CBS News met Gottesman inside the exhibit called "Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It is the life work of Robert Jan van Pelt.
"Shirley is a witness. And the burden that a witness carries on her or his shoulders is immense," he said.
Curators have carefully handled and displayed objects never seen on American soil. There are more than 700, many overwhelming. There is a replica of a gas chamber door, the side the Nazis closed, the side their victims couldn't open.
"The two sides of the door speak about total power and total powerlessness," Jan van Pelt said.
There's a sock still tucked into a shoe that belonged to a young boy who was murdered. "This is in some way, the last act of a human being so this was not abandoned. This was put somewhere, carefully," Jan van Pelt said.
There are also more than 400 photographs, brutal evidence of 20th century deprivation and desperation.
"One of the reasons that it is good for the world to again be confronted with the story is that when this generation passes away, an exhibition like this is one of the ways to take over their burden and to carry it on," Jan van Pelt said.
Gottesman said she believes it can happen again, "because people forget history." She hopes the exhibit will make sure people don't forget.
The exhibit opens May 8, 2019 and will be on view through January 3, 2020.