Students, faculty, and staff took time to learn about and reflect on the atrocities committed during the Holocaust as part the College’s Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Remembrance Week.
More than 30 campus organizations cosponsored events which included Holocaust survivor Jose Urbach telling his story of living in a concentration camp; an interactive Holocaust simulation museum; a talk on the history of the Holocaust by Bob Weiner, Jones Professor of History and Jewish chaplain; and a discussion on modern genocides with Katalin Fabian, associate professor of government and law.
Interactive Holocaust Museum
Hillel Society president Evan Gooberman ’13 (Haddonfield, N.J.) stresses that Holocaust Remembrance Week is not just about honoring the Jewish people, but all people who were killed by the Nazis.
“I think it’s important to honor the memory of the more than 11 million people murdered. Since I became president of Hillel, I have been planning on putting together an event for Yom HaShoah that would not just be about the Jews, but about everyone who died,” says Gooberman. “I think the campus gained something from this. I think people realize what a big deal this was, and some people started to understand that the Holocaust is not just about the Jews, it’s about everyone.”
The interactive Holocaust museum allowed students to visualize what life in a concentration camp would have been like. The museum included video footage of a camp in 1945; original items such as an American World War II army uniform, German propaganda posters, and WWII photographs; and several memoirs and memorials. There was also a simulated processing through a concentration camp where students received identification tattoos and were assigned to different jobs.
“I think this event helped the campus better understand the atrocity of the Holocaust. Without proper presentation, it can seem surreal. I hope the interactive Holocaust museum put these experiences into perspective. Even if just one student’s awareness was increased, our event was successful,” says remembrance committee member Scott Blond ’11 (Syosset, N.Y.).