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Liberty High School to Display Rare Archive Documenting Nazi Labor Camps coinciding with their performance of Letters to Sala


Liberty High School is doing something SPECIAL this fall. LHS Playmakers’ production of Letters to Sala by Arlene Hutton is based upon the biography Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner. Sala’s Gift chronicles her mother's experiences in the Holocaust based upon a collection of letters and photographs that Sala received while enslaved in Nazi labor camps.

Sala’s diary and the original letters are in the permanent collection of the Dorot Jewish Division of the New York Public Library. Liberty High School will be hosting a traveling exhibit version of the collection while the play is in production. Thanks to a grant received from the LUHSD Education Foundation and resources from the LHS Teaching and Learning Careers Academy the school is purchasing several class sets of the biography and the play so that teachers can create interdisciplinary curriculum to use for English, social science and theatre arts classes.

Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps, is a compelling collection of images of rare Holocaust-era letters and photographs that have been part of The New York Public Library's permanent collection since 2005. The exhibit will consist of images of itemsranging from handwritten postcards to photographs to official documents that were saved at great personal risk by Sala Garncarz from the time she entered a Nazi labor camp in 1940 at the age of 16 until her liberation in 1945. This provides an amazing first-hand look into the lives of Jewish prisoners in Nazi labor camps. "The letters that comprise this exhibition are the true embodiment of how the written word can give life," said curator Jill Vexler. "What emerges from the exhibition is an inspiring portrait of human resilience in the face of unthinkable atrocity."

Sala Garncarz was living with her family in Sosnowiec, Poland when Germany invaded in 1939.

Sala was the youngest of 11 children and born to a poverty-stricken family. Sala volunteered to take her sister Raizel's place at the camp, believing she would find it harder to adapt. However, six weeks turned into five years of slavery for Sala; and, while conditions within the camps were disgraceful, written exchanges such as Sala's letters were permitted because the camp's administrators believed it boosted productivity and morale and also relieved the anxiety of those left at home.

The exhibit itself is an enlightening trip and display of the holocaust seen through the eyes of Jews going through labor camps or dealing with the German invasion. The performance of Letters to Sala allows the student performers and audience to connect with this real life story of heartache and horror.

Online ticketing for the play will be available to the general public on September 8 at the LHS Playmakers website --


September 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 at 7:00 pm
September 24 at 2:00 pm





This press release was posted in September 2016 so some information may be outdated after some time. thanks Jamie Connors and LHS Playmakers for this press release. If you have any questions, please contact them directly at