CU Hillel presents 27th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week

Holocaust Memorial Week at CU: Click here for video.

(Courtesy of Hillel)

This week marks the 27th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week, when events are held to commemorate the 6.6 million people whose lives were taken in the Holocaust, and also addresses current cases of genocide.

Holocaust Awareness Week is sponsored by the CU Boulder chapter of Hillel, an organization that serves Jewish students throughout the state of Colorado, according to a CU news release.

A number of events are featured this week to educate the CU community on the history of the Holocaust and its present implications. The events began Monday with the exchange of white roses on campus and should draw 1,500 students and members of the CU community to learn about the history and current implications of the Holocaust, according to the release.

Maggie Lowenberg, a 21-year-old junior international affairs major and member of Hillel, said she is confident that the impact of this week’s events will reach beyond the CU campus.

“Holocaust Awareness Week is important not only for CU students but also for the greater Boulder community, because genocide is something that we still see happening today,” Lowenberg said. “There’s still issues where individuals are targeted for their religious, cultural, or racial views.”

Lowenberg said she believes the events focus on not only on the history and impact of the Holocaust, but also on what steps can be taken to put an end to genocides occurring today in places like Sudan.

“There is a focus in Holocaust Awareness Week on what we can do as a community to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Lowenberg said.

CU Hillel President Courtney Miller, a 22-year-old marketing major, said she is confident that this year’s speakers will make an impact on the audience in attendance.

“We have some really big name speakers coming this year,” Miller said.

One of those big names is special guest lecturer Dr. Daniel Goldhagen, who will be presenting “Worse Than War: A Community Conversation with Daniel Goldhagen,” which will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Glenn Miller Ballroom.

The lecture is presented by Facing History and Ourselves, the Allstate Foundation in partnership with CU’s Hillel and the Program in Jewish Studies, according to the news release.

Goldhagen will be speaking about his latest work, “Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity,” which seeks to get to the root of the issue of genocide in the past and modern day.

“We are also very lucky to have three survivors of the Holocaust coming to campus on Wednesday and Thursday,” Miller said. “I think it’s really important to hear their stories while we still can because it’s not going to be for very much longer that we will be able to hear these survivors stories.”

The survivors include Estelle Nadel and Eric Cahn, who will each be speaking at the UMC Wednesday morning, at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively, according to the Hillel website.

Associate professor of history and the Director of the Jewish Studies program, David Shneer, will be presenting a lecture Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the UMC focusing on his most recent book, “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War and the Holocaust,” according to the news release.

Miller said she hopes the speakers featured for this week will represent different ways to commemorate the Holocaust.

“You have to remember that it wasn’t just Jewish people that were affected by the Holocaust and we want to remember everyone affected,” Miller said.

As being one of the organizers of the events, Miller said she hoped diverse perspectives would show the campus community that the Holocaust Awareness Week is meant for more people than just those belonging to the Jewish community.

“I think more so it’s for everyone,” Miller said. “Sometimes the Holocaust gets focused on being predominantly Jews that were affected by it.”

Other events to take place before the end of the week include a discussion titled “Prague in Danger with Peter Demetz” and a talk with Holocaust survivor Walter Plywaski that will both take place Thursday in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom, according to the news release.

A more complete list of events can be found on the CU Hillel website.

Zachary Silverman, a 19-year-old sophomore international affairs major, is one student who said he will show his pride by attending these events.

“[Holocaust Awareness Week] is to make sure that everyone not only knows about it, but also makes an effort to remember it,” Silverman said.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Nora Keating at

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The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that's for students and by students — about the things we care about.

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