Students and faculty across campus will have a chance to meet with Holocaust survivors during the 25th annual Holocaust Awareness Week at CU, Feb. 23 to 27.
Thomas Hollweck, professor of Germanic and Slavic Language and Literature, teaches a “Representing the Holocaust” course at CU. The course focuses on the question of how the Holocaust is remembered and represented throughout history.
Hollweck said he hopes events this week will help students come one step closer to the answer.
“Clearly, HAW is an important occasion that enables the students to experience the ways in which we remember the Holocaust today,” Hollweck said, “(and) to hear and meet with survivors and their descendants and to place the Holocaust in the larger context of global occurrences of genocide.”
Hollweck said his classes are cancelled the week of Holocaust Awareness Week to give students an opportunity to attend events. Hollweck’s students keep a journal in which they reflect upon what they see and hear.
“Almost all of our students seem to appreciate the opportunity to be learning about the Holocaust in ways which go beyond classroom experience,” Hollweck said.
As students may have noticed, there are no flags on Norlin Quad this year. Chairs of the event strayed from the standard this year to focus more on listening to the survivors who they say deliver a stronger message from personal experience.
Preparations for these events have been going on since October, organizers say. Volunteers are picking up speakers at the airport and will be reading names during the Litany of the Martyrs.
Litany of the Martyrs takes place each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UMC. The event consists of reading names of all people—prisoners of war, civilians and military—who died during the genocide. To give the ceremony a more personal feel, volunteers will be reading the names throughout the day. Events will be hosted in UMC Room 235.
Justin Kutner, a senior media studies major and co-chairman for Holocaust Awareness Week, said learning about the Holocaust from survivors is the best way to learn about the Holocaust.
“We encourage everyone to come to as many events as they can,” Kutner said. “You will leave with a better understanding of the Holocaust you couldn’t learn from a classroom: firsthand experience.”
The theme for the 2009 Holocaust Awareness Week is response and action, organizers say.
In past years, survivors have tended to draw big audiences and packed rooms so students are advised to show up early.
For more information concerning dates and times students can visit the HAW flyer or contact Justin Kutner at Jkutner@gmail.com.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adrian Kun at Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org.