Berman Museum of World History
Varian Fry -- Assignment Rescue, 1940-1941
The Berman Museum will host the exhibition Varian Fry -- Assignment Rescue, 1940-1941, from November 8 -- December 13, 1999. The exhibition uses period photographs and diary excerpts to chronicle the story of Varian Fry, an American whose courageous efforts during World War II saved individuals at risk under the "Surrender on Demand" clause of the France-German Armistice.
Varian Fry, an urbane Harvard graduate, worked in New York as an editor for the Foreign Policy Association when he was chosen by the Emergency Rescue Committee to help political and intellectual refugees escape Nazi-occupied France. In Marseilles, Fry found himself unable to gain cooperation from the American Consulate, and so established a clandestine operation by which some 2,000 people were spirited away to safety -- Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Arendt, and Andre Breton among them, Those rescued by Fry went on to expand a rich intellectual culture in the United States and elsewhere. (left: front cover of Varian Fry -- Assignment Rescue, 1940-1941 exhibition brochure, Courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wahington, D.C.)
In 1996, Yad VaShem, The Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem posthumously honored Varian Fry as the first American "Righteous Among the Nations." Varian Fry -- Assignment Rescue, 1940-1941 is organized and circulated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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