This exhibit showcases the relatively unknown story of suffering and hardships endured by Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany. This small group was quickly thrust into the firestorm of Nazi terror, where through their unrelenting propaganda and pressure, male and female Witnesses, young and old, had to make a firm stand for their beliefs, often times facing severe reprisals and threat of death. Their story is one of immeasurable faith and courage, especially since they always had before them the opportunity to seek relief by signing a declaration to renounce their faith and give their allegiance to Hitler. They showed that is was possible to stand up against Nazi terror, even though they were a minority. Their story can inspire visitors to stand up against hatred and violence no matter what others do, or fail to do.
Jehovah's Witnesses—Faith Under Fire premiered at the Florida Holocaust Museum in 2006 and remains a permanent part of their exhibition. Past venues for the traveling version of this exhibit include the Virginia Holocaust Museum, Mount Mercy College in Iowa, Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, and Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida in Maitland.
Jehovah's Witnesses were a small group of ordinary people who refused to conform to Nazi ideology, resulting in brutal persecution. Despite being offered a chance for freedom if they signed a document renouncing their faith, most refused. Educators have used the experience of Jehovah's Witnesses in Holocaust studies, history, social studies, religion, government, civics, ethics, sociology, psychology, language, literature, language arts, and creative writing to raise important moral questions about peer pressure, bystanderism, and the law of conscience.
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The Foundation was established by Holocaust-era survivors Max Liebster and Simone Arnold Liebster in January 2002 to educate future generations in the lessons of history. The Liebsters have addressed numerous audiences at schools, universities, museums, and public events in more than 60 European and North American cities. The Foundation is a non-political, non-profit organization that especially aims to help young people to repudiate racism, xenophobic nationalism, and violence, and to learn to listen to the voice of conscience.
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