The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg is the third largest of its kind in the United States containing photographs, memorabilia, books, films, videotapes and other material from and about the era. The museum includes one of the railroad cars used to transport people to death camps in Poland.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Florida Holocaust Museum is currently hosting three exhibitions.
The following exhibitions are currently on display:
• there is no why here, through Sept. 8
• Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers, through Sept. 29
• Pursuing Justice: Nuremberg's Legacy, through Dec. 8
there is no why here
The exhibit, there is no why here, features artwork from the permanent collection of the Florida Holocaust Museum.
Documentary photos and artifacts often speak for themselves and do not require discourse with their viewer. Likewise, in a digital age where photographs of the Holocaust are readily available, people can become desensitized to photographs of the Holocaust.
Art, on the other hand, requires a dialogue with its viewer, forming a bridge between knowing and understanding the history of the Holocaust. Because of this, the Florida Holocaust Museum has had a long-term commitment to collecting and exhibiting art about the Holocaust and other genocides and human rights abuses.
Artworks now on view are just a small sampling of the museum's holdings. Viewers can expect to see works by artists such as Samuel Bak, Kathe Kollwitz, Emanuel Romano, Maureen Drdak and more. Works included in the show represent a number of different mediums including mixed media, sculpture, installation, painting and prints.
Courage and Compassion
Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers is a Florida Holocaust Museum original exhibition and is presented nationally by Bank of America. This multi-media exhibition showcases the heroic efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,000 Jews during World War II, which was featured in the 2009 major motion picture, “Defiance.”
In 1941, three brothers, Tuvia, Zus and Asael Bielski made the decision to take refuge in forests near Novogrudok, now Belarus, to avoid falling victim to the Nazis as they began their takeover of Poland. In the forest, they formed a community of men, women and children that numbered more than 1,200 by the end of the war. The brothers led their group in acts of sabotage and defense against the Nazis. It is through the brothers' leadership that the group survived starvation, harsh winters, and the threat of Nazis and their collaborators.
"My father believed that saving an old Jewish woman was more important than killing Germans," said Robert Bielsky, son of Tuvia Bielski. "My father and uncles risked their lives to mount the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews in World War II. Their courage and leadership in the face of so much horror and death is a story that finally needs to be told."
Pursuing Justice: Nuremberg's Legacy includes photographs and documents from the collection of the Florida Holocaust Museum as well as on loan from Stetson University College of Law.
Those objects on loan from Stetson University include the papers and books of Judge Harold L. Sebring, a judge at the Nuremberg Tribunal and former Florida State Supreme Court Judge and former Dean of Stetson University College of Law.
The exhibition focuses on the two sets of trials that have become known as the Nuremberg Trials: The International Military Tribunal for the major Nazi war criminals and the 12 subsequent trials conducted under Control Council Number 10 at the U.S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal for those not tried at the IMT. The IMT set the pattern for the subsequent trials as well as hundreds of trials of war criminals tried in the decades since 1945.
About Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum is at 55 Fifth St. S., St. Petersburg. FHM honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The museum is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures to recognize the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.
Admission is $16 for adults. Discounted admission is offered to seniors, students, adult and student groups. Admission is free to active duty military, FHM members and children 6 and younger. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.