Honoring the Murdered Six Million on Campus

Michael Pollak, freshman business management major, reads names around 11 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Jacob Byk

“Mirka Kurtz, age 4, Poland. Halina Kurtz, age 3, Poland. Wilek Rozenfeld, age 6, Poland.” The names of those murdered in the Holocaust rang out around campus starting under the jet-black sky of Sunday evening until Monday in honor of Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is a tribute to the six million Jews and other ethnic groups who were killed in hordes during the Holocaust, and is held once every year. Kent State students Zack Mandel, freshman journalism major, and Michael Pollak, freshman business management major, in coordination with Kent State Hillel and Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, led a silent march of about 30 people to the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center Sunday evening before beginning the name readings.

The reading lasted from 10 p.m on Sunday until 10 p.m Monday, making sure to never have a lull in the echoing of the dead’s names. They wore golden the Star of David with the word “Jude”, or “Jew” in German, like Jews living during the Holocaust were forced to.

Students huddled early in the morning around a generator to keep the microphone going and blankets to keep warm, taking turns reading names until more students arrived later in the day.

“Being there in the early hours of the day makes it so much more raw. There is nothing but the cold and the names when you step up to read,” said Hannah Servedio, sophomore communications studies major. Servedio stayed for 20 hours, leaving only to shower and for a class on Monday.

“It’s not about being Jewish, it’s about being human,” said Marc Scolnick, junior business major.

Contact Jacob Byk at [email protected].