Caloosa Belle

Holocaust-era boxcar on display at FSW LaBelle Center

Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) is partnering with The Holocaust Museum & Education Center of Southwest Florida to display the Holocaust Boxcar for educational tours.  The Holocaust Boxcar has been visiting FSW locations for students at the college and area schools to visit and learn more about the Holocaust and how it impacts our society today.  It will be located at Hendry/Glades Center – Apr. 1 through May 31, 2016 (1092 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle.

A World War II era boxcar, of the type used by the Nazi regime to transport holocaust victims to concentration camps, was renovated by iTECH students in Immokalee. The boxcar is currently at Florida Southwestern College LaBelle campus. (Submitted photo)

“We are honored here at FSW to display the Holocaust Boxcar and help our students and local community understand the terrible acts against humanity that took place during the Holocaust,” said Kristi Rickman, Associate Dean for Student Life & Orientation at FSW.  “This partnership hopes to advance the education and awareness of the history from this event, as well as to promote tolerance and human kindness moving forward.”

The Holocaust Boxcar, on loan to the museum from Jack & F.E. Nortman and the Nortman family, allows students and guests the opportunity to observe a physical artifact from the era.  Jack Nortman is a the son of Holocaust survivors, and his parents were deported in a boxcar similar to this one, as the boxcars were used to transport victims to the concentration camps.

Required by the recent Florida Statute 1003.42(f), “The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.” To schedule a tour contact StudentLife@FSW.edu.

Florida SouthWestern State College is Southwest Florida’s largest and one of the most affordable institutions of higher education. Annually serving more than 22,000 students globally, FSW offers a variety of nationally-ranked, career-focused academic programs with two- and four-year degrees, and professional certifications. Students are also active in clubs and programs catered to their interests. FSW will debut its intercollegiate athletics program in the fall 2015. Visit www.FSW.edu for more information.