"Girl Power! How Young Women Impacted the Holocaust" is the title of an engaging series of events presented by the Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida in February and March. With our community partners, the museum will present exhibits, films, book discussions and even a play based on the lives of young women whose bravery continues to inspire us.
Two exhibits, "Girl Power!" and "Painting the Irena Sendler Story," will be on display at the Holocaust Museum during these two months.
"Girl Power!" highlights a dozen young women of various faiths and nationalities who participated in resistance and rescue during World War II and the Holocaust. Come in and learn about women such as Sophie Scholl, Hannah Sennesh and Irena Sendler.
Sophie was a German college student who belonged to the nonviolent resistance group known as the White Rose. Hannah, after emigrating from her native Hungary to Palestine, joined the Jewish Brigade of the British army and parachuted back into Europe to participate in rescue efforts. Both of these ladies were in their early 20s and were executed by the Nazis.
In "Painting the Irena Sendler Story," Venice, Fla., artist Bill Farnsworth beautifully depicts the rescue efforts of Irena Sendler and the Polish resistance group Zegota in Warsaw. This original artwork became the illustrations for the children's book "Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto."
"Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project" is a play originated by students from rural Kansas for National History Day in 1999. It tells the courageous story of Irena and her work to save the lives of thousands of children in the Warsaw ghetto. The play will be performed on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the South Regional Library in East Naples. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Holocaust Museum.
The lives of these young women serve as inspirations to us as to what we can do in the face of hatred and evil. Many were persecuted because of their actions and some were executed, but their legacy lives on and continues to awe and encourage the world even today.
For more information, call 239-263-9200 or visit www.holocaustmuseumswfl.org.
The Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida is an outgrowth of a middle school program from Golden Gate Middle School. Entering its second decade of service to the community, the museum is home to more than 1,000 authentic photographs and artifacts, many of which tell the story of our local residents who are Holocaust survivors or World War II liberators.