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Berkshire County Man to Open Holocaust Museum

A Berkshire County man is planning to open a Holocaust Museum in North Adams within the next several weeks. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief reports…

Darrell P. English says he has been collecting antiques and World War 2 memorabilia since he was a kid. But in recent years, he’s had a growing interest in searching out items and artifacts from the holocaust.

The North Adams resident says that over the years he’s collected over 10,000 World War II pieces.

The museum located on Eagle Street will be the only of its kind in the area. English had previously displayed some of his collection at the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center in Springfield. Two years ago, however, the center closed. Liz Rome, a former board member for the Springfield museum, said she’s excited to see another museum open in Western Massachusetts.

English will display at his museum artifacts that range from pre-war anti-Semitism propaganda from across Europe, as well as materials obtained from Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jewish people during and before World War II.   

The 650 square foot space serves as part of a larger vision of English’s – he has a dream to open a 40,000 square foot World War II museum with Ralph Brill – curator and owner of Brill Gallery also in North Adams. Brill, who is assisting English in opening the holocaust museum, and who said his parents are survivors of the holocaust, told WAMC that the small museum is an important step in their future plans.

And Darrell English, who is not Jewish, says his mission is to simply tell an important part of human history.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.