UVM honors Holocaust Remembrance Week

In front of tall, stained glass windows at sunset in John Dewey Lounge, Ginette Kellner shared her story of surviving the Holocaust.Kellner’s speech was one of the many events hosted by UVM Hillel and The Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies during Holocaust Remembrance Week.”My grandfather was in the Holocaust,” senior David Darmoni said. “I’m a Jew, so it all kind of hits home for me.”Hillel secretary and junior Jacqui Walter is the granddaughter of Ginette Kellner and brought her to UVM to speak.”We were trying to find a speaker and thought that it’d be nice if any of us knew someone personally,” Walter said.Hillel President and senior Dakota Johnston said that the main focus of Holocaust Remembrance Week is to remember the event and its importance. “It’s a moment in history unlike any other,” Johnston said. “You can never forget it.”Other events that happened during Holocaust Remembrance Week included The Litany of Names, a movie showing of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and The Field of Flags.The Field of Flags is an annual display in which each of the flags represents 5,000 individuals who perished in the Holocaust, Walter said.”The purpose of the flags is to act as a visual representation of the number of individuals who were targeted and perished in the Holocaust,” Walter said.There are 2,400 flags of various colors in total, and each color represents a different group that was targeted during this time, including Jews, people with disabilites and homosexuals, she said.”It makes me confident that we are doing our job with regards to advocating the importance of these events, and the significance of the impact it has had on Jewish and general history since it happened.” Walter said. Kellner also spoke about the importance of sharing her story with others and advocating for Holocaust education.”I brought my children and their children to the places that I stayed during the Holocaust,” Kellner said. “You have to know. How else would you know if people didn’t tell you?”