A hanfdful of students gathered around a stack of red books on the Diag last night.

Drew Philp
Engineering freshman Josh Weinstein reads aloud the names of Holocaust victims on the Diag yesterday afternoon. (PETER SCHOTTENFELS/Daily)

The books held the names of victims of the Holocaust. Volunteers solemnly read aloud from them for 24 hours, beginning yesterday morning, to commemorate Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“There are just books and books of names,” LSA junior Abbie Nurse said. “Reading their names just makes it more real.”

Members of Hillel, the event’s sponsor, placed a sign in front of the tent that said in bright red ink, “You can fill the Big House 112 times with the amount of people killed in the Holocaust.”

A television inside the tent played Alain Resnai’s Holocaust documentary “Night and Fog.” A timeline of major events was displayed along with quotes from survivors and a bulletin board on which students could write messages.

In previous years, Hillel has held a week-long conference on the Holocaust and other genocides.

LSA freshman Elianna Starr, a co-chair of the committee, said that this year the committee decided to spread events throughout the year to make people more engaged in the fight against genocide.

Volunteers read the names in shifts of 15 to 20 minutes.

“We’ve had everyone from students to community members to religious leaders come out today and read from the lists of names,” said LSA sophomore Carly Wayne, a co-chair of the committee. “We obviously can’t make it through all 6 million victims. We calculated that if we read one name per second for the entire time, we would only make it through 600,000. But we’re doing what we can.”

Representatives of student groups, including American Movement for Israel, College Democrats and the Michigan Student Assembly participated in the event.

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