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UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education to sponsor traveling exhibit in Toledo

Contact: 

Stephen J. Gaies, director, UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, 319-273-3870, chge@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education (CHGE) will sponsor the traveling exhibit "Who Am I? Young Minds Forced to Choose," at the Toledo Public Library. The exhibit, co-hosted by the Toledo Public Library and South Tama County Middle School, is free and open to the public and can be viewed during the library's normal operation hours from Tuesday, Jan. 31, through Tuesday, Feb. 14.

"Who Am I? Young Minds Forced to Choose" tells the compelling true story of young Jehovah's Witnesses who were quickly thrust into a political firestorm of Nazi propaganda. Against the tide of coercion and terror, these youths took a firm stand of conscience, oftentimes facing severe reprisals, despite their age. The exhibit, designed by the Arnold-Liebster Foundation, is an effective tool to assist educators on how to address contemporary student issues, such as bullying, gang prevention and prejudice.

"We are proud to be sponsoring this exhibit and are confident it will have the same positive effects that other schools have seen in helping young people to understand and respond to challenges facing their generation," said Stephen J. Gaies, director of the CHGE. "We anticipate that students will be inspired by these accounts, that they will view as positive role models the young Jehovah's Witnesses who resisted the persecution of the Nazi regime, and that most of all, they will see the value of standing up for what they believe."

The exhibit is located at the Toledo Public Library, 206 E. High St., Toledo, Iowa and will continue traveling to other Iowa schools from February through April 2012. For more information about the exhibit or the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, contact Stephen Gaies, director of the CHGE, at 319-273-3870 or chge@uni.edu. Information is also available at www.uni.edu/chge.

The Arnold-Liebster Foundation, based in Karben, Germany, began in 2002 and is dedicated to the history and story of Jehovah's Witnesses during World War II, who also suffered intense persecution and reprisals by the Nazis because of their religious stand. The foundation fosters understanding and education worldwide of the experience of Jehovah's Witnesses during that time, and highlights how their strong faith helped them to endure, even though they had the ability to seek relief by signing a declaration recanting their beliefs. For more information, visit www.alst.org.