Speeches from Holocaust survivors will be just one of the highlights of Jewish student group Hillel’s 26th annual Holocaust Awareness Week.
Event co-chair Melissa Weintraub, a 21-year-old senior marketing major, said that this year’s theme is heroes, to represent those who stood up to the Nazis. But, Weintraub said there’s only one thing she wants CU students to take away from the event.
“Just awareness, that’s what this week is all about,” Weintraub said.
Running from March 8 to 11, color-coded flags will line the Norlin Quad to represent the Jews and other persecuted groups who died in the Holocaust, Weintraub said.
Also on Monday, Hillel members will be handing out 1,300 white roses at the underpass near The Hill and near the Chemistry building on campus in honor of the White Rose Society. The White Rose Society is a non-violent, youth movement that was formed during World War II against Hitler, Weintraub said.
Event co-chair Kathy Kondor, a 26-year-old anthropology doctoral candidate, said she hopes the flags and roses impact the student body.
“Everyone remembers the flags, I’ve been talking to people the last couple weeks and they say I remember that every year,” Kondor said. “Its cool even if [the students] don’t go to anything, I hope that they have a silent remembrance of how we got here today. I hope the flags will do that, as well as the roses.”
All the events are free and will be held in Room 235 of the UMC. Also, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, students will be reading names of the perished in front of Room 235, said Weintraub.
The events throughout the week include lectures from Holocaust survivors, keynote speakers and movie showings of Good Evening Mr. Wallenberg and Blessed is the Match, according to the Hillel Web site. But out of all the planned events, Weintraub said she wants students to come to the survivors’ presentations.
“I’m hoping people come out to listen to the survivors,” Weintraub said. “It’s a time for people to listen to survivors because in a couple more years down the road you’re not going to have the opportunity.”
Kondor said she agrees and that she thinks that students would feel a greater connection with the Holocaust.
“People read about it and see it, but it’s easy to separate yourself,” Kondor said. “If you have someone in front of you telling you how they lived through this, it adds a very personal level to it and brings it home to people.”
One of the survivors speaking at the event is Kondor’s own father, George Kondor.
“It’s interesting,” she said. “ It’s something really important to me as it obviously adds a really personal aspect. It’s cool and it seems to have impacted people around me.”
In order to hold Holocaust Awareness Week, Hillel received the majority of their funding from the Cultural Events Board, Kondor said. Also, Art of the Flower donated 300 of the roses.
Students on campus, like Zach Johnson, a 19-year-old engineering physics major, said they are in support of Holocaust Awareness Week.
“People need to remember the horrible event,” Johnson said.
Isa Jones a 19-year-old freshman psychology major said she felt is would be a strong cultural experience.
“It will teach people and they can have awareness of this part of history and their culture,” Jones said.
For the complete list of events visit the Hillel Web site.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.firstname.lastname@example.org.