Holocaust survivor Tuvia Lipson z"l and family on holiday before the war.

We’re talking about people, not numbers. Our permanent Holocaust exhibition starts and ends with local survivor, Tuvia Lipson. But in between, visitors will encounter thousands of stories – most from our Melbourne survivor community.


Everybody had a name – nobody had a grave

Everybody had a name – nobody has a grave: This is what survivor Tuvia Lipson would tell visitors and school children when sharing his story of survival. The experiences shared in this exhibit form a collective history of the Holocaust, from a uniquely Melbourne perspective. It honours the survivors who migrated here. Those who built a strong community from the ashes of the Holocaust – determined to inspire and educate future generations. Determined to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

This exhibition is divided into six sections, taking visitors on a journey from life before the war, to the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of WW2 through to liberation and its aftermath.


6 million lives, memorialised through individual stories

For those of us fortunate to not live through these experiences, it can be challenging to comprehend. Six million people murdered. Targeted for extermination.   Our survivors know better than anyone, grasping the sheer weight of this is difficult. So they break it down one story at a time. Sharing their experiences, along with that of their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends. To commemorate the victims – and amplify the voices of survivors.

Holocaust survivor Chaim Sztajer z" with his Czestochowa Synagogue model.

6 areas for contemplation and education

Our exhibition is home to six sections, each showcasing pivotal components of the Holocaust – and sharing related stories from our survivor community.


The World That Was
Setting the scene of vibrant pre-war Jewish life, this carefully curated collection draws visitors to the small details of individual lives – home movies, household objects, Judaica and artworks. It affirms the philosophy that you cannot understand what was lost. Until you understand what was.


Rights Removed
This section follows the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party – and the laws and policies they introduced to exclude those deemed unworthy of citizenship in the Third Reich. It also details the desperate attempts to find safe havens and the lack of support for refugees.


Freedoms Lost
This display provides insight into the labelling, ghettoization and incarceration of Jews who became slave labour for the Nazi war machine. Powerful documents, artefacts and multi-media reveal the harrowing history.


Life Unworthy of Life
A confronting feature in this display is Chaim Sztajer’s large scale model of the Treblinka death camp. It showcases the inhumane conditions of the killing-fields and the methodical nature of the brutality.


Survival Against the Odds
Focus now turns to stories of those that survived in hiding, and those who resisted and tried to fight back. It then looks at the period of liberation, followed quickly by survivors’ efforts to find loved ones, grieve for those murdered and re-establish themselves in the wake of the Holocaust.


Return to Life
This display begins with stories in Displaced Persons camps and ends with stories of the migration of survivors, with a feature on those who made a mark on Melbourne through their unique contributions. Centring on the efforts to manage their grief and trauma, the exhibit ends with a video of Tuvia Lipson. As he looks out at sea, he reflects on his life and achievements – and the haunting memories he has shared with tens of thousands of people.

Moral dilemmas are presented throughout the exhibition. Directly and indirectly.  

Visitors leave wondering: knowing what I now know, what is my responsibility in the world today?  

By displayingthe artefacts and stories of Melbourne survivors, MHM serves as a powerful conduit, honouring the memory of the six million lives lost and the legacy of our survivor founders. Sharing their stories to inspire a better future. 

Due to the sensitive nature of this exhibition’s content, it may not be suitable for children under 12 years old. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult at all times.  


Thank you to our supporters

This exhibition was made possible with Assistance from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.  

Sponsored by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.”  

Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Finance. 

  • German Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.
  • Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany