the framework of the HerStories project, conveys the multifaceted Jewish history of the 20th century in Europe through the biographies of seven Jewish women from Germany, Poland, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czechia.

The concept of the exhibition is to embed personal stories in time and space. The chronological arrangement and map as the central element of each panel, along with quotes, photographs, and documents, allow for a more detailed illustration of the fate of each woman. Traveling in the footsteps of seven European Jewish women we can see where they were in particular moments in history, what they experienced, and how they felt during the first decades of the 20th century, the interwar period, the dark years of the Second World War and the Holocaust, and postwar Europe. Oral history interviews with Rosa Rosenstein, Katarína Löfflerova, Ludmila Rutarova, Irena Wygodzka, and Vera Szekeres-Varsa, Lisa Pinhas’ memoir and biography, and the account of Rosl Heilbrunner’s daughter Dory Sontheimer, give us invaluable insight into their lives.

These stories reveal not only individual views and decisions but also their roles in society, their survival strategies, as well as their worlds falling apart and then being rebuilt in the postwar years. This way the unique story and experience of each woman ‒ juxtaposed and intertwined with one another ‒ reveals the complexity and diversity of 20th century European Jewish history.

The exhibition was created thanks to cooperation of partner organizations: Galicia Jewish Museum (Poland), The Jewish Museum of Greece (Greece), Centropa (Germany, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia) and Mozaika (Spain). The materials used in the exhibition are part of the collections and archives of Centropa, The Jewish Museum of Greece and Mozaika.

Detailed biographies of seven women are available on the HerStories project website: her-stories.eu.

Project co-funded by the EU.

Project supported by the Visegrad Fund.

The HerStories project is co-funded by the European Union within the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Program. Partners include Centropa – Zentrum für Jüdische Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts e.V. (Hamburg, Germany), Galicia Jewish Museum (Krakow, Poland) the Jewish Museum of Greece (Athens, Greece), Mozaika (Barcelona, Spain), Centropa Alipitvany (Budapest, Hungary), and Jugend- und Kulturprojekt e.V. (Dresden, Germany).
The project runs from January 2023 until December 2024.