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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Holocaust Vigil returns to campus for 27th year

Courtesy Rocky Baier
Junior Rachel Shiffman stands with her hands on her hips in the middle of the 26th Annual Holocaust Vigil on the UA Mall. The flags in the grass represent different groups of people killed in the Holocaust.

The 27th Annual Holocaust Vigil will be held on the University of Arizona Mall Wednesday, March 21, in remembrance of the pain endured by the Jewish community throughout the Holocaust. As many names as possible of the 13 million people who perished will be read aloud by volunteers during the 24-hour event starting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and ending at 10 a.m. on Thursday. 

Students will have the opportunity to speak with local Holocaust survivors from noon until 1:15 p.m. and hear about their experiences.

The event will feature five different interactive museum pods that allow the observer to immerse themselves into scenes of the Holocaust and better understand the enormous suffering endured by the Jewish community. 

The newest pod, “Hidden Spaces,” is a visual commemoration of the lives of the Jewish people that kept in hiding to survive, and will be a physical depiction of those hiding spaces. 

“We want to show you,” said Michelle Blumenburg, executive director of the University of Arizona’s Hillel Foundation. “We can’t bring Auschwitz to you, but we can show you the power of the space.” The Hillel Foundation has organized the event. 

Tucson artist Julia Stein constructed frames for the students to paint and decorate in remembrance of the 1.5 million children who died during the Holocaust. This interactive art piece is inspired by Pavel Friedman’s poem “The Butterfly.” All frames are centered around the line “I never saw another butterfly.” 

The finished frames will be donated to local public elementary schools when they visit the Jewish History Museum in downtown Tucson. 

The Hillel Foundation also participated in the Butterfly Project, a commemoration of the late children of the Holocaust that is recognized worldwide. Installations of butterflies with the children’s name on them glimmer above the Hillel building on the University of Arizona campus and at seven additional installations throughout Tucson. 

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