The FHM highlights the individual stories of 25 Holocaust Survivors
January 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 eleventh story was released this morning and features Holocaust Survivor Gary Silvers. An excerpt from the piece is as follows:
Gary was born in Berlin and recalls a normal family life in early childhood. He attended a Jewish school and, although from a middle-class family, he was a “spoiled rotten kid,” he told us. But when he tried to go to school on Thursday, November 10, 1938, things were different. “Stores were destroyed, sinks were in the street.” When he arrived at his school, it was closed.
When he returned home, his mother was ready to take him back to school, but his father refused. Gary only learned later that the previous night was what became known as Kristallnacht-‘Crystal Night,’ or the Night of the Broken Glass-and that his father had almost been arrested and sent to a concentration camp.
“The Crystal Night,” Gary explained, “is the night when the Nazis destroyed the Jewish property, they arrested [Jews]. And something else happened, which at that time I didn’t know. I was asleep at night. . . . From my mother’s side, the Christian side, one of my aunt’s husband was a Gestapo guy, with the black uniform, with the pistol. And a cousin was married to a German army officer. And that night they [the Gestapo officer and the army officer] were at my home. When the police came to pick up my father to take him to the concentration camp, the Gestapo guy said ‘Stop.’ And nobody argues with a Gestapo guy. They have much more power than the police. So they left. But the Gestapo guy told my father, ‘Get the hell out of Germany, as far as you can, because things are going to get bad, and I can’t do this again. It’d be my neck…'”
In the coming months, The FHM will present numerous 25th Anniversary celebratory programs, events, and exhibitions, along with its daily educational and outreach efforts.
February 10- The highly anticipated blockbuster exhibition Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann opens! This is the first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition, and trial of a Nazi war criminal. The FHM is proud to present this exhibition, co-produced by The Mossad – Israel Secret Intelligence Service; Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Cleveland, Ohio. Special docent led tours are available for an additional $3.00 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. beginning on February 25, 2018. To book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Operation Finale Group Tour” in the subject line. Group tours must be booked two weeks in advance.
To learn more about The FHM’s upcoming 25th Anniversary events and exhibitions, visit the Museum online at www.TheFHM.org/25th.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
2017 marks a monumental milestone for The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) as the Museum celebrates 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 www.TheFHM.org.
Photos and credits
Gary Silvers in 2018.
Photo credit: Eckerd College.
Gary sharing his story and experiences during the Holocaust Remembrance “Confronting the Holocaust: American Responses” at MacDill Air Force Base in 2014.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Vernon L. Fowler Jr./Released
Gary and Eckerd College student Sam Seader in 2018.