21 Jun 2023

Like every month, human rights are on top at Christchurch Central Library with the upcoming Finding Hope Exhibition.

Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says the exhibition aims to explain New Zealand’s response to the Holocaust and seeking refuge in Aotearoa.

“’Finding Hope’ will be on display in Tūranga until Friday 30 June, and will use eight graphic style banners that explore the significance of the Holocaust on our history.

“One of the supporting events within this exhibition is the book launch of ‘Resilience: A story of persecution, escape, survival and triumph’ by Inge Woolf on 29 June,” says Ms Robertson.

Resilience is both a Holocaust story and a New Zealand story. The memoir delves into Ms Woolf and her Jewish family’s escape from certain death after witnessing Nazis march into their hometown in early 1938.

Fleeing to Aotearoa, the family began a new life as the move signalled new beginnings.

Ms Woolf’s children Deborah Hart and Simon Woolf will talk about capturing their mother’s life story and completing her memoir after her death.

Ms Hart is a former lawyer. She chairs the independent review of New Zealand’s electoral laws, chairs the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and is also a panel member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Mr Woolf is an eminent New Zealand photographer, a Wellington regional Councillor and former City Councillor.

Ms Robertson says the siblings will talk about creating the memoir and weave in the remarkable stories from their family history.

“'Resilience' is ultimately the story of a women who harnessed her past, and used it to encourage a more cohesive, inclusive society,” says Ms Robertson.

“This promises to be a warm, poignant and engaging evening of conversation.”

The exhibition will be on display on He Hononga | Connection, Ground level from Monday 19 June, before moving to Tuakiri | Identity, Level 2 until Friday 30 June.

Alongside this book launch, other supporting events include Judaism and Pre-War Jewish Life and Zikaron Ba’Salon ‘Memories in the Living Room’.