Hearing stories about his grandmother’s survival in the
Holocaust helps RC freshman David Landau relate better to those who
experienced it, he said.

Landau joined other members of the University of Michigan Hillel
yesterday on the Diag for a 24-hour vigil to read aloud names in
memory of Holocaust victims.

“(We) estimated that we’ll be able to read about 70,
000 names in this 24 hour period and to read off all 6 million
names of the Jews that perished in the Holocaust … would takes us
12 months, so we’re trying to do the best we can,”
Landau said.

Other Hillel members stopped by the Diag for one-hour shifts to
participate in the reading of names and passersby were invited to
do the same.

“There have been a couple people who stopped by to read
names,” LSA freshman Dayna Frenkel said. “I think it
just makes them feel good to know that they’re doing
something to help out.”

Frenkel is one of the organizers for the event, a part of the
two-week Conference on the Holocaust running March 8 until March
18. Hillel has sponsored the conference for the past 25 years and
this year’s events feature a range of speakers, film showings
and a play.

Highlights of the conference include “A Holocaust Play: A
Collection of Scenes and Monologues,” an original performance
by students tonight in East Quad at 7:30 p.m.

At “An Evening with Survivors,” a Sabbath dinner
with Holocaust survivors tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. at Hillel, attendees
will get a chance to hear the stories of those who lived through
experiences in concentration camps during World War II.

One of the more anticipated events is Chris Szpilman’s
account of his father’s life in 1200 Chemistry Building at
7:30 p.m. on Monday. Szpilman is the son of Wladyslaw Szpilman
whose life was portrayed in last year’s movie “The
Pianist.”

“That should be emotional and a very good story so I would
encourage everyone to come to that,” Frenkel said.

Hillel members said they hope the different events will help
students understand the plight of Jews during World War II and also
help deter another potential Holocaust by raising awareness.

“I don’t really experience war aside from 9-11. I
don’t see the prospects of the Holocaust happening to me or
my family or friends in my region anytime soon. I just come to show
my support to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,”
Landau said.

Frenkel said the events extended to more contemporary problems
of oppression.

“As important as it is for people to remember those who
died in the Holocaust, it’s also important to learn about
other people who are now being persecuted, not necessarily in the
same way, but just to remind them that stuff like this is still
going on,” she said.

David Binswanger, an LSA senior, said he has participated in the
reading of names for the last three years, stopped by the Diag
yesterday one last time to honor the memory of Holocaust
victims.

“I just hope that it reminds people that this happened and
it can’t happen again. It’s a very grim
reminder.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.