Holocaust Awareness Week begins Friday, CSU to host survivor


Collegian | Milo Gladstein

Justin Deutsch places flags in the ground outside the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University to memorialize Holocaust victims Feb. 25. “For me personally, it’s a way to remember my culture and my religion and the people who have taught before me and passed on the culture and it’s my job to continue passing on messages about this’ ‘ Said Deutch.

CTV News: Ren Wadsworth

Serena Bettis, Content Managing Editor

This year’s Holocaust Awareness Week is Feb. 25 to March 4, and, as in years past, will feature an evening speech with a Holocaust survivor, a film night and multiple opportunities to reflect on those lost in the Holocaust. 

All events will be in person and the week is presented by Students for Holocaust Awareness and co-sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Student Organization, Hillel of Colorado, Colorado State University, the Associated Students of CSU, the Lory Student Center, the Residence Hall Association, International Programs, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and Alpha Epsilon Pi. 


“I want it to be an educational thing; I want people to be able to go in with nothing and feel OK about that, and feel ‘Oh, I’m in a good environment to learn,’” Students for Holocaust Awareness President Denise Negrete said. 

Sarah Daniel places flags in the ground outside the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University to memorialize Holocaust victims
Sarah Daniel places flags in the ground outside the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University to memorialize Holocaust victims Feb. 25. “It essentially means remembering, indirectly, my family, and even though my family was already migrated before it happened, it still feels like family members.
(Collegian | Milo Gladstein)

This Friday, a Field of Flags will start the week outside The Plaza at 1 p.m. Each flag planted will represent 5,000 Holocaust victims, with different colors to show the groups that were targeted by Nazi Germany. 

“When we do these things and we reflect and remember on tragedies of humanity, it’s like trying to pull the lessons from it so that … we can move, in healing and peace, forward so that things like (the Holocaust) — we see warning signs and we’re able to identify that and address them in a way that is different than in the past,” said Mariah Kornberg-DeGear, campus director for CSU Hillel. 

Monday, Feb. 28 will see a showing of the movie “Jojo Rabbit” at 7 p.m. in the LSC Theatre, and on March 1, Carolin Aronis, co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Jewish Inclusion and the Prevention of Antisemitism and an ethnic studies assistant professor, will give a lecture on “Living the Holocaust today” starting at noon in the LSC’s Longs Peak Room 302.

Throughout the week, a reading of the known names of those who died during the Holocaust will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 28 to March 3, on The Plaza or in the LSC Flea Market, depending on the weather. Next Friday, March 4, Alpha Epsilon Pi will host a memorial and walk to remember at 1 p.m., on The Plaza or in the lobby of the LSC Theatre, also depending on the weather.

The main event is Wednesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the LSC Main Ballroom, with a speech from Holocaust survivor Oscar “Osi” Sladek. The speech will be in person with an option to view the livestream on YouTube.

This event is especially important with the rise in antisemitism seen in recent years, the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that chances to speak with Holocaust survivors will decrease over the next few years, as the Holocaust ended nearly 77 years ago, said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik. Gorelik is the faculty advisor for the Chabad Jewish Student Organization, the director of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado and a CSU instructor of philosophy.

“As the Jewish community, we remember (the Holocaust), but we’re always looking to create positive change; … we definitely focus on what light can be created as a result of that darkness,” Gorelik said. “Every survivor has that message. … They’re encouraging people to step up and create a different world.”

All events are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, and event seating is first come, first served. For more event details, visit the Holocaust Awareness Week website.


Reach Serena Bettis at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.