2003 Holocaust Awareness Week at Colorado State University Focuses on Saving Lives

Holocaust Awareness Week will make its seventh annual return to Colorado State University March 30-April 4.

Speakers and panels will address the week’s theme, "If you save one life, you save the world entire," and will encourage community members to remember and honor lives lost during the Holocaust. The week will include a Holocaust survivors panel, a keynote address, a memorial service and an art exhibit. The theme is an adaptation of a passage from the Talmud that reads: "Whoever destroys a single life is as guilty as though he had destroyed the entire world; and whoever rescues a single life earns as much merit as though he had rescued the entire world."

Aaron Pinsker, co-chair of Students for Holocaust Awareness, said this passage is particularly important during a time when world tensions are high. "I think this passage truly captures the idea that the value of every life is equal," Pinsker said. "We should do what we can to help each other."

The week’s events will begin at 7 p.m. March 30 in the Lory Student Center Theatre with CinemaCSU’s presentation of "The Grey Zone," a portrait of the moral grey zone faced by Jewish prisoners who were given a few extra months to live in return for their help in the genocide of their people. Starring Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino and David Arquette, "The Grey Zone" centers on the only known prisoner’s revolt inside Auschwitz. The cost is $3 for students and $4 for non-students.

Aaron Hass, professor of psychology at California State University, assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and author of several award-winning books, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Holocaust Awareness Week. Hass’ lecture, "How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Evil," will be held at 7 p.m. March 31 in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Hass will discuss what propensities to prejudice, discrimination and murder reside within each individual. A reception and book signing will follow, including his Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, "In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Second Generation."

At 2 p.m. March 31 in Room 228 Lory Student Center, Hass will lecture on the psychological effect of the Holocaust on survivors and their children. Hass also will discuss how Holocaust survivors have fared in their post-war lives and how the events of Sept. 11 have affected them.

Ida Piller-Greenspan, an award-winning artist and Holocaust survivor, will exhibit her monotypes and present a slide show of her work at 7 p.m. April 1 in the North Ballroom of Lory Student Center. Her slide show and lecture will center on a pictorial diary of 45 monotypes depicting her memories of her harrowing escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. The original series of monotypes, titled "When the World Closed Its Doors," will be exhibited in the Lory Student Center Art Lounge from March 30-April 4.

Other activities during the week include a survivor’s panel at 7 p.m. April 2 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom and the presentation of Charlotte Delbo’s "Who Will Carry the Word?" by OpenStage Theatre Company at 7:30 p.m. April 3 in the Lincoln Center Mini-Theatre, 417 W. Magnolia St. Tickets for students are free and are $36 for the general public. Tickets include a light hors d’oeuvres reception and discussion with the cast following the play. Proceeds will go to Hillel and Students for Holocaust Awareness for the planning of future Holocaust Awareness Week programming.

A variety of afternoon presentations will be highlighted by the Women at Noon Series featuring author Suzan E. Hagstrom, who will discuss her book, "Sara’s Children: The Destruction of Chmielnik."

Holocaust Awareness Week events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Events are funded by The Sturm Family Foundation, Hillel Council of Colorado, Associated Students of Colorado State University, Women’s Programs and Studies, Association for Student Activity Programming and Diversity Programs.

For more information, contact Hillel at Colorado State University at (970) 491-2080.

The week’s schedule of events follows.

Sunday, March 30

  • 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Theatre: "The Gray Zone." Starring Harvey Keitel, David Arquette and Mira Sorvino, this is an unflinching film about the horrors faced by Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. $3 students; $4 non-students.

Monday, March 31

  • 2 p.m., Room 228, Lory Student Center: "Post-war Adjustment of Holocaust Survivors." Dr. Aaron Hass will discuss how Holocaust survivors have fared in their post-war lives and how the events of Sept. 11 have affected them.
  • 7 p.m., North Ballroom, Lory Student Center: "How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Evil." Keynote address by Dr. Aaron Hass.

Tuesday, April 1

  • 12:30 p.m., Room 230, Lory Student Center: "Playwright to Players: Staging Charollete Delbo’s ‘Who Will Carry the Word’." Gina Yowell Cochran will discuss her research and experience as co-director of OpenStage Theatre’s production of "Who Will Carry the Word?" and the impact the play had on her cast.
  • 7 p.m., North Ballroom, Lory Student Center: "When the World Closed Its Doors." A slide show presentation by Holocaust survivor Ida Piller-Greenspan.

Wednesday, April 2

  • Noon, Room 228, Lory Student Center: "Sara’s Children: The Destruction of Chmielnik." Author Susan E. Hagstrom will discuss her book and how she came to write it.
  • 7 p.m., Main Ballroom, Lory Student Center: Survivor’s Panel. Survivors will share their personal stories of the Holocaust.

Thursday, April 3

  • 12:30 p.m., Room 228, Lory Student Center: "Are You Sure That It Will Never Happen Again?" Psychologist Mark Benn will help people examine their private struggle with prejudice.
  • 7:30 p.m., Lincoln Center Mini Theater: OpenStage Theater presents "Who Will Carry the Word?" a play that chronicles the ordeal of 230 French women who were political prisoners in Auschwitz. Tickets are $36 for non-students, free for students. To reserve a seat, contact Hillel at 491-2080.

Friday, April 4

  • Noon, Art Lounge, Lory Student Center: Memorial Service. A service to remember the victims of the Holocaust with readings, songs, candles and prayers.

Throughout the week (March 30-April 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.): In the Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge, a litany of the martyrs will be read of the names of some of the people who died in the concentration camps, while volunteers sign people up to become organ donors in honor of this year’s theme, "If you save one life, you save the world entire." Flags representing different groups murdered in the Holocaust will be on display all week on the lawn of the Natural Resources Building on campus.