Event for Holocaust Awareness Week graced by Holocaust survivor, religious groups, bystanders
Despite Thursday’s cold winter wind, dozens of CU students from all walks of life gathered outside the UMC to read for the “Litany of the Martyrs” in remembrance of Holocaust victims.
The Holocaust Awareness Week committee sponsored the 24-hour event, which started at noon Thursday and ended at noon on Friday. The names of the millions of Jews who perished in Nazi concentration camps during World War II were read at a small podium set up near the UMC Fountain.
“We had Jewish fraternities and sororities, rabbis, the Catholic group on campus, even bystanders who wanted to say a few words participate in the litany,” said Holocaust Awareness Week Co-Chairwoman Kara Zucker, a freshman political science major.
Talia Brown, a senior MCD biology major and member of the Holocaust Awareness planning committee, has done the reading for the last two years.
“My grandparents were survivors (of the Holocaust). They passed away recently, and this is a way for me to honor them,” Brown said.
The goal of the outside litany was to give a physical and visual memorial of the Holocaust, recognizing the lives that were taken.
“It never really occurred to me how devastating the Holocaust was until I sat in on some survivors’ speeches during my free period,” said Katrina Buttner, a junior psychology major. “Hearing Martin Small’s speech was really touching. He was the first person I’ve ever met in person who was a Holocaust survivor. The fact that students would stand out for 24 hours to read the names of victims shows that the Holocaust is just not a thing of the past.”
This year marks CU’s 23rd year hosting a Holocaust remembrance event, with different themes for each year.
“The theme of year was the ‘righteous individuals of the Holocaust.’ The purpose of this year’s theme was to tell people that even through the horrifying times of the Holocaust, there were spots of light, such as individuals who tried to resist,” Zucker said.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Alexandria Bath at Alexandria.Bath@thecampuspress.com.