The eighth annual Holocaust Awareness Week at Colorado State University will run March 1-5 with a full lineup of memorials, events and activities.
This year’s theme, "Binding Together Against Hate," comes from the protest against Nazism by students at the University of Oslo, Norway, in 1940. Nazi propaganda promoted the notion that those who didn’t join their ranks would stand alone. To prove just the opposite, Norwegians began to wear paper clips to say "Vi binder sammen," or "We bind together," as a symbolic protest. The paper clip became such an effective way to demonstrate against Nazism that Nazi authorities forbade its use for any reason; thus, many historical documents from that period are sewn together with needle and thread. Students for Holocaust Awareness will be distributing paper clips at Colorado State throughout the week as a symbolic protest against hate.
"Holocaust Awareness Week is important because it demonstrates what extreme hate can create," said Marci Colb, Holocaust Awareness Week chair. "It is an opportunity to remind people and make them aware of what happened so that something as horrible as the Holocaust can never be repeated. It is important to remember this in our daily lives, and the week gives us the chance to educate and empower people on a larger scale."
Event highlights of the week include a keynote talk by TJ Leyden, a former neo-Nazi white supremacist activist and recruiter who experienced a profound change of heart and turned away from hate to begin teaching tolerance. Leyden will present "Turning Away from Hate" at 7 p.m. March 2 in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Leyden, the only known former skinhead to leave the movement and retain his own name, was invited by President Bill Clinton to be a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Hate.
In addition, Leyden is in a film titled "Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium," which will be shown at 1 p.m. March 2 in Room 230 Lory Student Center. Afterward, Leyden will facilitate discussion. The film, presented in conjunction with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services, discusses three different hate crimes and how hate is taught and learned in society.
Another highlight of the week is a student directed play, "No Way Out," which will open at 7 p.m. March 3 in the Lory Student Center Theatre. The play will be followed by a reception and a question-and-answer session with playwright Susan Shear. "No Way Out" documents not only one family’s struggle to survive, but gives insight into the stories of thousands. It is the unique yet universal story of one family’s love for each other told in their own words through letters written during the Holocaust. The play uses family photographs and projected images of Nazi laws and events that provide historical context . "No Way Out" also will be performed at 7 p.m. March 5 and 6 and at 2 p.m. March 7 in the Blackbox Theatre in Johnson Hall. The play is free, but donations to Students for Holocaust Awareness are welcome.
Rachel Singer, committee chair for "No Way Out," said, "The play helps people understand on a more personal level what happened during the Holocaust."
Other events include a hands-on project from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 1 in the Lory Student Center’s Sunken Lounge, where the public will have the opportunity to write messages of peace and fold origami peace cranes. Following Holocaust Awareness Week, the cranes will be sent to the Children’s Monument in Hiroshima’s Peace Park in Japan. The origami project is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Student Services Office and the Programming Activities Council.
Three Holocaust survivors will share their stories at a Survivor’s Panel from 7-9 p.m. March 1 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Speakers are Henry Lowenstein and Martin Small from Colorado, and Flora Singer from Maryland, whose visit to Colorado is generously provided by a grant through the Everett Foundation and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where Singer is an active member of the speaker’s bureau.
On March 3 at 3 p.m. in Room 207 Lory Student Center, Hal Mansfield, director of the Religious Movement Resource Center, will present "Keeping Track of Hate," a discussion of his research and experience as it relates to hate groups on campus.
The film "A World Without Bodies" will be co-sponsored with Resources for Disabled Students at 3:30 p.m. March 4 in Room 230 Lory Student Center. The film documents the Nazi regime horror and how people with disabilities were treated. It ultimately asks us to contemplate the impact of those events on our attitudes toward disability today.
The Film Matters Series of CinemaCSU will present the 2002 Academy Award winning film, "The Pianist," at 7 p.m. March 4 in the Lory Student Center Theatre. Directed by Roman Polanski, the film tells the true story of a brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew (Adrian Brody), who sees his world go from piano concert halls to the Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw. Discussion will follow. The cost is $3 for students and $4 for non-students.
