Date ArticleType
3/25/2018 Member News

The Florida Holocaust Museum Releases the Twelfth Story in its "25 Survivors, 25 Stories... Celebrating 25 Years!" Oral History Series

Kristen Wright
(727) 820-0100

The Florida Holocaust Museum Releases the Twelfth Story in its "25 Survivors, 25 Stories... Celebrating 25 Years!" Oral History Series

The FHM highlights the individual stories of 25 Holocaust Survivors

March 25, 2018 [St. Petersburg, FL] - The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) has partnered with Eckerd College to release a 25th Anniversary oral history series titled "25 Survivors, 25 Stories... Celebrating 25 Years!"

Over the next 25 months, the Museum's oral history series will feature a different Holocaust Survivor on the 25th of every month. Each Survivor brings to the series an individual voice that enlivens our understanding of the Holocaust; the war's effects on individuals, families, and communities dispersed across the world; and its reverberations into the present moment.

The twelfth story was released this morning and features Holocaust Survivor Herta Pila. An excerpt from the piece is as follows:

Further restrictions and increasing violence against Jews left her family increasingly vulnerable. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, Herta's father, despite being a decorated veteran of World War I, was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, outside of Munich, for three months. He died within a year of his release, due to something that may have been injected into him, Herta told us.

Meanwhile, anti-Jewish laws continued to escalate. "Then came the rule that Jews could not use the train or street car, not go to a theater, not go to anything for entertainment whatsoever," Herta recalled. "It also was a rule that Jews had no business being in a bomb shelter when there was an alarm."

The prohibition on Jews seeking safety in bomb shelters had an immediate effect on Herta's family. When the house where they had a room was bombed, they barely managed to survive, hiding in the cellar while the house came down around them...

To read Herta's story in its entirety, please visit:

The Florida Holocaust Museum's Upcoming Programs and Events

In the coming months, The FHM will present numerous programs, events, and exhibitions, along with its daily educational and outreach efforts.

o April 12- This year's Yom HaShoah commemoration will include free Museum admission from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and the reading of Holocaust Victims' names continuously throughout the day. Additionally, there will be a Holocaust Survivor talk at 12:00 p.m. with Halina Herman and at 2:00 p.m. with Gary Silvers. The day will culminate with a memorial service at 5:30 p.m. by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis and Tampa Rabbinical Association, followed by a special Holocaust Survivor talk with sisters Marie Silverman and Jeannette Bornstein. If you would like to participate in the reading of Holocaust victims' names, please call the Museum at 727-820-0100 ext. 249 to schedule your time slot.

o April 19- The Debbie and Brent Sembler Florida Holocaust Museum Lecture at USFSP presents Debórah Dwork, "Americans to the Rescue during the Nazi Years." Dwork is the Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Founding Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University. She is counted a leading authority on university education in this field, as well as her area of scholarly expertise: Holocaust history. One of the first historians to record Holocaust survivors' oral histories and to use their narratives as a scholarly source, Dwork explores the social and cultural history of the Holocaust. Her lecture will focus on American efforts to save imperiled people during the Nazi years. This program is free and will take place on Thursday, April 19th at 4:00 p.m. at USFSP, University Student Center, Ballroom 3.

o April 26- The Pardoll Family Lecture Series presents Tom Ikeda, "The World War II Japanese American Incarceration and Why It Matters Today." 2018 marks the 76th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 innocent Japanese Americans. To mark this anniversary, Densho executive director Ikeda will discuss how this injustice happened during a time of fear and how we are seeing similar fears happening in America today. Ikeda will discuss how immigration bans, discriminatory laws, and incarceration in an American concentration camp affected his Gold Star Japanese immigrant grandparents. This program is free and will take place on Thursday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. at The FHM. To RSVP, please call 727.820.0100 ext. 301.

To learn more about The FHM's upcoming events and exhibitions, visit the Museum online at

The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

About The Florida Holocaust Museum

2017 marked a monumental milestone for The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) as the Museum celebrated its 25th Anniversary. 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 of 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 additional information, please visit