Holocaust education gets personal

Queen’s Hillel brings in speakers, screens movie to teach students about importance of the Holocaust

From left to right: Zoey Katz and Elana Moscoe, this year’s organizers.
From left to right: Zoey Katz and Elana Moscoe, this year’s organizers.

Elana Moscoe and Zoey Katz want to make learning about the Holocaust more personal for students.

Moscoe and Katz, who are spearheading Holocaust Education Week this year as part of Queen’s Hillel on campus, said they want to relay a focus on “preserving legacies and sharing stories,” as Moscoe, ConEd ’15, said.

“If our generation makes no effort to preserve this history, then future generations have no reason to do any different,” she added.

Between Monday and Friday, there will be an exhibit set up in the JDUC that Moscoe describes as a “mini-Holocaust museum.” This year is the 75th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass, and the team wants to make the historic event a focus this year.

“This was the night when Jewish stores, homes, businesses and synagogues were looted, making it a major [event] in the history of the Jewish persecution,” she said.

A table will also be added this year where visitors can use books and other resources contributed by Hillel about the Holocaust.

On Monday, Annette Weisberg, a Kingston resident, is set to talk about her experience growing up in Berlin following the Holocaust.

Weisberg, born in post-war Berlin, said she grew up in a time when the Holocaust was barely mentioned.

She later went on to marry a Jewish man, but chose not to immediately expose their children to the Jewish religion.

However, their son eventually ended up converting to Judaism.

“It’s a remarkable story that everyone should come and hear,” Katz, ArtSci ’16, said.

On Tuesday, a film called Heart of Auschwitz will also be screened.

“It tells the story of a Montreal filmmaker who found in a Holocaust museum a heart-shaped birthday card made by the Jewish women imprisoned by the Nazis,” Katz said.

“It’s a touching film about the comradery of the women who would have been instantly murdered had the card been found.” Nate Leipciger, a Holocaust survivor, will also be speaking on Wednesday about his experience surviving a Jewish concentration camp, and his life following the war.

Katz, who personally visited Nazi concentration camps, said the experience made the mass murder “a lot more real.”

“While the Holocaust has always been integrated in my family history, this was when I really connected with my heritage,” she said.

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