The FHM highlights the individual stories of 25 Holocaust Survivors
July 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 sixteenth story was released this morning and features Holocaust Survivor Max Weisglass. An excerpt from the piece is as follows:
In summer 1943, when Max was six years old, the Borszczów ghetto was slated for liquidation, along with many others in Eastern Europe. Word eventually spread throughout Borszczów about the upcoming action and the impending closure of the ghetto.This warning allowed for a brief period of time to prepare, and for a chance meeting that would end up saving Max and his family.
One day, Max’s father happened to see a Polish widow who had been a good friend and frequent customer of his store before it was shut down. When the store was still in operation, Max’s father allowed her to purchase on credit until she received a check from her late husband’s pension or from her daughter. “They were very good friends. They did that often and had a good relationship,” Max says. When the widow saw Max’s father looking more forlorn than usual one day, she inquired and he explained about the upcoming liquidation of the ghetto. “She had pity on him,” Max explains, “and she said, ‘Don’t worry. When the time comes, you can come to me and I will take care of you and your family.’ Imagine the excitement and how joyful my dad was!”
Late one night, before the final action, Max left with his mother and father. “It was an open ghetto, so it wasn’t encircled in barbed wire or anything like that. Just some of the streets were closed up. It was the middle of the night,” Max says. His family left with “whatever was on our back, because we took nothing with us, and we just left the ghetto around two or three o’clock at night.” They went directly to the attic of the Polish widow’s home and stayed there to wait out the action and the liquidation.
What they did not know is that they would remain in hiding for the next ten months, unable even to see sunlight…
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 www.TheFHM.org.
Photos and credits
Max Weisglass in 2018.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Eckerd College