Gallery: 2019 Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week

University students, faculty and staff lit candles to commemorate the six million lives lost to the Holocaust and the 11 killed in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting at the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony.

By: Anna Radinsky/Assistant News Director


The University’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program and Hillel at FIU hosted events and exhibits throughout the week of Sunday, Jan. 27 to bring awareness to historic and current events related to the Holocaust, genocide and mass violence throughout the world.

“Each year, a few different genocides are highlighted throughout the week of events, in panel discussions, interactive lectures and exhibits,” said Stacey Alpert, president of Hillel at FIU.

The following contains a gallery and descriptions of the events:


On Sunday, Jan. 27, the documentary ‘The Good Nazi’ was previewed in the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. The film told the story of a Nazi officer, Karl Plagge, that saved over 200 Lithuanian Jews during the Holocaust from the Vilna Ghetto by issuing them work permits. Survivors told stories of what occurred at the camp and walked through the buildings of where they once lived. The film also documented how a team of scientists and students rediscovered stories within the site, including lost toys and a mass grave.

Richard Freund, Ph.D., Director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies in the University of Hartford and archaeologist, introduces the documentary to the audience and gives background on how and why the film was created. (Photo by Anna Radinsky/PantherNOW)

The audience watches ‘The Good Nazi.’ (Photo by Anna Radinsky/PantherNOW)

On Monday, Jan. 28 at 11 a.m., four panelists discussed identity and the importance of knowing and staying true to who we are and where we come from. The panelists talked of how society defines people, how stereotyping affects people of races and religions, and how people can work to rid of racial and religious profiling.

Left to right: Jon Warech, director of Hillel; Carolina Castoreno-Santana, executive director of American Indian Center Indiana; Sage Rosenfels, former Miami Dolphins football quarterback; Daniel Thompson, synergistic performance coach and founder of You Can 2 Fit. (Photo by Patricia Menendez/PantherNOW)

Castoreno-Santana, a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas, shares her experiences of being Indigenous and the challenges she faces to reverse the effects of colonialism on indigenous populations. (Photo by Patricia Menendez/PantherNOW)

On Monday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m., Holocaust survivor Julius Eisenstein shared his story to the audience. The audience also learned how to report and share stories of survivors in a meaningful and respectful way.

Merle Saferstein, an author and speaker, introduces Holocaust survivor Julius Eisenstein to the audience. (Photo by Imogen Francis/PantherNOW)

On Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m., Wayne Snellgrove of the Fishing Lake First Nation from Canada spoke on indigenous genocide and shared his experiences while in Canadian boarding schools.

Wayne Snellgrove of the Fishing Lake First Nation (Photo by Ivonne Rodriguez/PantherNOW)

On Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m., a movie screening and discussion was made about the trial of a Nazi, Adolf Eichmann, who was the only person to receive the death penalty in Israel in 1962 after hiding in Argentina for 15 years.

Uzi Darwiche, Vice President of Shalom FIU and PantherNOW staff writer, and Jacob Covas, the social media chair of Shalom FIU, speak to the audience about Eichmann and the public’s reaction to his trial. “If you ask any Holocaust survivor,” said Covas, “they can tell you where they were and what they were doing when [Eichmann] was captured.” (Photo by Victor Jorges/PantherNOW)

On Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m., Daniel Greene, a curator for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and an adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University, spoke about what Americans knew knew about the Holocaust, when they learned about it, how it affected policies, and what the range of responses were to the threat of Nazism.

Greene, Ph.D., speaks to audience. (Photo by Stacey Alpert/Hillel at FIU)

Members of the audience pose with Greene (center). (Photo by Stacey Alpert/Hillel at FIU)

On Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., Holocaust survivor Laszlo Sally shared his experiences of being Jewish in Nazi occupied Budapest and his life afterwards.

Sally speaks to the audience about his life. During the Holocaust, he and his twin brother took refuge with his relatives and changed their names to pretend they were not Jewish. However, they were found out and had to live with their family in Jewish designated housing. On the morning that he was meant to be executed, Russian soldiers drove out the Nazis. Afterwards, he lived under the Soviet Union and was not able to practice his religion. “Anything I know about being a Jew I’ve learned only recently, and I never told anyone about my story until I joined the March for the Living a few years ago,” said Selly. (Photo by Joshua Ceballos/PantherNOW)

On Thursday, Jan. 31, Edward Paulino, Ph.D., an assistant professor of history at John Jay College, spoke about a 20th-century ethnic cleansing event against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The Haitian Massacre led to the creation of the Border of Lights, a collective dedicated to honoring the victims of the massacre.

Paulino speaks to the audience about the 1937 Haitian Massacre. (Photo by Stacey Alpert/Hillel at FIU)

On Friday, Feb. 1, the University’s Annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony commemorated victims of the Holocaust and the eleven people killed during a mass shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Keynote speaker and Holocaust survivor, Allan Hall, shared his experiences of life around the events of the Holocaust. University President Mark Rosenberg, whose mother is a Holocaust survivor, spoke at the ceremony as well.

Hall talks to the audience during the ceremony. His wife, Lori Gold, moderated the talk. From 1939 until 1945, Hall’s family had to escape Nazis many times. One of their hiding places was two floors below the Nazi Air Force Headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, where they hid for two years. Hall’s father underwent surgery to make his nose smaller, bleached his hair blonde and spoke German to avoid being detected as a Jew. Gold shared with the audience that she did not know many of Hall’s stories and experience of the Holocaust until recently. (Photo by Patricia Menendez/PantherNOW)

The eleven candles stand for the six million people killed during the Holocaust and the eleven people who died from a mass shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue. (Photo by Patricia Menendez/PantherNOW)


The Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week also featured three concurrent exhibits.

“Story of a Shtetl through Tears and Laughter” examined the Holocaust through animated films, comic books, and artwork by Lithuanian Jewish artist, Ilja Bereznickas in the Miami Beach Urban Studios.

“Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka” is a visual diary of artist Mark Podwal’s journey to Dąbrowa, a Polish shtetl, or a small Jewish town or village in eastern Europe, of where his mother was born. The exhibit honors the lives of Jewish people that lived in shtetls in pre-World War II Poland. The exhibit was in the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

“All This Has Come Upon Us” exhibits prints created by Mark Podwal to show the threats of antisemitism throughout history, from slavery in Egypt to the Holocaust, while including verses from the Book of Psalms, the third section of the Hebrew Bible. The exhibit was in the Steven J. Green School for Public and International Affairs Gallery in MMC.

Community members were also able to visit the “Historical Poster Exhibit” in the Rabbi Herbert Baumgard Learning Hub and the “Holocaust and Genocide Book Display” in the Green Library. In addition, “The Faces of Genocide” gallery was in the Graham Center.


Photos by Anna Radinsky, Patricia Menendez, Imogen Francis, Ivonne Rodriguez, Victor Jorges, Joshua Ceballos/PantherNOW; Stacey Alpert/Hillel at FIU

Be the first to comment on "Gallery: 2019 Holocaust and Genocide Awareness Week"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.