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CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance

February 11, 2018 – EXTENDED to September 2018

CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance immerses viewers in the stories of real-life heroes that used various forms of resistance to defy the Nazis, and shows how their stories were brought to life in the comic series. It features artwork from CHUTZ-POW! Volume 1: The Upstanders and CHUTZ-POW! Volume 2: International Heroes.


CHUTZ-POW! Superheroes of the Holocaust is an acclaimed comic-book series from The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh that seeks, as its mission, to place stories of courage, resilience, and sacrifice at the forefront of Holocaust awareness. First published in 2014, each volume of the ongoing comic-book series is an anthology by award-winning creative collaborators, telling true-life stories of heroic survivors who brought light into some of the darkest recesses of World War Two. It has been created with a companion educational curriculum so it can be utilized in educational settings.

When discussing CHUTZ-POW!, we frequently use the term “upstander”. An upstander is one who speaks up when they see something is wrong and acts to make the situation right; this is considered the opposite of a “bystander”. Every real-life hero featured in CHUTZ-POW! is an upstander.

Volume One: The Upstanders focuses on five survivors who each eventually settled in Pittsburgh, while Volume Two: International Heroes tells the stories of more globally well-known figures.

The Exhibit

CHUTZ-POW! The Art of Resistance is an exhibit that dispels the misconception that little was done to resist the Nazis during the Holocaust, as well as the idea that only armed resistance was effective. It displays highlights from CHUTZ-POW! Volumes I and II, specifically focusing on examples of different kinds of resistance that the superheroes displayed.

The exhibit is broken up into five ways that Upstanders fought back:

  • Armed Resistance
  • Intellectual Resistance
  • Political Resistance
  • Defenders and Rescuers
  • Escape

The exhibit also features educational panels that discuss the contextual information behind the stories and different kinds of resistance.

The biggest takeaway that we hope viewers gain from this exhibit is how powerful one person’s choices in the face of adversity can be–in short, we hope to inspire visitors to be upstanders.

The Superheroes

This exhibit features nine heroes:

Les Banos – A former Pirates and Steelers sports photographer who was previously a double agent in the SS.

Moshe Baran – A local survivor who escaped slave labor and became a partisan.

Malka Baran – A local survivor who, along with other women in her barrack, saved the live of a toddler.

Dora Iwler – A local survivor who escaped the Nazis twice.

Fritz Ottenheimer – A local survivor who escaped the Nazis as a refugee to the United States and returned to Germany to help with the de-Nazification process.

Raoul Wallenberg – A Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of lives before mysteriously disappearing.

The Bielski Brothers – Four brothers who set up a partisan unit that created a secret Jewish community in the forest, saving over a thousand lives.

Irena Sendler – A Roman Catholic social worker who facilitated the smuggling of some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto.

Sophie Scholl – A German college student who, along with her friends, established The White Rose, a secret society that distributed literature condemning the Nazi regime.