Colorado State University Celebrates 16th Annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week Feb. 27-March 2

Students for Holocaust and Genocide Awareness, in conjunction with Hillel and ASCSU, presents the 16th Annual Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week at Colorado State University February 27-March 2. The theme for this year is “Untold Stories of Genocide.”

Last week, a Field of Flags ceremony took place on the Lory Student Center Plaza. The flags will be on display during the entire week of events. The flags represent the different groups murdered during the Holocaust, with each flag representing 5,000 victims.

A Litany of Martyrs will be held from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, and Tuesday, Feb. 28, on the Lory Student Center Plaza (weather permitting) or the Sunken Lounge. During this time, volunteers will take turns reading names of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Community members are welcome to volunteer for this event and can sign up at

Survivors of the Holocaust Stories will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Eric Cahn, who was born in Germany and was a toddler during the Holocaust, will speak. A French Christian family risked their lives to hide him in their basement while his parents were imprisoned in Auschwitz, where his mother later died and his father barely survived. Since the early 1990s, Cahn has devoted much time to sharing his experiences to various crowds, particularly school children. A discussion with the audience will follow.

On Wednesday, Feb. 29, Students for Holocaust and Genocide Awareness will join Women at Noon to present on how clean cook stoves impact women and genocide. The event will be held at noon in Lory Student Center, Room 220. The Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves is a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. A local Fort Collins partner of the initiative will be talking about the technology of these cook stoves, why women in particular are impacted by them, and the impact of access to cooking in contemporary genocide. For more information, visit

The movie, “Sarah’s Key,” will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 29, in the Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 131. One of the darkest moments in French history occurred in 1942 Paris when French officials rounded up more than 10,000 Jews and placed them in local camps. Eventually more than 8,000 were sent off to German concentration camps. “Sarah’s Key” is based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay.

The week transitions to focus on contemporary examples of genocide as Hadidja Nyiransekuye talks about “The Genesis of Genocide in Rwanda” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. Nyiranskuye was born in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and lived in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. She immigrated to the United States in 1998 and graduated from the University of Denver with a master’s in Social Work and a Ph.D. She currently teaches at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Friday, March 2, will mark the end of the week. At noon in Lory Student Center Room 224-226, David Shneer, professor of history and director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will speak about “Memorials to the Nazi Persecution of Gay Men and Lesbians—Who and What are We Remembering?” His presentation will be followed by Mac Simon from One Colorado speaking about civil union legislation in Colorado.

A short Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. in Lory Student Center Room 224-226 to close the week.

Holocaust Awareness Week is sponsored by Hillel, Students for Holocaust and Genocide Awareness, ASCSU and ASAP. For more information and a complete list of events, contact Rabbi Allison Peiser, Hillel campus director at Colorado State University, at (970) 224-4246 or visit the Web at

All events are free and open to the public through funding provided by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, Hillel of Colorado and the Association for Student Activity Programming.