LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A traveling exhibit that illustrates the horrors of the Holocaust is on display at LeTourneau University.
An East Texas woman is coming forward with pictures her father took during the World War II liberation of a death camp; pictures that have not been published in 70 years. Treblinka. Bergen-Belsen, Dachau. Auschwitz, all names that will live as a testament to the ultimate cruelty of man.
MOBILE USERS: SLIDESHOW: Holocaust photos donated by Shirley Shaddix
At the main hall of the Belcher Center, on loan from Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, the traveling Holocaust exhibit is a testament to the darkest time in human history.
"Photos and documents like this are so important to us. Because it means that those who say it never happened, they can't say it never happened. The story of the Holocaust is not just a Jewish story, not just a story of those who fought. It's a story for all of us, it's a story about all of us," says LeTourneau University assistant professor of history Daniel Ostendorff.
Shirley Shaddix of Winona heard of the exhibit and came with something she felt needed to be seen: pictures her father Dudley Shirley Conlee took during World War II during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp.
"I knew there were museums for the Holocaust. I had looked at them on the computer," Shaddix says
After viewing the exhibit, Shaddix made a decision. Her pictures did not belong to her alone. They belonged to history.
"These pictures had to have a place, a home. My thought then was this is the perfect way to find a home for the pictures my father took when he went into some concentration camps," she says.
"What an incredible way to bring it home for our students, to bring it home to our community. This is not something that just happened a world away," Ostendorff says. Her father wrote on the backs of pictures he took, to make sure what he was seeing would be remembered.
"He wrote on the back of one, 'I hope Henry never has to see any of this.' Henry was my half-brother," Shirley says.
"Eisenhower intentionally went to the camps to take video and photos because he was fearful that people would forget," says Ostendorff.
"God bless those men that went there," says Shaddix. Her pictures will now travel with the exhibit.
"My father never talked about any of this ever. And I think this is a good way for daddy to talk and say what he needed to say years ago," Shaddix says.
The Holocaust exhibit will continue to be on display at LeTourneau University's Longview Hall through Sunday, April 15, and is open to the public.