The Columns

Washington and Lee University Observes Holocaust Remembrance Week

— by on March 30th, 2010

Washington and Lee University will observe the eighth annual Holocaust Remembrance Week April 5-9.

Organized by Hillel, W&L’s Jewish student organization, the week will feature a series of events designed to stress the importance of remembering the victims of the Holocaust.

The week begins with a talk by Michael Marden, a Polish Holocaust survivor who spent three years at nine concentration/work camps as a teenager. The talk is Monday, April 5, at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The annual Vigil Against Oppression will be held on Wednesday, April 7, from 5-6 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. It will feature the University Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Chorus in addition to the reading of poems and names of Holocaust victims by students and faculty. Musical selections recalling genocide and oppression in its many forms will be performed.

Orchestral selections include music from “Schindler’s List,” featuring senior violin soloist Hannah Schwartzstein, and “Hatikvah,” the national athem of Israel, conducted by senior Sara Kim. Choral selections will include “Sweet Rivers,” a moving men’s ensemble piece written in memory of the composer’s father and based on the plea of world-wide peace for all people; “Famine Song,” a haunting work written about women in Sudan in the 1980s who were suffering from drought, famine and genocide, yet found hope and salvation through the process of basket weaving; and “No Time,” a women’s choir piece conducted by junior Sarah Warsco.

On Tuesday, April 6, and Thursday, April 8, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., members of the community are invited to sign a scroll to honor a Holocaust victim and receive a photo of that person; the scroll will be on a table in the Commons Atrium. Finally, a special Yom Ha-Shoah service, led by Dean Hank Dobin, will be held on Friday, April 9, at 5 p.m. in the Elrod Commons, Room 345.