The Florida Holocaust Museum was established by Walter P. Loebenberg with the help of businessmen and community leaders, the concept of a living memorial to those who perished was concieved. In 1992, the Museum rented a space it could afford but would soon outgrow, on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center of Pinellas County in Madeira Beach, Florida, tucked away from the mainstream of Tampa Bay life. Within the first month, over 24,000 visitors came to see Anne Frank in the World, the Center’s inaugural exhibit. The Tampa Bay showing of this exhibition touched all visitors.


Anne Frank in the World (1929 – 1945)

This exhibition was created by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and opened on June 22, 1985. The exhibition recreates the world of Anne Frank within the context of the Holocaust. Her personal family history is reconstructed through family photographs and historical images and documents. The exhibition explores the broad picture of historical developments during the Nazi and then narrows in focus to observe daily life in Nazi Germany and occupied Holland.


The Holocaust Project: From Darkness Into Light by Judy Chicago (02/1998 – 07/1998)

This is a traveling exhibition that casts the Holocaust as a reference point for an exploration of contemporary questions that relate to the human condition. Through a series of works that include a tapestry, two stained-glass pieces and large-scale tables combining painting and photography, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey into one of the dark periods of modern history. The Holocaust Project places the Jewish experience of the Holocaust in a larger global and historical context and raises a series of questions about the relationship between the Holocaust and contemporary events.

Stealing Home: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (04/1998 – 08/1998)

This was a multimedia exhibition exploring the talent and determination of one of America’s greatest sport heroes – a powerful story about tolerance, Major League Baseball and overcoming prejudice and discrimination. The multi-media tribute culminates the 50th anniversary year of Robinson’s legendary entry into Major League baseball. Configured like a baseball diamond, the exhibit features more than 150 visuals, including photos and memorabilia gathered from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and NY and teh Jackie Robinson Foundation in New York City – family snapshots, fan letters and hate mail, vintage gear and equipment.

Women of Ravensbruck: Portraits of Courage (02/2001 – 09/2001)

Ravensbruck, the Nazi’s major concentration camp for women, brought fear and terror to its imprisoned, tortured victims. Subject to unspeakable horrors, few survived. The faces of these triumphant women have been immortalized by artist Julia Terwilliger in one of the newest exhibitions of Holocaust art to emerge today. The exhibition centers around seven large, wooden panes with mixed media and photo transfer images of Ravensbruck women, young and old survivers and those who did not live. The collection contains rare original artifacts from the camp, including a handmade recipe book and gifts secretly exchanged by the women. In addition, the artist created a 10-foot memorial triangle and an artifacts installation.

Curator Rochelle G. Saidel, PhD, completed the exhibition with the addition of seventeen panels on the history and background of Ravensbruck, and fourteen panels of photographs of individuals demonstrating the broad spectrum of women from 23 nations imprisoned in the camp.

Coexistance (12/2003 – 03/2004)

Fear, hate and intolerance lead to prejudice, discrimination and racism. Put them all together and you have humanity at its worst. The exhibition explores these topics in an outdoor exhibition, on 11 tri-panels, held in place by 2-ton weights. They were designed by artists from around the world who were asked to submit their rendering of what coexistence would look like. The exhibition originated in Jerusalem’s The Museum On The Seam, which is dedicated to tolerance and understanding, and coexistance between Christians, Jews and Muslims.


Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals (09/2006 – 11/2006)

In 1933 and 1945, the Nazi German regime promoted racial health policies that sought to eliminate all sources of biological corruption to its dominant “Aryan” race. Among the groups persecuted as threats to the national health were Germany’s homosexual men. Believing them to be carriers of “degeneracy” that weakened society and hindered population growth, the Nazi state arrested and incercerated in prisons and concentration camps tens of thousands of German men as a means of terrorizing them into social conformity. This exhibition examines the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality. The Nazi’s efforts left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.


Courage & Compassion: The Legacy of Bielsky Brothers (11/2008 – 10/2009)

This original, award-winning FHM exhibition, chronicles the Bielski brother’s story. This exhibition is a multi-media presentation showcasing the heroic efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,200 people while living in the forest during World War II. Three brothers, Tuvia, Asael and Zus Bielski, took refuge from the Nazis in the forsts surrounding Novogrudok, Belarus. In the forst, they formed a community of men, women and children that numbered more than 1,200 by the end of the war. The brothers led the group in acts of sabotage and defense against the Nazis. It is through the brother’s leadership that the group survived starvation, harsh winters and the threat of the Nazis and their collaborators.

Peacee/War, Survival/Extinction: An Artist’s Plea for Sanity by Richard Notkin (03/2011 – 05/2011)

This is an exhibition of artwork by ceramic sculptor Richard Notkin. His work includes finely-crafted teapots, a tile-mural, an installation and other objects. In his symbol-rich sculptures, Notkin provides a social commentary on the human condition, war and man’s inhumanity to man while embracing a strong visual aesthetic. In his art, he has had a lifelong commitment to activism. A centerpiece of the exhibition is a large installation titled, Legacy, where he mounds over 1000 ceramic ears of different sizes on the floor. The piling of the ears makes reference to the piles of hair, eyeglasses, shoes and bodies which were found at the liberation of Nazi concenteration camps in 1945. According to the artist, Legacy explores issues such as the ear “listener to the outside world, cycles of life and death, evolution and survival.”


Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges (10/2011 – 01/2012)

By the time World War II began on September 1, 1939, Germany had purged itself of its Jewish professors, scientists, and scholars. Some of these academics, deprived of their livelihoods by the Nazis, found refuge in the United States. A few dozen refugee scholars unexpectedly found positions in historically black colleges in American South. There, as recent escapees from persecution in Nazi Germany, they came face to face with the absurdities of a rigidly segregated Jim Crow society. Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow explores the unlikely coming together of these two groups, each the object of exclusion and hatred, and examines the ongoing encounter between them as they navigated the challenges of life in the segregated South.


This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers in the Civil Rights Movement (09/2015 – 12/2015)

This exhibition presents the Civil Rights Movement through the work and voices of nine activist photographers – men and women who chose to document the national struggle against segregation and other forms of race-based disenfranchisement from within the movement. The exhibition is comprised of 157 black and white photographs, the majority of which were taken in Mississippi and Alabama between 1963 and 1966.




Samuel Bak: A Retrospective of Seven Decades (02/2016 – 06/2016)

Born in Vilna, Poland, in 1933, artist Samuel Bak began painting as a boy. The first exhibition of his work was held in the Vilna Ghetto when he was 9 years old. Mr. Bak and his mother were the only members of his family to survive the Holocaust. After World War II, they fled to the Landsberg Desplaced Persons Camp, and Mr. Bak enrolled in painting lessons at the Blocherer School in Munich. He and his mother immigrated to Israel in 1948, where he studied at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem.
His first exhibition of abstract paintings was held in Rome in 1959. Since 1959, Samuel Bak has had solo exhibitions at private galleries around the world, with large retrospective exhibitions held at numerous museums, universities and public institutions, including The FHM. Mr. Bak has spent his life wrestling with his experience during the Holocaust, creating a legacy of testimony through his art.