Remember Lessons of the Holocaust, Museum Director Says
International Holocaust Day was Friday (Jan. 27). On Tuesday (Jan. 31), the executive director of the Florida Holocaust Museum spoke of echoes of past hateful rhetoric and actions.
ST. PETERSBURG – Elizabeth Gelman, executive director of the Florida Holocaust Museum, released a statement Tuesday (Jan. 31) about International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Here is her statement:
“Twenty-five years ago, the Florida Holocaust Museum was created through the efforts of Holocaust survivors, liberators and other concerned citizens to make certain that those who suffered or died in the Holocaust would never be forgotten. We, at the Florida Holocaust Museum, believe that education is the most powerful way to combat the ignorance, racism and fear that continues to be exploited in order to subjugate, brutalize and murder other human beings throughout the world today. It has been 72 years since the liberation of Auschwitz and, sadly, we continue to hear echoes of the hateful rhetoric and actions of the past. We must take every opportunity to remind ourselves of the universal lessons of the Holocaust and to foster a shared culture of respect and remembrance.
“From 1933 to 1945, the Jewish population of Europe was targeted by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime for persecution, dehumanization, and then systematic murder. Before World War II began, there were over 9 million Jews in Europe. By the end of the war, 6 million Jews had been murdered. This state sponsored murder of Jews was at the core of the Nazi ideology. Other innocent people were also murdered, including Sinti and Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Polish non-Jews, homosexuals, political enemies and the mentally and physically disabled, bringing the totality of killings by the Nazis and their collaborators to over 11 million.
“As the Florida Holocaust Museum enters its 25th year, we are just as strongly resolved to teach about the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping. Our goal continues to be to use the lessons of the past to create a better future for all.”
The Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. in St. Petersburg, is one of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The FHM honors the memory of millions of men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.
For information about the Florida Holocaust Museum, go to TheFHM.org.
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