Events for the week will wrap up on at noon March 5 in the Lory Student Center Art Lounge with a memorial service to remember the victims of the Holocaust with readings, songs, candles and prayers.
Throughout the week, student groups will participate in the Litany of the Martyrs, a reading of the names of those who were murdered during the Holocaust. The reading will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 1-4 and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. March 5 in the Sunken Lounge of Lory Student Center. In addition, a field of flags that represents different groups murdered during the Holocaust will be on display on the lawn near the Natural Resources Building. Each flag represents 5,000 victims.
Events are funded by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, Hillel of Colorado, Residence Life, ASAP/CinemaCSU and the Lory Student Center Diversity grant. All Holocaust Awareness Week events are free (unless noted) and open to the public.
For more information, contact Hillel at Colorado State at (970) 491-2080 or refer to the calendar on the Hillel Web Site at http://csu.hillelcolorado.org.
A complete schedule of events follows.
Monday, March 1- Friday, March 5
– Paperclip Campaign: During World War II, Norwegians wore paperclips on their collars to protest Nazism. To take a stand against prejudice, discrimination and hate crimes, Students for Holocaust Awareness will pass out paperclips to wear during the week to remember the millions of victims of hate throughout history.
– Field of Flags, Natural Resources Building lawn: Display of flags representing the different groups murdered during the Holocaust. Each flag represents 5,000 victims. In case of inclement weather, flags will be on display the week of April 18, which is National Holocaust Awareness Week.
– Litany of the Martyrs, Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge: Reading of the names of those who were murdered in the Holocaust.
Monday, March 1
– Peace Cranes, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge: Members of the community will have the opportunity to write a message of peace and fold origami peace cranes.
– Survivor’s Panel, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Lory Student Center Main Ballroom: Three Holocaust survivors will share personal stories.
Tuesday, March 2
– "Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium," 1 p.m., Lory Student Center Room 230: film and discussion by TJ Leyden, who appears in the film. This film looks at three different hate crimes and how hate is taught and learned in our society.
– "Turning Away from Hate," 7 p.m., Lory Student Center North Ballroom: Keynote speaker TJ Leyden will present "Turning Away from Hate." After 15 years as a neo-Nazi white supremacist activist and recruiter, Leyden experienced a profound change of heart, turned away from hate and began teaching tolerance. He is the only known former skinhead to leave the movement and retain his own name. He worked for more than five years for the Simon Weisenthal Center and was invited by President Bill Clinton to be a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Hate.
Wednesday, March 3
– "Keeping Track of Hate," 3 p.m., Lory Student Center Room 207: Hal Mansfield will discuss his research and experience as it relates to hate groups on campus.
– "No Way Out" play, 7 p.m., Lory Student Center Theater: The play documents one family’s struggle to survive but gives insight into the stories of thousands. It is the unique yet universal story of one family’s love for each other during the Holocaust told in their own words through actual letters written during this time. Using family photographs and projected images of Nazi laws and events of the times that provide historical context, the play becomes both a moving and educational experience. Discussion and reception with playwright Susan Shear will follow. The play will also be performed March 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. March 7 at in the Blackbox Theatre in Johnson Hall. The play is free of charge, but donations are welcome and will go to Students for Holocaust Awareness.
Thursday, March 4
– "A World Without Bodies," 3:30 p.m. Lory Student Center Room 230: A video presentation that documents the Nazi regime horror with respect to its treatment of people with disabilities.
– "The Pianist," 7 p.m. Lory Student Center Theater: The film tells the true story of a brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, who sees his world go from piano concert halls to the Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw. Discussion will follow. Cost: $3 students and $4 nonstudents.
Friday, March 5
– Memorial Service, noon, Lory Student Center Art Lounge: Service to remember the victims of the Holocaust with readings, songs, candles and prayers.