By Andrea Alvarez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – Seventeen holocaust museums around the world are joining forces to condemn the actions of the Russian government following reported war crimes in Ukraine. One of those museums right here in Tampa Bay.

“There are so many lessons in the holocaust and there are so many tragic lessons about what happens when people do not respect the dignity of other people,” said Michael Igel. “We’re here to teach and honor the memory of all the victims of the holocaust but also to teach the dignity and worth of all people in order to prevent future genocides.”

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The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg stands with those museums in support of the investigations of Russia by the international criminal court.

“The museum is actually celebrating its 30th anniversary, founded by a group of survivors,” said Michael Igel, Board Chair, Florida Holocaust Museum.

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Those holocaust museums issued this statement saying in part:

“We are angered by today’s stories of children with their hands zip tied and buried in shallow graves. We are angered by the horrific reports of rape… these are war crimes, and if we, as the bearers of history, do not speak out, then we have failed in our mission.”

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“When we see footage of innocent men and women and children whose hands are bound, who’ve been executed, who’ve been tortured, who’ve been thrown into graves, we will not sit by idly and do nothing. Because those are the lessons that we teach and those are the lessons that we’ve learned,” said Igel, who also serves as Chair of the Florida Commissioners Task Force on Holocaust Education says action must be taken. “This should not be compared to the holocaust, but it need not be compared to the holocaust in order for something to be done about it.”