The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South art exhibit symbolizes horror of Nazi atrocities

By Elaine Bonilla/se news editor

German artist Hans Molzberger visited South Campus Sept. 5 to meet with students and discuss the campus’ newest art exhibit Rubin’s Colors, a collaboration between him and a Holocaust survivor.

Molzberger teaches sculpture and ceramics at Houston Baptist University. Rubin Samelson was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp by U.S. soldiers in April 1945.

Molzberger said he and Samelson met in 2008 at the Holocaust Museum Houston.

“We became good friends, and I invited him to lecture at HBU in 2009 and 2010,” he said.

During World War II, Samelson was placed in the Buchenwald, Germany, camp and forced to work in the glass factory. Once he was freed, he used his glass production knowledge to make art and became a master glass blower and stained glass designer.

“We had collaborated on previous exhibits together,” Molzberger said. “It wasn’t until January 2012 when he [Samelson] said if we were going to do it, we would have to start now because he knew he was sick.”

Samelson died Jan. 15 in Houston.

The installation includes a hundred colored glass butterflies, three sculptures, a multimedia piece using a video interview with Samelson and digital pictures. 

The exhibit symbolizes Samelson’s journey out of the darkness of the Holocaust.

“It’s called Rubin’s Colors because he picked out the colors and the [butterfly] design,” Molzberger said.

The symbol of the butterfly has a special meaning for Holocaust victims. In the Majdanek camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, children used their fingernails to scratch hundreds of images of butterflies into the walls and stones. Knowing they were going to die, the children imagined their souls taking flight to a better world.

Another part of the exhibit features a book from the Terezin, Czechoslovakia, concentration camp, … I Never Saw Another Butterfly …, a collection of children’s drawings and poems depicting their experiences and hardships from 1942-1944.

Molzberger said another version of this exhibit is on display in Colditz, Germany.

“It’s almost the same except they have different metals but the same video,” he said.

Rubin’s Colors will be on display Monday-Thursday by appointment only until Oct. 3 in the Carillon Gallery in the Joe B. Rushing Center for Performing Arts on South Campus. For an appointment, email art assistant professor Joshua Goode at

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