Programme of the Synagogue


Carl Lutz and the Legendary Glass House

Documentary exhibition

12 June - 5 September 2014, opening on 12 June at 18:00

At the outbreak of World War II, about 750,000 Jews lived in Hungary. Only around 200,000 Hungarian Jews survived the war. Many of them were saved from deportation and certain death by the Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz.

By hosting the exhibition Carl Lutz and the Legendary Glass House, the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor is paying homage to the diplomat Carl Lutz who rescued tens of thousands of Jews during World War II, when he was working for the Swiss Legation in Budapest. This concisely conceived exhibition focuses on the presentation of preserved diplomatic minutes, protective letters and group passports. It also presents the “secret” life of the legendary Glass House, one of 76 safe houses for Jewish refugees that Lutz – with the help of his wife Gertrud, the Hungarian Jewish Association and Zionist organizations – founded and administrated throughout Budapest. Notwithstanding his courage, Carl Lutz was confronted with condemnation of the Swiss government after the war. He was accused of exceeding his authority as a diplomat during the war and endangering Switzerland’s status as a neutral country. Only many years later, he was officially “rehabilitated” and recognized for his merits. In 1964, the memorial centre Yad Vashem awarded him the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

The original exhibition Carl Lutz and the Legendary Glass House by the author György Vámos was prepared by the Carl Lutz Foundation from Budapest. The hosting of the exhibition in the Maribor Synagogue is sponsored by the Municipality of Maribor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Embassy of Switzerland in Slovenia, and Elektro Maribor. The honourable sponsor of the exhibition is His Excellency Mr Robert Reich, Swiss Ambassador to Slovenia.

The exhibition will be on display from 12 June until 5 September 2014. At the opening of the exhibition about the life and work of the diplomat Carl Lutz, his daughter Agnes Hirschi gave a speech; the audience was also addressed by Milena Lebar, representative of the Swiss Embassy in Slovenia. The cultural program featured the music group Harfa-Kinor.

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