Students gather in solidarity for the dead – Remembering the Holocaust

A candle, representing Yom HaShoah, the Day of the Holocaust Remembrance, sits on top of a book outside the M.A.C Center on April 16, 2015. The book, containing the six million names of those who were killed during the Holocaust.

Skye McEowen

Kent State fraternity honors dead for Holocaust Remembrance Day from on Vimeo.

To honor and remember those lost during the Holocaust, students gathered at the M.A.C. Center to read names for 24 hours beginning Wednesday in remembrance of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Coordinated by Alpha Epsilon Pi and Hillel, students began by meeting at the rock on front campus, spray-painted with the Star of David and the words ‘Never Forget.’ The group of 27 students then walked in silence to the M.A.C. Center where junior criminology and justice studies major Michael Pollak began reading from the long list of those who perished.

“I think it’s a gathering of a lot of people that care about history and supporting others in a time of need. It’s a really nice thing to do,” Pollak said. “It means a lot, it’s very impactful. Granted I didn’t personally know anyone that was in the holocaust. A lot of my (fraternity) brothers and friends have grandparents (in the Holocaust)…I’m like, ‘wow this matters to people, a lot of people care.’”

Liam Reis, a freshman exploratory major and member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, also spoke about what the time means to him.

“(It’s) a day to remember. A day to think about what happened and how you can recognize it, so it doesn’t happen again in the future,” Reis said. “Understanding what people are, who people are and where they come from…it shows unity, that’s what’s really important”

As students read names, some students passed by without another look, some paused for a moment and others even volunteered to help read.

“The Holocaust is buried in our history not native to the United States,” Dustin Horner, a passerby and creative writing graduate student. “Reading the names of real victims can really humanize the event.”

Terry Hugo, a senior business management major, said Thursday he had been at the M.A.C. Center since 9 p.m. the night before. He also talked about the importance of supporting his brothers in Alpha Epsilon Pi.

“It’s just a very powerful thing, and to be here with my brothers to support each other, that’s the biggest support that we can ask for…Being here is the biggest support for some of these guys who are very emotional because they have grandparents who survived the Holocaust and have stories,” Hugo said. “Being able to give them that remembrance and say their name again, because unto every person there is a name.”

Contact Skye McEowen at [email protected].