Hobart Junior Reflects on the Holocaust – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hobart Junior Reflects on the Holocaust

January 7, 2000 Geneva, NY – Gilad S. Lang, a junior at Hobart College, will present a talk titled “Fragments of a Journey: A Walk Never Ending” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 13, in the Geneva Room. The talk is part of the “Genocide in the 20th Century” lecture series, a year-long series at Hobart and William Smith featuring speakers discussing issues in genocide. The lecture is free and the public is invited.

As a first-year student at Hobart, Lang traveled to Poland and Israel to visit World War II concentration camps and speak with Holocaust survivors. Lang's trip was sponsored through the March of the Living, an international program designed to allow young Jewish people to view the sites of genocide history firsthand. While in Poland, Lang marched with thousands of youth from around the world. They silently marched in rows of eight – from the work camp Auschwitz to the death camp Birkenau. This three-kilometer (two-mile) march symbolized that upon which the prisoners of the camps were forced to complete during the war. The tours were led by Holocaust survivors.

In his discussion, Lang will share personal stories of the encounters he had with Holocaust survivors as he walked with them through the concentration camps' showers, cramped sleeping quarters, and fields. “I want to share the experience of what it was like to visit Auschwitz with a survivor who says this is the last place I saw my mother. It was a very emotional trip,” Lang said. Lang, of Miami, Florida, is a linebacker for Hobart football, active in student government, and a member of The Chimera Society of Hobart College.

Lang's talk is part of the series which continues to provide guest lectures, in addition to art and the performing art, films, and readings. Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies at HWS and an expert in the Holocaust, has organized the series. He said the past century's genocides include not only genocides during two World Wars but the Stalinist gulag, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the killing fields in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Armenia, and Kosovo.

“By sponsoring this genocide series, the Hobart and William Smith community hopes to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances under which life-destruction processes tend to focus on specific groups in events known as genocide,” Dobkowski said.

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