Free Museum admission and the reading of Holocaust victims’ names throughout the day
March 16, 2018 [St. Petersburg, FL] – The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) invites the community to hear from Holocaust Survivors throughout the day and to visit the Museum free of charge on Thursday, April 12, 2018 in observance of Yom HaShoah.
This year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration will include free Museum admission from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the reading of Holocaust victims’ names aloud 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. followed by a special Holocaust Survivor talk with sisters Marie Silverman and Jeannette Bornstein.
Known more commonly outside of Israel as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah honors the memory of the more than six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. The full name of the day is Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah or “Day of the Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism” as it also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
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.
Thank you to the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis and Tampa Rabbinical Association for their support.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
About the Holocaust Survivors
Halina Herman was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1939. Her father was a physician and was sent away by the Germans to one of the slave-labor camps in April 1941. Halina never saw him again. Halina’s mother obtained false papers and got a job as a maid in Cracow. She placed Halina with a non-Jewish family who raised her as a Christian child. After the war, Halina was reunited with her mother and continued to go to church until the mother revealed their Jewish identity to her in 1949. They went to France where they stayed until they were able to immigrate to Canada.
Gary Silvers was born in Berlin, Germany in 1929. Gary’s mother was Christian, his father was Jewish. When the persecution of Jews ensued in Nazi Germany, the family decided to seek refuge in Shanghai, China – one of the few places that would take Jews in. From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai accepted some 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Most were from Germany and Austria. Gary’s father pleaded with his relatives to leave Germany, but they were not ready to abandon their lives and did not think the situation would deteriorate. Gary was 9 years old upon arriving in China. Aside of his immediate family who survived in China, all of Gary’s Jewish relatives died in the Holocaust.
Marie Silverman was born in 1931 and her sister Jeannette Bornstein was born in 1935. They lived in Antwerp, Belgium with their parents when World War II began. After Germany invaded Belgium, the family escaped to France. For a while, non-Jews hid them on a farm but when the roundups began, the family was captured and separated: the sisters with their mother were placed in an internment camp at Rivesaltes, France while their father was sent to a different camp. After 9 months, Marie and Jeannette’s mother managed to smuggle her daughters out of Rivesaltes. They were hiding with other refugees in Vence, France. They were then briefly reunited with the parents who managed to escape but the father soon died as a result of the mistreatment he had endured in the camp. Two partisan couriers took the sisters across the Pyrénées Mountains on foot from Vence to Barcelona, Spain. They lived with their aunt and uncle and then came to the United States. Once here, they were placed in an orphanage and with foster families until their mother was able to reunite with them in 1949.
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 www.TheFHM.org.
Jeannette (Bornstein) and Marie (Silverman) Bercovic on an outing with their parents in Belgium. The family escaped to France where they were caught and placed in an internment camp. Eventually Marie and Jeanette were smuggled out of the camp and survived by passing as “Aryans” with the help of French resistance.
Photo credit: Permanent collection of The Florida Holocaust Museum, courtesy of Marie Silverman