AUGUSTA—The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine new exhibit “Heroism in Unjust Times: Rescuers During the Holocaust” will be on display through Friday, Aug. 11, at the Michael Klahr Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta1, according to a news release from the center.

Despite the potentially fatal consequences, thousands of individuals risked their lives to help those targeted by the Nazis. The exhibit celebrates and honors those individuals. The exhibit also will share stories of individuals and their descendants who were saved by these rescuers and settled in Maine and nearby.

An free opening event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, with a program beginning at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided, donations will be accepted.

The program will include several speakers whose family’s stories and artifacts are featured in the exhibit: Julie Lanoie, whose grandmother Allegonda Balte-Peper was involved with the Dutch Resistance and cared for some 45 Jews, in addition to hiding her Jewish husband, Philip Peper, in their home; and Walt Bannon, whose grandfather Auguste Felix Florin, was involved with the Belgian resistance.

There will be several artifacts and stories of rescuers during the Holocaust featured in the exhibit, including that of Portuguese consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who issued thousands of visas illegally to Jews and non-Jews targeted by the Nazis; Oskar Schindler, responsible for saving approximately 1,200 Jewish men, women and children; Raoul Wallenberg, who saved as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews; Father Bruno (Henri Reynders), who protected 300-400 Jews, most of whom were children; and Muslim-Albanian families who saved Jews.

The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Sousa Mendes Foundation, Yad Vashem, Darrell English, Julie Lanoie, Joan Lanoie, Jennie Blair, Mona Pearl Treyball, Walt Bannon and Jean-Claude van Itallie, according to the release.

This exhibit has been made possible with the support of Kennebec Savings Bank. The bank fosters a culture of giving through its Community Dividends Program that supports more than 300 local organizations across the 30 communities they serve. To learn more about Kennebec Savings Bank, visit

The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on weekends and evenings by appointment.

For more information, call 621-3530.

The center also includes a permanent exhibit about Michael Klahr, a hidden child who survived the Holocaust and the 80-minute multimedia presentation “Were the House Still Standing: Maine Survivors and Liberators Remember the Holocaust.” For more information on the Michael Klahr Center and the programs of the HHRC, visit

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