Holocaust victims to honor Remembrance Day

Ashlyne Wilson

Victims of the Holocaust will be commemorated at Kent State as part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday, Jan. 27.

The Jewish Studies program will host an evening of watching Steven Spielberg’s award winning film, “Schindler’s List,” the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved over 1,000 Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

“This is a very heavy movie,” said Chaya Kessler, the program director for the Jewish Studies program, who organized the event. “It’s not something that you would watch for fun, but it is very educational. This day is a way of recognizing that the genocide actually happened and that the victims get their due.”

The United Nations chose Jan. 27 as a memorial day for the victims of the genocide in 2005 because this was the day that the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945; over 7,000 prisoners were set free.

Many people of Kent State are affected by the Holocaust and are grateful of the Remembrance Day.

Kessler, who is a native of Israel, said that everyone in her homeland had a connection to the Holocaust. This is a very important day for her upbringing. She is personally affected by the Holocaust because her father, who was from Poland, lost all of his family in the Holocaust while he was in Russia.

This day is also very special to Kent State history instructor Sol Factor, who was born in Germany, right after the war. His mother was a survivor of the Holocaust, whom he was separated from him when he was just two weeks old.

In 1947 he was sent to the United States, and in 1950 he was adopted by an American couple. His name was changed to Sol when he was adopted as a Jewish tradition to be named after his adopted father’s deceased relative, Sollie. Since 1990, he has been trying to search for his mother. As of a week ago, he found out she died a year and a half ago in Israel.

Factor believes anyone who attends to watch the movie will be deeply moved.

Another person affected by the Holocaust is senior art history major, Margalit Schindler, who said both of her maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors.

“My grandmother was a child when the war began and was hidden with a family of righteous gentiles. After a few years, however, they got scared and demanded more money to keep her hidden, which our family could not afford. She was then snuck into the Czestochowa Ghetto in Poland to be with her family who thankfully all survived.”

She is not as familiar with her grandfather’s story, but said he was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp at the end of the war.

Everyone is invited to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The movie will start at 6 p.m.; pizza and beverages will be provided.

“We will provide everything but the tissues,” said Kessler, who also said the movie can provoke strong emotions.

For more information about the Holocaust Remembrance http://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-features/special-focus/international-holocaust-remembrance-day.

Contact Ashlyne Wilson at [email protected].