World Museum – RESPECTacles


14 May 2008 – 17 August 2008

RESPECTacles is Liverpool’s artistic response to the events of the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities, in particular to the images of the mounds of spectacles discovered in Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp on its liberation.

The moving exhibition was first succesfully held at Liverpool Town Hall earlier this year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.


The display of spectacles is a reminder of the thousands of pairs stolen by the Nazis from people, mostly Jewish, as they entered the camp prior to their death or imprisonment.

Those on display are modern pairs donated to the exhibition and have been placed purposefully and not just thrown into a heap as happened 60 years ago. Some have been named to remember that spectacles are such a personal item to us.

Some are labelled and these remind us of the tags worn by children aged between 5 and 16 who came to Britain as part of the Kindertransport in 1938 and 1939, leaving behind their parents. In many cases, they never saw them again.

Echoes of Sorrow

Showing alongside RESPECTacles is John Guy’s Echoes of Sorrow, documentary photography froom Auschwitz taken over the course of two years.

John Guy’s website.

Resources for schools

A major resource pack is available free for visiting school groups. Visit our learning section for further information.