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UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education to sponsor traveling exhibit

January 19, 2012

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

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


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 Meredith Middle School in Des Moines, located at 4827 Madison Ave. The exhibit will be on display from Tuesday, Jan. 17, through Monday, Jan. 30.

"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 about how to address contemporary student issues, such as bullying, gang prevention and prejudice.

"We are proud to be sponsoring and hosting 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 will continue traveling to other Iowa schools and libraries from February through April 2012. For more information about the exhibit or about the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, contact Stephen Gaies, director of the CHGE, at 319-273-3870 or Information is also available at For more information regarding public viewing of the exhibit, contact Meredith Middle School at 515-242-7250.

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