This compelling exhibit examines the lives and experiences of young Jehovah's Witnesses who suffered due to their refusal to accept Nazi ideology. Simone and Rudolf, two young, persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses, narrate the stories of their families and friends. Each panel heading poses a probing question for young viewers. Short, true-life accounts show how young Jehovah’s Witnesses answered these questions when faced with Nazi persecution. Using both historical and modern graphics, the exhibit seeks to touch the core of each visitor, to help us all to think about our identity and values.
Who Am I? Young Minds Forced to Choose premiered at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in 2006 and remains a permanent part of their exhibition. Past venues for the traveling version of this exhibit include Virginia Holocaust Museum, School District of Palm Beach County in Florida, Illinois Council for the Social Studies, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at University of Northern Iowa, 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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