Montclair State students, faculty and staff observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, participating in visual displays and programming to ensure that those who lost their lives during the Holocaust are honored and that the university community has access to information about the mass genocide so that it will never happen again.
Hillel, the Jewish cultural organization at Montclair State; Theta Delta Sigma, a multicultural fraternity with a focus on the queer community; and the LGBTQ Center set up a table in the Student Center Annex outside of the Student Government Association office on Wednesday, Jan. 27, the date of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At this table, students could learn more about the Holocaust through the individuals running the event or the informational posters outlining major historical events contributing to the Holocaust which hung behind the table.
In addition to these educational resources, students could write a message of hope or the name of someone who perished in the Holocaust on a Post-It note. The Holocaust Memorial Museum compiled the list of names that these organizations used.
“If you want to stop by and write a message of hope or somebody’s name that we have a list of, you can just post it on the wall,” said Justin DeCicco, a member of Theta Delta Sigma. “[We’re doing this] to always remember those who passed and so that no community or society ever allows this to happen again.”
In addition to the personal messages and contributions that passersby left, the organizations involved also filled two windows of the Student Center Annex with names of Holocaust victims, visually displaying the number of people who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
“This list does not even begin to contain all the names of those who have perished in the Holocaust,” said a posting by the event’s organizers on the Student Center windows. “It is impossible to create a memorial on campus with all of the names of those who have perished as a result of the Holocaust, because there is simply not enough space. In addition, there is unfortunately no single list of those known to have perished during the Holocaust.”
The postings continued to say that, although the list was not complete, the organizers hoped that the demonstration “may instill a thoughtfulness within you during this day of remembrance.”
DeCicco, a junior Psychology major, said that the table had seen steady traffic throughout the day. “We’re hoping that as the day goes on, we’ll get more and more [people].”