Robert Jan van Pelt

Robert Jan van Pelt

Robert Jan van Pelt is chief curator of the exhibition <i>Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away</i>. Van Pelt, professor of cultural history in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, is known internationally as one of the leading authorities on the history and architecture of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In 1997–98, he presided over the team that developed the master plan to preserve the camp, and in 2000 he served as expert witness for the defense in the famous libel case instigated by the British historian and Holocaust denier David Irving. Born in Haarlem, Van Pelt has published several books on Auschwitz, including the award-winning <i>Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present</i> (with Debórah Dwork) and <i>The Case for Auschwitz</i>. He co-curated the exhibition <i>The Evidence Room</i>, displayed at the Venice Biennale in 2016.


Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.


A story to shake the conscience of the world: the catalogue of the first-ever traveling exhibition on the Auschwitz concentration camp
The exhibition Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away. uses 600 original objects, 400 images, and 100 stories to provide a comprehensive history of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the role it played in the Holocaust. The objects range from the intimate (such as shoes and eyeglasses confiscated from victims) to the immense (an actual barrack from the Auschwitz III–Monowitz satellite camp); all are eloquent in their testimony. Many are on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and have never traveled before. Other objects and images are drawn from collections around the world, public and private, including Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The catalog of Auschwitz: Not Long Ago. Not Far Away. is not only a valuable document of this unprecedented exhibition, but one of the best books for general readers on the history of Auschwitz, where 1.1 million people—mostly Jews, but also non-Jewish Poles, Roma, and others—lost their lives.

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