On February 11, our next exhibit, CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance, opens. This opening coincides with the highly anticipated release of CHUTZ-POW! Volume III: The Young Survivors. Today’s blog shares what The Art of Resistance is all about, as well as the many upcoming events we are hosting in conjunction with the exhibit and book release.


CHUTZ-POW! Superheroes of the Holocaust is an acclaimed comic-book series from The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh that seeks, as its mission, to place stories of courage, resilience, and sacrifice at the forefront of Holocaust awareness. First published in 2014, each volume of the ongoing comic-book series is an anthology by award-winning creative collaborators, telling true-life stories of heroic survivors who brought light into some of the darkest recesses of World War Two. It has been created with a companion educational curriculum so it can be utilized in educational settings.

When discussing CHUTZ-POW!, we frequently use the term “upstander”. An upstander is one who speaks up when they see something is wrong and acts to make the situation right; this is considered the opposite of a “bystander”. Every real-life hero featured in CHUTZ-POW! is an upstander.

Volume One: The Upstanders focuses on five survivors who each eventually settled in Pittsburgh, while Volume Two: International Heroes tells the stories of more globally well-known figures.

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CHUTZ-POW! Volumes I and II

The Exhibit

CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance is an exhibit that dispels the misconception that little was done to resist the Nazis during the Holocaust, as well as the idea that only armed resistance was effective. It displays highlights from CHUTZ-POW! Volumes I and II, specifically focusing on examples of different kinds of resistance that the superheroes displayed.

The exhibit is broken up into five ways that Upstanders fought back:

  • Armed Resistance
  • Intellectual Resistance
  • Political Resistance
  • Defenders and Rescuers
  • Escape

The exhibit also features educational panels that discuss the contextual information behind the stories and different kinds of resistance.

The biggest takeaway that we hope viewers gain from this exhibit is how powerful one person’s choices in the face of adversity can be–in short, we hope to inspire visitors to be upstanders.

The Superheroes

This exhibit features nine heroes:

Les Banos – A former Pirates and Steelers sports photographer who was previously a double agent in the SS.

Moshe Baran – A local survivor who escaped slave labor and became a partisan.

Malka Baran – A local survivor who, along with other women in her barrack, saved the live of a toddler.

Dora Iwler – A local survivor who escaped the Nazis twice.

Fritz Ottenheimer – A local survivor who escaped the Nazis as a refugee to the United States and returned to Germany to help with the de-Nazification process.

Raoul Wallenberg – A Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of lives before mysteriously disappearing.

The Bielski Brothers – Four brothers who set up a partisan unit that created a secret Jewish community in the forest, saving over a thousand lives.

Irena Sendler – A Roman Catholic social worker who facilitated the smuggling of some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto.

Sophie Scholl – A German college student who, along with her friends, established The White Rose, a secret society that distributed literature condemning the Nazi regime.

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Local superhero Moshe Baran, as a comic book character and in a recent portrait.

Volume III

At the opening of The Art of Resistance, we will be unveiling the next volume of CHUTZ-POW!, entitled Volume III: The Young Survivors. As the title suggests, this volume centers around children who survived the Holocaust, all of whom eventually settled in the Pittsburgh area.

36 original storyboard illustrations from this upcoming volume are currently being featured at the JCC’s American Jewish Museum in the exhibit CHUTZ-POW! Volume Three, Young Survivors.

Copies of Volume III can be pre-ordered at: http://hcofpgh.org/chutzpow/

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Cover of the upcoming CHUTZPOW! Volume III: The Young Survivors

Associated Events

Judah Samet and Miriam Cohen Talk
Thursday, February 8 at 6:30 pm, Tree of Life (5898 Wilkins Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217)
Community talk with Pittsburgh resident and Holocaust survivor Judah Samet and his sister, Miriam Cohen. Judah’s story is featured in Volume III: The Young Survivors. Event is free and open to the public. Learn More and Register!

CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance Opening
Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 pm, Holocaust Center (826 Hazelwood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217)
Register Now!

Representing the Holocaust in Comics and Graphic Novels: A Lecture by Samantha Baskind
Thursday February 15, 2018, 6:30 pm-8 pm, Cathedral of Learning 602
Dr. Samantha Baskind discusses the proliferation and variety of comics and graphic novels about the Holocaust, from Superman’s heroics in the Warsaw Ghetto to Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus. Dr. Baskind is a professor of Art History at Cleveland State University and has published numerous articles and books on the topic of Jewish representation in the arts.

South Hills Comics Drink and Draw
Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 pm, The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh (1635 McFarland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15216)
Join CHUTZ-POW! artist Marcel Walker as he teaches the basics of drawing figures and faces. Tickets are $10. Learn More and Register!

Last Road to Safety: The Making of a Holocaust Picture Book, a Teacher Training with Esther Raizen
Sunday, February 25 at 1:00 pm, Holocaust Center (826 Hazelwood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217)
Dr. Esther Raizen will discuss the ethical, pedagogical, and artistic considerations involved in illustrating the Holocaust for young people. Act 48 credit is available.  Dr. Raizen is the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at University of Texas at Austin. Learn More and Register!

Day-Long Teacher Training on Using the Arts to Educate About the Holocaust
Thursday, March 1 at 8:30 am, Allegheny Intermediate Unit (475 E Waterfront Dr, Homestead, PA 15120)
We are holding a day-long teacher training on incorporating theater and music into Holocaust units. This unit will specifically focus on the play The Diary of Anne Frank, which Prime Stage Theatre, one of our partners in this training, is producing in May. Stay tuned for more information! Act 48 credit is available. More details coming soon. Register Now!

Local survivor Judah Samet shares his story from Volume III with Cantor Moshe Taube at the American Jewish Museum.

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