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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Holocaust vigil to grace UA Mall

    Psychology freshman Laura Matisoff, right, from the Hillel Center, hands out fliers to passers-by Monday afternoon at the Student Union Memorial Center to promote the upcoming 24-hour Holocaust remembrance vigil. Volunteers will read names and short biographies of Holocaust victims from 10 a.m. today through 10 a.m. tomorrow on the UA Mall.
    Psychology freshman Laura Matisoff, right, from the Hillel Center, hands out fliers to passers-by Monday afternoon at the Student Union Memorial Center to promote the upcoming 24-hour Holocaust remembrance vigil. Volunteers will read names and short biographies of Holocaust victims from 10 a.m. today through 10 a.m. tomorrow on the UA Mall.

    Students, staff and faculty will begin a 24-hour vigil this morning in remembrance of the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust and the genocide in Darfur.

    The event, which has been held annually the past 14 years, will begin at 10 a.m. today on the UA Mall near Old Main.

    Organizers have made a few changes to traditional features this year.

    “”This year we are focusing on the 11 million individuals who died during the Holocaust, whereas in the past we focused mostly on the 6 million Jews who died,”” said Rochelle Gardner, a retail and consumer sciences junior.

    As another new feature, the Holocaust vigil will be linked to raising awareness of ongoing genocide in Darfur.

    “”This is the first time the event has been doubled up,”” Gardner said. “”Both the Holocaust and the situation in Darfur are instances of genocide, but I don’t think people make the connection that history is repeating itself.””

    Groups of Holocaust survivors and Lost Boys from Sudan will discuss their stories with the public this afternoon. Holocaust survivors will be on hand from noon to 2:30 p.m., and the Lost Boys from 5 to 6 p.m.

    “”No matter who you are, you can get something from this event,”” Gardner said. “”We are the last generation that will get to meet those who have survived the Holocaust, and there is a lot that we can learn from them.””

    Alan Tanz, a creative writing freshman who will be reading from the list of names at 2:45 a.m. tomorrow, said he wanted to get involved with the vigil to pay respects to those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

    “”It’s really important to remember and honor these individuals,”” Tanz said. “”I want to give them their one moment of remembrance, even if it is at 2:45 in the morning.””

    Aside from reading the names of those who died, the event will feature a slide show of photos from the Holocaust, an area where students can donate money to a fund that benefits Holocaust survivors currently living in poverty, and a field of flags, each representing 500,000 lost lives.

    Wendy Theodore, an assistant professor in African-American studies, will speak at the event today from 4:30 to 5 p.m. She said she will discuss how people should deal with genocide and “”address state-sponsored violence toward innocence.””

    Seven films, including “”Schindler’s List”” and “”Hotel Rwanda,”” will be shown throughout the event, and food will be provided.

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