St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce recently issued the following announcement.
The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) has partnered with Eckerd College to release a 25th Anniversary oral history series titled "25 Survivors, 25 Stories. Celebrating 25 Years!"
Over the next 25 months, the Museum's oral history series will feature a different Holocaust Survivor on the 25th of every month. Each Survivor brings to the series an individual voice that enlivens our understanding of the Holocaust; the war's effects on individuals, families, and communities dispersed across the world; and its reverberations into the present moment.
The fifteenth story was released this morning and features Holocaust Survivor Steen Metz. An excerpt from the piece is as follows:
The family had thirty minutes to prepare to leave. Steen and his mother were allowed to go by the bakery, with the Gestapo still waiting at the apartment, to buy food for the journey. Steen, not entirely certain of what was happening, played with other kids at the bakery while his mother got bread. The baker gave them plenty, knowing what was happening. Steen later learned that while he and his mother were there, the baker offered to help the two of them escape capture. His mother declined the offer, fearing what would happen to her husband if they vanished and reluctant to endanger the baker.
That day, the family was herded into box cars, which Steen refers to as "cattle cars." The car was filthy inside, and Steen and his family spent three days and nights inside it. Since Steen didn't know he was Jewish at the time, he was all the more confused about what was going on. He was frightened, and his parents equally so; they never thought their situation would come to this.
The inside of the car was completely dark, with no benches, blankets, food, or drink provided. Since Steen was only eight years old he was small enough to lie down, but older people had to stand. Steen's family had food from the bakery and many people brought sandwiches, which were sometimes shared amongst the group. Steen and his family didn't know anyone else in the car, which made the atmosphere extremely tense. He found out much later that one person in a neighboring cattle car committed suicide, and many others brought poisonous pills for themselves, though they didn't use them.
To read Steen's story in its entirety, please visit:
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
Original source can be found here.