Potter’s Glasses Honor Holocaust Victims

Just file it under: the most unique way to reuse eyeglasses.

Daniel Radcliffe, the young actor who played the bespectacled schoolboy wizard in the “Harry Potter” films, may never look at his first eyeglasses in the same way again. The 18-year-old just donated the glasses he wore as a child to a one-of-a-kind exhibition marking the horrors of the Holocaust.

Radcliffe donated the tiny oval, gray metal-framed pair of glasses he wore as a 6-year-old to the exhibit where it joins specs belonging to Yoko Ono, talk show host Jerry Springer, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other celebrities. The stars’ spectacles will be linked together in the shape of a railway track – recalling the trains that carried many of the Nazis’ victims to concentration camps throughout Europe where an estimated 6 million Jews died.

The British actor, whose mother is Jewish, says he was honored to donate his eyeglasses to such a worthy cause.

The exhibition opens in Liverpool on January 21st. The city located in northwest England was chosen to host this year’s Holocaust Day. City leaders say at that time they hope to welcome several Muslim leaders to a multicultural service, and allow the public to view the eyeglass exhibition.

In addition to Radcliffe’s contribution, Jason Isaacs, who stars as the sinister Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” films, is also scheduled to take part in the service.

Perhaps, organizers will ask Isaacs to donate a few specs himself. Currently, the exhibit is short about a few thousand glasses. All tolled organizers need 110,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Once all the glasses are collected they will be installed inside Liverpool Town Hall’s main ballroom and surrounded with mirrors, which make it appear as though there are 330,000 pairs – the estimated number of Jews in Britain at the time of the Holocaust.

“We wanted to remind people of the horrors of the Holocaust, but we wanted an artistic response and not just … a mound of spectacles,” the project’s director, told news reporters.

The used pairs of spectacles will offer even more aid once the exhibition is dismantled. According to project coordinators, the eyeglasses formerly owned by stars like Radcliffe and Ono will be auctioned for charity while the others will be donated to people in developing nations through the charitable group Vision Aid Overseas.

This entry was posted in Celebrities and their Charities and tagged , , , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.