Letters of Loss and Refuge at SA Jewish Museum

By MapMyWay
7 August 2017

Letters of Loss and Refuge is one family’s story in the shadow of the Holocaust.

This exhibition at the South African Jewish Museum is drawn from a collection of letters, written over a period of 40 years, by Rudolf Schwab, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who found sanctuary in South Africa in 1936.

Discovered in a garage in Johannesburg in 2009, Schwab’s letters are one of the largest Holocaust related letter collections ever found. Consisting of over 4000 written pages, spanning four decades and five continents, the letters provide an intimate portrait of Rudolf Schwab, a man who found refuge, but lost his past.

What is truly unique about this collection, is that both sides of the correspondence were preserved – Schwab kept carbon copies of his own letters in addition to those he received – offering a rare, complete picture of refugee life.

The exhibition is based on the book From Things Lost by Professor Shirli Gilbert, who will open the exhibition on the evening of 9 August 2017.

WHAT: Letters of Loss and Refuge

WHERE: South African Jewish Museum 88 Hatfield Street, Cape Town 8001

WHEN: 9 August – October 2017