October 21, 2008 – The Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum’s “boxcar,” which was used for deportation during the Holocaust in World War II, will make its fourth appearance at a Collier County public school during the 2008-2009 school year when it is brought to Barron Collier High School, 5600 Cougar Drive in North Naples, on Oct. 27. It will remain at the school through Oct. 31.
At 7 p.m. on Oct. 29, the school will host an evening open house for parents and community members who would like to see the boxcar.
For each school that hosts the boxcar, the museum coordinates a visit from a Holocaust survivor to speak about his/her experiences. On the day of its arrival at Barron Collier, Abe Price will be sharing his story with students and faculty at 9 a.m.
The Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida’s boxcar is an authentic artifact from Europe. The builder’s plate reads “1919,” and the car was used by the German Railway System during the 1930’s and ‘40’s. The boxcar was authenticated by Alfred Gottwaldt, senior curator for railways for the German Museum of Technology and Transportation, and Dr. Michael Berebaum, Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at American Jewish University.
After reaching Naples, the boxcar went through an extensive restoration process, with 25% of the wood being replaced due to rotting. The boxcar was taken apart entirely, treated to withstand south Florida’s weather, and put back together.
Visitors will see the restored boxcar and learn about its history.
There is a 12-panel exhibit that travels with the boxcar highlighting deportation during the Holocaust, as well as genocides in other places over the past 200 years.