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Advocates Who Could Not Advocate
On a recent shopping trip to Diversity Thrift, I saw a sign for an exhibit in their gallery. The thrift store is just one part of the overall Gay Community Center of Richmond. GCCR serves as a site for many LGBTQ events in Richmond. One aspect of the GCCR which is too little known is the Gay Community Art Gallery.
The current exhibit at the Gay Community Art Gallery is titled "Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich." The exhibit was created by the German Federal Bar in cooperation with the American Bar Association. In Richmond, the exhibit is being presented by Jay M. Ipson, a Holocaust survivor and the founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum.
When I walked into the exhibit with my partner, we were greeted by Ipson, wearing his fabulous Jewish cowboy hat. He introduced us to the exhibit. I noticed his tie pin which was pretty unusual—an adjustable wrench. He has a very interesting story about the wrench, which I will save for his telling.
Ipson's own father was a Jewish lawyer at the time of the Third Reich. His story, as well as the stories of many other Jewish lawyers, are documented in this exhibit. There is a lot of text, so give yourself time to walk around and read the different stories. If you aren't the type to read a lot at exhibits, you can just pick a few individuals to focus on. Strike up a conversation with Ipson; he has a lot of valuable things to talk about.
Don't miss guest speakers Professor John Paul Jones and the Honorable Tracy W. Throne-Begland Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.