Jehovah's Witnesses: Faith Under Fire, opens Friday, Nov. 9, and runs through Feb. 24, at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.
ST. PETERSBURG – The Florida Holocaust Museum will present Commemoration: Kristallnacht, the November pogrom of 1938, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m., at 55 Fifth St. S.
The presentation will feature guest speaker Sigmund Tobias, author of “Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai” Tobias also is a research professor at State University of New York at Albany.
Tobias will recount some of his memories as a 5-year-old living in Berlin during Kristallnacht (the night of Broken Glass) and of his family's flight from Germany to Shanghai where they survived the Holocaust. He came to the United States in 1948 and now splits his time between Sarasota and the Berkshires.
This event is free. Reservations are not necessary.
The museum also will launch its new exhibit Jehovah's Witnesses: Faith Under Fire, on Friday, Nov. 9. The exhibit will run through Feb. 24.
Faith Under Fire is an exhibition that focuses on Jehovah's Witnesses in the Holocaust. The exhibit is comprised of 14 panels that document the story of Jehovah's Witnesses in the
Holocaust and provides an in depth look at ordinary people who followed their conscience.
Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian community of 35,000 in Germany and occupied lands, refused to conform to the Nazi ideology of hate. They suffered severely for their belief in nonviolence and their utter rejection of racism. Thrown into Nazi camps, they became eyewitnesses of Nazi genocide. As historian John Toland wrote, this is a "story of human courage that must be heard."
Other exhibits currently on view include the following:
• Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps, on view through Dec. 31. The power of the written word to sustain life is a theme of Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps. Sala Garncarz saved the items including handwritten postcards, photographs and official documents from the time she entered a labor camp in 1940 until her liberation in 1945.
• Reflections on Man's Fate: The Art of Judith Weinshall Liberman, on view through Jan. 20. Drawn from the Florida Holocaust Museum's permanent collection, this exhibition is made up of paintings and textile work by award-winning artist Judith Weinshall Liberman. The collection includes wall hangings and works on canvas from her Holocaust Paintings, Holocaust Wall Hangings, Skulls Series and Genocide Series. Her work focuses on the present state of mankind as well as the relentlessness and enormity of history's darkest period.
• History, Heritage and Hope is the museum's permanent exhibition.
• Kaddish in Wood, always on view, features Herbert Savel's wood carvings.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Florida Holocaust Museum is $16 for adults and $14 for seniors.