“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” Elie Wiesel

Houston exhibit honors Holocaust survivors and their families

For the first time in more than half a century, Bill Morgan can see his parents beyond the fading place in his mind.

At the Sole Survivors exhibit at the Houston Holocaust Museum in Houston, it’s not just their faces, but also the stories of the Holocaust told through the children or siblings who survived.

“I never thought it would be done or could be done,” said Morgan. “A reminder of the hard times.”

Morgan was one of seven children from a Peasant family in Poland. He last saw his parents Yitzhak and Etta Marguiles when he was 16 years old. It was then that they were marched from their village to the ghetto in 1941.

“I held onto my mother’s skirt scared. I’ll never forget I asked, ‘Where are we going?'” Morgan recalled.

As the sole survivor in his family, the only picture of his parents is still in his mind.

“I remember my dad would go around to all the children and pray, put his hand on their head,” Morgan said.

Forensic artist Lois Gibson etched the memory into stone so Morgan doesn’t have to close his eyes to see it anymore.

“The good news is they saw them their whole life, bad news is the cruelty and sadness is more horrific than anything I’ve ever experienced,” Gibson said.

Gibson is best known for her contributions to law enforcement in catching criminals.

“I’m used to taking grief from witnesses who have been shot, raped, robbed or stabbed,” Gibson said. “This was the biggest grief I had ever looked into in my entire life.”

In this exhibit, she has sketched those from a 7-year-old sister who was shot to death, to fathers and mothers, and families who had so much taken from them.

“I hope they look like they are etched in granite and I wanted to honor these memories,” said Gibson.

The Soul Survivors exhibit is on display through Sept. 13 at the Houston Holocaust Museum.

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