Kent State students observe Holocaust Remembrance Day

Maddy Haberberger

International Holocaust remembrance day was observed worldwide Sunday.

The Holocaust ended 74 years ago with the allied liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. One of the most devastating acts of genocide in history, the Holocaust took the lives of over 6 million people.

Kent State Hillel President Lauren Novick’s grandparents are survivors of the genocide, so she feels a deep personal connection with the day.

“My Bubbe and Zayde both survived the Holocaust, and my Zayde was actually in a concentration camp, so for me, this day is just extremely important because I need to educate people about what my grandparents went through.”

The United Nations established Remembrance Day in 2005 to combat a growing population of Holocaust deniers and to educate a new generation.

Novick and Hillel work on campus to raise awareness and offer support to Jewish students and their families.

“Since a bunch of survivors aren’t around anymore, it’s really important that this next generation of the survivors’ kids and grandchildren are here to tell their stories,” Novick said.

The deadliest anti-Semitic attack on American soil took place just three months prior to the Day of Remembrance: eleven congregation members killed and seven wounded at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

“There’s a lot of people who still deny the Holocaust,” Novick said, “so I think that as Jews, it’s really important that we stay strong … all this tragedy makes us stronger.”

Hillel plans to hold a 24-hour ceremony in the spring, reading names of victims who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

Maddy Haberberger is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected]