From 16 January to 20 February 2023, the acclaimed exhibition #FakeImages will be on display at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The exhibition is based on the collection of Arthur Langerman, a Belgian Holocaust survivor and collector of the largest collection of antisemitic drawings, posters, and objects in Europe.
#FakeImages presents antisemitic images through the ages and reveals the mechanisms that impact contemporary thinking and society. Using contemporary examples, interactive exhibits encourage visitors to penetrate and to unmask timeless mechanisms such as stereotypes, conspiracy theories, propaganda, deception, and humor.
The Arthur Langerman collection is unique
Arthur Langerman’s collection of more than 9,000 original items is the largest of its kind in Europe. It was assigned to the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University of Berlin, where the Arthur Langerman Archive for the Study of Visual Antisemitism (ALAVA) was established in 2019 to preserve and maintain the collection, to facilitate and conduct research into it, and to organize exhibitions of its materials.
In late March 1944 the German occupiers arrested Arthur Langerman and his parents in Antwerp. Arthur was less than two years old and was placed in the Pouponnière d’Uccle children’s home. His parents, Salomon and Zysla, were deported from the Mechelen transit camp in Belgium to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Transport XXV on 19 May 1944. His father died in February 1945 in a subcamp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp; his mother was reunited with her son upon her return to Belgium after the liberation. Traumatized by her wartime experiences, she retreated into silence, secrets, and anguish — a situation that would have a deep and permanent impact on Arthur. The Eichmann trial in 1961 made Arthur Langerman aware of the extraordinary and radical evil that had victimized his family and European Jewry. It was the starting point of his collection.
Both a historical and a contemporary exhibition
Kazerne Dossin is a museum, memorial, and research centre on Holocaust and human rights, located at a unique place of remembrance in Belgium. For the #FakeImages exhibition, the curators of Kazerne Dossin, Dr. Veerle Vanden Daelen and Dr. Laurence Schram, have selected items ranging from postcards to posters from Arthur Langerman’s vast collection to highlight the development of antisemitism over time. The exhibition also demonstrates that antisemitism and other forms of discrimination and exclusion remain a problem today. The contemporary section linked to the historical collection interprets the mechanisms behind these phenomena using interactive installations, video images, etc.
The settings were designed to ensure that the antisemitic images on display would not in any way project artistic value. The items are exhibited in and on low-level display cases and easels, or lying flat on tables. The panels that explain the various mechanisms stand out in vivid red. This distinctive color signals that these are “taking action” panels, and are separate from the historical component of the exhibition.
After a first, highly successful display in Belgium at Kazerne Dossin in 2021, an adapted version of the exhibition was shown from 8 November until 11 December 2022 at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. The exhibition is now opening in New York City, and aims to continue to play a role in the prevention of discrimination and hatred.
Two events will take place in the framework of the exhibition in New York City and to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The first event, the official opening event, will take place at the United Nation Headquarters on January 25 with Arthur Langerman, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and representatives of the organizing and supporting partners. Special guest will be Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian-American fashion designer, philanthropist, and daughter of Holocaust survivors.
The Center for Jewish History will host a second event in conjunction with the exhibition #FakeImages on January 26. During a panel discussion entitled ‘Unmasking Antisemitism’, Dr. Jonathan Brent (YIVO), Dr. Pamela Nadell (American University), Dr. Veerle Vanden Daelen (Kazerne Dossin), Dr. Uffa Jensen (TU Berlin), and Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld (Center for Jewish History) and Jason Guberman (American Sephardi Federation) will share their thoughts on antisemitism in the past and on the alarming revival of antisemitism in the contemporary world.
With the support of:
The United Nations is committed to countering antisemitism in all its forms. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme hosts the exhibition #FakeImages as part of its programme marking the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters has been made possible with the support of the Arthur Langerman Foundation, the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Belgium, the permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, and the Consulates Generals of Belgium and of Germany at the United States. Their commitment to Holocaust commemoration and education is of great value in the consolidation and strengthening of human rights.
- Dates: 16 January to 20 February 2023. Closed during the weekend
- Address: United Nations Headquarters, New York. Between E45 and E46 Street, 1st Avenue, New York
- Official opening event: 25 January 6:30 p.m. at the United Nations Headquarters
- Panel discussion: 26 January 7:00 p.m., Center for Jewish History
- Kazerne Dossin: Barbara Porteman – email@example.com
- United Nations: Tracey Petersen – firstname.lastname@example.org
- ALAVA: Angelika Königseder – email@example.com
Mr. Arthur Langerman, Dr. Veerle Vanden Daelen (Kazerne Dossin) and Dr. Uffa Jensen (ALAVA) will be available to speak about the exhibition, the collection and current forms of antisemitism during their stay in New York from 23 January until 27 January 2023, or during an online appointment.
To arrange an interview, please contact Anne-Sophie Van Vyve: firstname.lastname@example.org / +32 472 29 25 92