"Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." Helen Keller
One of the most treasured possessions of Eva Heyman was her red bicycle which was taken away from her by the police because she was Jewish. Tikvah has over the years created Red Bicycle projects which remember the life of Eva Heyman and other young people from Oradea who perished in the Holocaust.
The first project in the series was to create an exhibition to be taken into schools and other public locations in order to illustrate the life of Eva. The exhibition which also showed the dangers of prejudice and discrimination was generously funded by Joods Humanitair Fonds from the Netherlands.
Launch of Exhibition
On 29 March 2012 Asociatia Tikvah was pleased to launch its exhibition telling the story of Eva Heyman, a Jewish girl with a red bicycle. At the Colegiul National Mihai Eminescu in Oradea. The exhibition was introduced by Emilia Teszler, the President of Asociatia Tikvah, to three classes of the school. Following the launch, the exhibition was opened to all the pupils of the school.
The exhibition maps the life of Eva Heyman, a young Jewish girl in Oradea in the 1940s and compares it with the events across Europe in the same time period. It also focuses upon the events in 1944 when the large Jewish population of Oradea was imprisoned in ghettos and then deported to Auschwitz.
However, the message of the exhibition is not to dwell upon a terrible events of 1944, but to understand how they were allowed to come about and what lessons there are that apply in today’s world. The exhibition also highlights those who risked their own lives in saving others and how from those dark days the world united to formulate the concept of human rights. It enforces the view that it is essential to respect such rights in today’s world and to be on guard against any growth in new prejudice and discrimination.
The exhibition was in place for two days allowing many pupils to gain a greater understanding of the history of their city and a realisation of where prejudice can lead. Asociatia Tikvah is extremely grateful to the Joods Humanitair Fonds and the Bernard Charitable Trust for funding this exhibition. The exhibition then moved on to many other high schools of Oradea and the wider Bihor.
Asociatia Tikvah is very grateful to Librăria Humanitas who made available new books as prizes for our schools competition.
Since the original launch many more schools have participated and the progress we have made can be tracked via our News pages.
Reactions from pupils
Whenever our exhibition is taken to a school we endeavour to involve the pupils inthinking about the issues that the story of Eva Heyman provokes. We give the pupils the opportunity to express their thoughts in writing. We show the translations from Romanian of a small selection of those written contributions from one school.
Our second exhibition - Lights in the Night
Our second exhibition reflected that although it is important to remember the evil of the Holocaust, it is just as important to remember the acts of heroism that took place.
The exhibition covers the heroic actions of the Danish people in saving most of its Jewish population 70+ years ago;the Kindertransport to the UK; the saving of many thousands of Jews by Romanian diplomats; and the unselfish acts of many from Oradea.
“Lights in the Night” was successfully launched on 4 October 2013 in the presence of His Excellency Michael Sternberg, the Danish Ambassador to Romania (pictured below).
As with all our exhibitions, schools or communities can ask us to come and present them at your location.
The story of the Danish rescue and other acts of heroism can be found on our Help and Rescue section.