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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hosts Holocaust-era Boxcar on Campus Nov. 3-7

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University hosts "Holocaust-era Boxcar" exhibit Nov. 3-7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Student Union Parking Lot 6. The display features 12 panels illustrating the devastation of the Holocaust and other genocides, past and present. Student guides will be available to assist visitors, as well as literature from the Holocaust Museum, FGCU's Holocaust-studies center, Hillel, and other groups that made the event possible.

The Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida recently acquired an authentic World War II boxcar, and is being used as a traveling education tool for schools in Southwest Florida.

Dean of Students Michele Yovanovich saw the boxcar dedication last January in Naples and it made an impression. From that time, she worked on bringing the car to the FGCU campus.

"We are very fortunate to have this international artifact on the FGCU campus for a full week. The entire community, faculty, staff and students, has come together to plan varied learning opportunities around the topic of the WWII Holocaust and the boxcar," said Yovanovich.

Jack Nortman, co-president of the Holocaust Museum and a Holocaust survivor said, "My parents were prisoners in a boxcar for six weeks. My hope is that the boxcar will honor the millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered and or died in the Holocaust, and serve as a learning center that will teach visitors about the dangers of intolerance, shedding light on the genocides that are currently taking place in various regions around the world."

About 100-120 prisoners were crammed into each of the thousands of 30-by-8-foot boxcars that were used to transport millions of victims to death camps during World War II. Many victims died before the boxcars arrived at their destinations. With no toilet facilities, no air, and little if any food, these cars became rolling torture chambers. Many dead bodies were recovered from these railcars after their arrival.

The week of activities has been made possible by The Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida, the Dean of Students Office and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Human Rights Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University.

For more information about the museum, and a list of special events and locations visit or or call the Dean of Students Office at (239) 590-7900.

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