By Tammy Daniels
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Well-known World War II collector Darrell K. English plans to display a fraction of his materials in a new museum on Eagle Street.
The New England Holocaust Institute will feature a curated exhibition of some of the countless Holocaust materials — photographs, posters, clothing, artifacts — that English has amassed over the past four decades.
“I can’t just keep putting it away for no one else to see it,” said English, who described the institute as something that can be an asset to the community. “It’s a primary source material that needs respect; a showcase that people can take away knowledge from.
“If I set something up like this … people can understand what this whole thing is about.”
English wants to provide context to a horrific period in world history by offering an intimate experience in the former Papyri Bookstore that is neither cursory nor overwhelming to the visitor.
“People want to see three-dimensional items, it screams at you … ‘come and witness and take stock in this,'” he said.
While his items have been featured elsewhere, including on loan at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, English’s dreams of a World War II museum in Berkshire County for his thousands of items haven’t been able to lift off.
So he’s decided to start small in the 650 square foot space in hopes of attracting an audience appreciative of his vast collection and touched by the stories those items tell.