As many of you know, in 2007, the Center acquired a Holocaust Railcar from Poland. It is a very significant artifact and played a very important role in the Final Solution. We have been fortunate to acquire this Holocaust Railcar and for more information please refer to the excerpt entitled “Deportations” excerpted from The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
In 2007, as a result of the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center (HDEC) making a case to the Polish authorities for the acquisition of a Holocaust Railcar for our Museum, the Bureau of Polish Railroad Lines in Wroclaw, Poland agreed to the shipment of a Holocaust Railcar.
On December 15, 2006, the Holocaust Railcar was finally loaded onto a flatbed and shipped from Gdynia, Poland and by December 21, 2006, the Holocaust Railcar was on the high seas. It arrived at Port Everglades on January 25, 2007 and was offloaded the next morning. A press conference was held at Port Everglades noting the arrival of the HDEC’s anchor artifact.
On February 13, 2007 an official Holocaust Railcar unveiling event was held at the Broward County Convention Center. Over 1,000 Holocaust Survivors, legislators, and members of the community were there to witness this unveiling. We wish to acknowledge Senator Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Mel Dick for all their efforts in helping ensure the acquisition of the Holocaust Railcar.
From September 2007 to November 2011, thanks to a State of Florida grant and the help of Senator Steve Geller, the Holocaust Railcar underwent major restoration and preservation efforts to restore the Holocaust Railcar to its wartime state.
During the restoration process, German designation numbers were revealed on the undercarriage of the Holocaust Railcar. As a result, the Holocaust Railcar was been identified as Karlsruhe number 37657 G. To date, this is the only Holocaust Railcar in the world to be identified. As a result, we know for certain that this Holocaust Railcar transported men, women and children from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka Death Camp.
Those of you who have come to the HDEC and had an opportunity to see the Holocaust Railcar and learned about its history, we know it has left an everlasting impression upon you.
HDEC Railcar Before and After
During this time, while our doors remain closed, the HDEC wishes to share some video testimonials about our Holocaust Railcar. The videos below offer more insight into the Holocaust Railcar’s history, and also provide eyewitness testimony from some of our Survivors.
Survivor Norman Frajman, “Testimonial at the HDEC Railcar” Video.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to our wonderful HDEC Videographer, Henry Grunberg for directing both these videos.
Holocaust Survivors, Mike Alpert, Julius Eisenstein, Charlotte Garfield and Stella Sonnenschein response to the question, “When Did You Start Speaking About the Holocaust, and Why?” Video.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to HDEC Volunteer Photographer, Howie Sonnenschein for putting together the “When Did You Start Speaking About the Holocaust, and Why?” video.
For additional information please refer to the State of Florida Commissioned Teacher Training Resources for Grades K – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 8, and 9 – 12 authored by the HDEC.