Past Exhibit

The Jacket from Dachau: One Survivor’s Search for Justice, Identity, and Home

One Survivor’s Search for Justice, Identity, and Home

In July of 2015, the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Center was contacted by a vintage clothing dealer about a recent acquisition of a unique garment at an estate sale. In the back of a walk-in closet, amid a variety of old shirts and vintage dresses, hung a faded striped jacket. A year later, we now know the story of Benzion Peresecki, a young Jewish man from Lithuania who wore this jacket for ten months in Dachau and kept it for 33 years.

The exhibit tells Peresecki’s story of his immigration to the US, his legal pursuit of reparations, as well as historic photos, maps, multiple testimonies, and short films. It is a story of Holocaust survival that demonstrates the power of a single artifact to connect narratives of justice, identity and a search for home.