Some Were Neighbors: Choice, Human Behavior & the Holocaust

Local residentslook on as Austrian Nazis force Jews to scrub the pavement following the German annexation of Austria. Vienna, March 1938. Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes

The exhibition was prepared by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It will be presented in Otwock in August and October 2022.

17 August, 2022 (Wednesday), 5 p.m.

Powiatowy Młodzieżowy Dom Kultury, Otwock, ul. Poniatowskiego 10

The exhibition will be open to the public in two terms .
First till the end of August:
8.0018.00 (Monday-Friday)
8.0016.00 (Saturday-Sunday).
Later in days October 7-23:
8.0022.00 (Monday-Friday)
7.0013.00 (Saturday-Sunday).

Citizens’ Committee for Remembrance of the Jews of Otwock and Karczew
Friends of Otwock Society

County of Otwock

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The “Some Were Neighbors” exhibition tells the story of the attitudes that Europeans adopted towards extermination of Jewish population. It examines some of the central questions about the Holocaust: How was the Holocaust possible? The paramount role of Adolf Hitler and other Nazi Party leaders is indisputable, but why did so many ordinary people throughout Europe support the Nazis’ crimes or remain silent? Why did so few aid those at risk? Why did some people not give in to the opportunities and temptations to betray their fellow human beings, reminding us that there is an alternative to complicity in evil acts – even in extraordinary times?

History of the exhibition

In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013, a special exhibition “Some Were Neighbors” was created and ran through 2017.

After the original exhibit closed in Washington, the Museum created an easy-to-display travelling version for international use. A number of European and international educators indicated the exhibition would be helpful in teaching their students that individuals have agency. By examining the choices that ordinary people made in the past, students can reflect on their roles and responsibilities today.

Previous presentations

The traveling version of the exhibition has been translated into 10 languages and has so far been presented in 21 countries. In Germany, it has been on display since 2019, and it was presented at the United Nations headquarters on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2020. In Poland, the Some Were Neighbors exhibition opened for the first time in January 2022 at the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews During World War II. So far, it has also been shown in cooperation with the History Meeting House in Warsaw and Pan Tadeusz Museum in Wrocław.

About United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A nonpartisan, federal education institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit

1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much. So interesting. Very happy to know your association and its task. My grandfather Szlama Rotsztein was born in Karczew. With Sara his wife and their 3 daughters , they used to live in Otwock. From Paris, he died in Auschwitz in 1942 and my grandmother disappeared. Their daughters survived, hidden in France. How may I find any information about them ?
    Do you could speak about the Zofiowka hospital in Otwock ? It was very well known, even in Europe.

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