Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ken Lawrence's 'Postal Evidence of the Holocaust' Collection

Philatelist Ken Lawrence of Spring Mills, Pa is featured in a New York Times article about his award-winning "Postal Evidence of the Holocaust" collection. Beginning in 1978, Ken began gathering philatelic material to and from concentration camps in response to Holocaust deniers such as David Duke who maintained the Holocaust never happened.

According to the Times, "Painstakingly, over 30 years, he researched and assembled a collection of postal memorabilia documenting the range and depth of horrors of what he termed 'the Nazi scourge.' He gathered items that showed not just the persecution of Jews and Communists but also other groups deemed undesirable by the Nazis, like gypsies and the disabled, not just in Germany but across Europe."

"His collection includes rarities like an envelope from a letter sent from Dachau in 1933, shortly after the concentration camp opened; a certified-mail receipt for a prayer book sent to a Jew in a French camp; a postal checking account receipt with a crude anti-Semitic cartoon indicating payment for a Nazi propaganda newspaper; the only known letter from Rabbi Leo Baeck, leader of German Jewry, when he was held in the Theresienstadt ghetto; cards from two previously unlisted camps in Romania; and mail sent to a Nazi doctor on trial for war crimes at Nuremberg in 1945," writes Times Reporter Matthew Healy.

The Times also reports the Philatelic Foundation has produced a DVD documentary about the collection.

Shown above, Ken pointing to Hitler stamp on camp mail during a Jewish Studies lecture at Penn State.

To read the entire article and see a slide show of some of the items, click here.

To view the entire exhibit, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM