The boxcar as displayed in front of the Holocaust Museum.

The boxcar as displayed in front of the Holocaust Museum.

After a four-year international search Museum Board Member and Past President, Jack Nortman, acquired an authentic 10-ton World War II- era railway boxcar, which he brought to Naples in honor of his parents and in memory of the family members lost during the Holocaust. A rare artifact, this boxcar had been an invaluable, mobile educational tool that supported the Museum’s education efforts and mission - Teach the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire action against bigotry, hatred and violence. Once the world’s only traveling Holocaust-era boxcar exhibit, and now after over 100 years in existence, it has become a permanent part of the Museum’s collection.

Box CarMr. Nortman’s family was caught in the web of the Nazis in Eastern Europe. Both of his parents survived and he was born in Landsberg, a Displaced Persons camp in Germany. The boxcar is on loan to the Museum from F.E. and Jack Nortman and The Boxcar Foundation.

As far as we know, this was the first and only traveling Boxcar Exhibit. Its mobility ensured that an important piece of history was seen by students right on their school campus, and by the public at community locations. The Boxcar often served as the centerpiece in learning during a school’s Holocaust programming.

Between the spring of 2008 and spring of 2020, the Boxcar Exhibit impacted over 90,000 people across South Florida. The Boxcar visited over 75 locations, including schools, museums, universities, public libraries, airports, churches, synagogues, and more.

PLEASE NOTE: The Boxcar is no longer available as a traveling exhibit, however, it is available to view (not enter) in the parking lot of the South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy #9005, Naples, FL 34113

For information about the Boxcar, please contact:

Sam Parish, sam@hmcec.org, or 239-263-9200 x 206.

The Boxcar’s Journey to Southwest Florida

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