The Post-War Photographs of Henry Ries:

Rothchild Hospital & Exodus 1947

Exhibition August 7 to October 27, 2006
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, 851 North Maitland Avenue, Maitland is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition The Post-War Photographs of Henry Ries: Rothchild Hospital & Exodus 1947 on August 7, 2006. On loan from the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center, the exhibition will remain until October 27th.

Henry Ries captures two powerful moments in the lives of Jews who survived the Holocaust, only to find themselves with no place to call home – The Rothchild Hospital DP camp and the return of the Exodus 1947 passengers to Germany. Photographs attest to the dislocation and the waiting of the DP’s (Displaced Persons) as they pondered their future and came to grips with their past.

Henry Ries was born in Berlin in 1917. A Jew who sensed the impending danger of Hitler’s policies, Ries immigrated to the United States in 1937. Unfortunately, immigration officials in New York sent him back to Nazi Germany because of technical problems with his papers. Ries was finally permitted to enter in January 1938, after having crossed the Atlantic twice to do so.

When America entered World War II, Ries joined the army and fought in the Asian theater. After the war, he served as a European photographer for the New York Times, photographing many of the scenes of post-war Germany that are etched into our minds s. He is the author of eight books. During his tenure with the Times, he met and photographed the famous and infamous, such as Pablo Picasso and Pablo Casals, as well as Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

In 2003 he was awarded Germany’s Officer Cross of the Order of Merit, the highest award for citizens of other countries

During the post war period Henry Ries photographed the Rothchild Hospital, the forced return of the Exodus passengers, as well as his now famous photographs of “The Berlin Air Liftâ€? which was later made into a U.S. postage stamp.

The Rothchild Hospital was built in 1872 through the philanthropy of the Rothchild family to serve the Jewish population of Vienna. After the war, it served as both medical facility and DP camp. Equipped to handle 600 patients at a time, the Rothchild Hospital saw an estimated 250,000 Jewish refugees pass through its doors between 1945 and 1952, when most European DP camps finally closed.

Ries’s photographs are a testament to the trauma and resilience of the Rothchild Hospital’s patients and, by extension, the experience of the hundreds off thousands of survivors of the Holocaust.

The atmosphere in the photographs ranges from the optimistic to gloomy.

A second series of photographs by Ries of the fated ship passengers on the ship “Exodusâ€?. Ries captures the stunning images of the refugees’ return to Europe and the photographs have an alarming familiarity to them. The DP camps to which the refugees were sent look much like the concentration camps many of the refuges had survived.

“These images tell the story of waiting, they speak of coming and going. But waiting is the true agony of the DP’sâ€? – Henry Ries.

Henry Ries died on May 24, 2004

This program is supported through generous grants from the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and the Darden Restaurants Foundation. This project is also funded by the United Arts of Central Florida. Inc, State of Florida, Department of State – Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

Hours at the Center are Sunday 1pm to 4pm, Monday – Thursday 9am to 4pm and Friday 9am to 1pm.

To schedule field trips for students or groups and for additional information call 407-628-0555.