The University of Wyoming is hosting Holocaust Remembrance Week, providing the public with an opportunity to remember the mass genocide of the Jewish community more than 60 years ago.
Hillel at the University of Wyoming, a Recognized Student Organization dedicated to “strengthening the Jewish community on the UW campus,” is hosting the weeklong event.
“People say you should never forget,” said Seth Ward, UW religious studies professor and faculty advisor for Hillel. “In order to not forget, you have a program that reminds people, remembering names and remembering what happened.”
An ongoing reading of Holocaust victims’ names will take place in the UW Student Union from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. throughout the week. Estelle Nadel, a Holocaust survivor, is scheduled to conclude the week with a talk on her life experiences at 12:10 p.m. Friday in the Union Ballroom.
“We are the last generation to have the opportunity to get firsthand accounts of people’s stories of survival,” Abi Cohen, Hillel student board member, said. “We need to learns so we can teach it to future generations.”
UW has hosted the event for at least 10 years, Cohen said. She added hosting the event this week is significant because of Crystal Nach, an anti-Jewish action in Germany that took place the night of Nov. 9, 1938.
Ward said: “Probably hundreds of Jews were killed. Every town in Germany synagogues were broken into and smashed by gangs.”
The event also correlates with Veteran’s Day on Friday.
The schedule includes a moment of silence to remember veterans at noon Friday, prior to Nadel’s talk.
“A lot of U.S. soldiers were involved in liberating Europe, so that’s important,” Ward said.
Considering the current political climate with staunch positions on immigration, Ward said the Holocaust Remembrance Week is incredibly relevant.
“The political climate has emphasized the importance of being welcoming and accepting of all sorts of diversity, which is easily a lesson we can learn from the Holocaust,” he said.
“Dehumanizing is not acceptable.”
Hillel is still seeking more volunteers to read the names of Holocaust victims this week. Email Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or for more information.
“We teach and learn about the Holocaust in hopes of it never happening again,” Cohen said.