Holocaust Remembrance Week – April 28-May 2 – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Holocaust Remembrance Week – April 28-May 2

After surviving three years in the Auschwitz Annihilation Camp by singing to entertain the Nazi S.S. and cellblock leaders, Cantor David S. Wisnia was transferred to Dachau and survived the “Death March” before escaping and being rescued by the U.S. Army. Rather than fleeing after his experiences, he went on to actively engage in combat late in the war. Next week, Wisnia will give a lecture titled, “A Testament to the Human Spirit” at HWS as part of the Colleges’ observance of Holocaust Remembrance Week. Also scheduled that week are documentaries recalling others’ experiences as victims of the Holocaust, including a look at the diaries of young people, as well as a reading of victims’ names. For over 25 years, HWS has planned events commemorating the tragic events of the Holocaust. Over the past few years, the programs have become more extensive, with events spanning an entire week. This year, a large committee of students has planned events (listed below) throughout the week of April 28 through May 2 in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Week at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Some of those students will join Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski on the March of Remembrance and Hope next month. They will visit important Holocaust and World War II sites in Germany and Poland, traveling and interacting with Holocaust survivors and academic scholars in the field. “I think most people recognize the Holocaust as one of, if not the most, devastating genocides of recent times,” Dobkowski. “It has become a kind of symbol for all genocides. The goal of Holocaust Remembrance Week is to raise awareness of this specific Holocaust, but by raising this awareness, it can alert people to the problem of genocide which is still very much with us. Remembering and commemorating genocides of the past maximizes our abilities to feel empathy and sympathy today.” Monday, April 28 7:30 p.m., Sanford Room “One Survivor Remembers” (story of Gerda Weissmann Klein) The 1995 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Short Film, “One Survivor Remembers” tells the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein’s six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty during World War II and looks at the impact of that time on the rest of her life. Klein describes her years in Nazi labor camps and months on a forced death march. The war left her without her parents, brother and home. The possessions she once had and the community she knew were gone once the Nazis took her, but by the war’s end the friends she made in labor camps were also dead. Though her experience was horrifying, Klein also remembers wonderful acts of decency and normalcy — testaments to the greatness of humanity. Tuesday, April 29 7:30 p.m., Geneva Room Holocaust Speaker: Cantor David S. Wisnia “A Testament to the Human Spirit” Cantor David S. Wisnia is entering his 25th year as cantor at Har Sinai Temple in Pennington, N.J. Wisnia received most of his cantorial training in Warsaw, Poland, taught by World Renown Cantors Gershon Sirota and Moshe Koussevitsky. He sang in their respective choirs and performed on stage and Polish Radio. He is a survivor of the notorious Auschwitz Annihilation Camp where he was held for over three years, using his musical background to save his life by singing for the Nazi S.S. and cellblock leaders. At Auschwitz, he composed two songs, “Oswiecim” (Auschwitz) and “Dos Vaise Hatzele” (The Little White House in the Woods), which was sung in Yiddish, which became popular among inmates. In December 1944, he was transferred to Dachau where survived the “Death March” and subsequently then escaped. He was rescued by the American 101 Airborne Division and joined with the 506th Prcht Infantry. He engaged actively in combat during the closing days of the war with Germany. He is a member of the American Cantors Conference of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Cantor Wisnia was featured in the 2001 PBS Holocaust documentary “Lessons for Life” narrated by Charles Osgood. Thursday, May 1 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Scandling Center Reading of Victim’s Names in Front of Scandling 8 p.m., Sanford Room “I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who Lived During the Holocaust” Produced by MTV and Hillel, this documentary explores what the young people of the Holocaust endured. Inspired by the award-winning book, “Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust,” the film uses “an emotional montage of archival footage, personal photos and text from the diaries themselves, the film celebrates a group of brave, young writers who refused to quietly disappear.” The film is scored by Moby, and excerpts from diaries are read by Elijah Wood, Ryan Gosling, Kate Hudson, Brittany Murphy, Joaquin Phoenix and others with personal ties to the tragedy. 9:15 p.m., Coxe Hall Candle Light Vigil (Front Steps of Coxe Hall) Friday, May 2 6:30 p.m., Abbe Center for Jewish Life, 764 S. Main Street Shabbat and Kugel Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath which begins Friday at sundown, will be celebrated at the Abbe Center for Jewish Life. Kugel, a traditional Jewish dessert, will be served. Week-Long Events Throughout the week, there will be various other media (some of which are listed below) commemorating the Holocaust around campus placed around campus to spark awareness and stimulate questions. Four Giant Laminated Yellow Stars Holocaust Posters in Library Atrium Holocaust Pictures Displayed around Campus

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