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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Observance honors Holocaust victims


The Hillel Center will hold its annual 24-hour Holocaust vigil on the UA Mall today, starting at noon.

The student-run vigil will be held in remembrance of victims of the Holocaust and to honor the lives of its survivors.

“Although we are a Jewish organization, we want people to know that the vigil will not only honor the Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust, but everyone who was in the concentration camps and lived in that time, regardless of race or religion,” said Alyssa Silva, an anthropology freshman who is a part of the vigil’s committee.

The schedule includes a reading of the names of those who died in the Holocaust, as well as a list of speakers that includes adjunct instructor of Judaic Studies Deborah Kaye and associate professor of Judaic Studies David Graizbord. Firsthand accounts from Holocaust survivors will also be told, and these survivors will have a panel discussion about their lives and experiences.

On the Mall, there will be three “museum pods” that will focus on the history of the Holocaust. One of the pods will display the barracks that served as living quarters for the victims, and another will focus on the cattle cars that they were transported in. While the first two pods will detail the experience of those who lived through the Holocaust, the final pod will be a memorial museum and will feature music, candles and movies intended to honor the lives of those who suffered.

Although the vigil is an annual event, Leah Rafal, a Judaic studies senior and a member of the committee, said there will be new parts to the vigil this year.

“We will be constructing butterflies that we will put on a big wall to honor the lives of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust,” she said.

The butterfly construction, a community service effort known as the Butterfly Project, will help make paper butterflies and send them to the Holocaust Museum in Houston, which honors the memory of children who died in the Holocaust.

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