ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A Bay area woman is sharing her own survival story of the Holocaust after more than 25 years of volunteer work at the Florida Holocaust Museum.

  • Longtime Florida Holocaust volunteer escaped Hitler's Germany
  • Ellen Bernstein, now 90, has been a volunteer at the museum for 26 years
  • Florida Holocaust Museum

And after countless hours of volunteering at the museum, looking at pictures in the museum can be bittersweet for Ellen Bernstein. 

Before her family escaped in 1938, she lost family members during the Holocaust. 

All these years later, Bernstein is a volunteer and a guide and has been since the facility opened its doors on 5th Street in St. Petersburg in 1998.

As a speaker to tour groups, the 90-year-old Bernstein often tells stories of good times in Germany that turned bad under Adolf Hitler. 

"There was a boy living across the street from me that I used to play with," Bernstein recalled. "All of a sudden, I was a dirty Jew, and he would throw stones at me."

She tells another story of the daughter of her parents' housekeeper, who reported her own parents to the Nazis for being friends with Jews.

Bernstein said it is still important for people to learn of those dark days. She said she loves talking to young students the most because they ask the most questions. 

Questions she is still answering decades after World War II. 

The museum is offering free admission Thursday, July 12.