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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Never again, never forget”

    Flags representing the millions that were killed in the holocaust of World War II covered the ground of the mall by the Student Union Memorial Center. Hillel sponsored a memorial that began Wednesday at noon and will end today at the same time.
    Flags representing the millions that were killed in the holocaust of World War II covered the ground of the mall by the Student Union Memorial Center. Hillel sponsored a memorial that began Wednesday at noon and will end today at the same time.

    Twelve million names were recited yesterday, and will continue into today in the fenced area of the UA Mall, symbolic of the confinement people experienced in the concentration camps during the Holocaust.

    It is the 17th vigil that has taken place on the UA campus, an event that lasts 24 hours, that began Wednesday at noon on the Mall.

    “”By remembering someone who has died, by memorializing them such as we are at this vigil, we keep them alive in a sense, we enable their individual contributions and relationships to live on.”” Ed Wright, the head of the Judaic studies department, said in his opening speech.

    Wright said the eyes of the men, women and children depicted in pictures in the museum tents at the vigil, stare piercingly, clearly calling for help.

    Two new additions to the museum were added this year, one dedicated to holocaust deniers, and one about other genocides.

    Selma Neuhauser, 82, a Holocaust survivor said there will always be holocaust deniers.

    “”If someone is a holocaust denier, he will not change his mind, even if he knows very well inside that it happened,”” she said.

    There is an agenda to influence young people and when those people listen and believe what they are told, it can become very dangerous, Neuhauser said. The only way to overcome that is to go from place to place and educate people on what actually happened.

    Mike Lauwasser, a sociology senior, has helped out with the vigil for the past four years and is now working as a co-chair. He said the purpose for the post-genocide museum is to acknowledge the fact that people have not learned enough since the Holocaust, and that they need to educate themselves more on genocide.

    Irving Cenor, an 84-year-old Auschwitz survivor told the story of how he was saved twice by his older brother who had connections with some of the guards at the concentration camp. Cenor was stripped of his identity and given a number that will forever remain on his arm. He later witnessed his brother’sexecution.

    “”These people were rounded up, imprisoned and, in one form or another, slaughtered simply because of their personal status. They were robbed of life, but remembering them in an event such as this, keeps their memory alive,”” Wright said.

    Michelle Blumenberg, executive director of the UA Hillel foundation, stressed the importance of attending the vigil and said it is a great opportunity for everyone on the UA campus to learn about the Holocaust.

    “”The Holocaust survivors are a dying population and this is an opportunity to touch people who are part of history and part of history we cannot forget,”” Blumenberg said.

    Adam Bellos, a Judaic studies junior and co-chair of the vigil, said people don’t realize that homosexuals, mentally-disabled people, gypsies and many other groups with different backgrounds were killed as well.

    “”This year, after the way the Pro-Palestinian, Arab community reacted to Israel week, I knew that the holocaust vigil needed to reach more then just people who were effected by the Holocaust or Jews in general,”” Bellos said.

    The names of the 12 million people who died are being read for an entire 24-hour period.

    “”With each name read here over the next 24 hours, we will recall a vibrant life of an important human being,”” Wright said. “”That life includes the person’s accomplishments, their travels, their loves, their hopes and, perhaps most importantly, their families.””

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