Bloomfield Hills resident Henrietta Weisberg seemed in awe of the moment Wednesday night, as more than 50 guests gathered to break ground for the new Henrietta and Alvin Weisberg Gallery at the Holocaust Memorial Center (HMC) in Farmington Hills.
The next exhibit is a permanent outdoor structure that will house an authentic World War II-era boxcar, like those used by Nazis to transport millions of European Jews to death camps during the Holocaust.
"I never expected to be able to do something so wonderful," said Weisberg, who survived the Holocaust. She said she came to the U.S. 65 years ago "with only a Kleenex in my pocket".
HMC president Gary Karp said the exhibit represents "an exciting new chapter" in the museum's history. The boxcar was delivered last September from the German National Railroad and the Technical (Railroad) Museum in Berlin. The 10-ton rail car is believed to be one of the last in existence and the only one exported to the United States from Germany.
Alvin Weisberg said the outdoor gallery will honor the memory of Henrietta Weisberg's parents, Sara and Israel Gastfrjnd and her brothers, Rubin and Hershel, who all died during the Holocaust.
"Every survivor who sees the boxcar will be reminded of the fear and atrocities they lived through," Henrietta Weisberg said. "I want the world to know what happened during the Holocaust, so that such inhumanity will never happen again."