On the campus of SUNY Plattsburgh, professors are getting ready for a visit from a Holocaust survivor, which is happening on March 31.
The visit will be in conjunction with a number of events during the Days of Remembrance Holocaust Commemoration.
The Holocaust survivor who will be coming will be a woman, to help celebrate March being Women’s History Month. The speaker is from the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C., which is a part of the Smithsonian Museum. Typically the specific speaker isn’t assigned until shortly before a speaking engagement, therefore her name will be identified at a later date.
Jonathan Slater, who is a professor and an advisor for the university’s Hillel Club is helping out and preparing for the visit. The survivor isn’t the same person as the one who was supposed to come to the campus during October, but wasn’t able to because of the government shutdown.
When asked how important it is to bring a Holocaust survivor to campus, Slater responded: “For Jewish students it would be more sensitive about the history of the holocaust. For non-Jewish students we, meaning the Jewish people on campus, have a duty to bring a survivor here on campus because you have a lot of young students on campus that don’t know what happened.”
“We all need to know about these stories. Our minds are not capable of imagining what happened and to be living at that time, not just as Jews but the general population,” he said.
Not only is the campus hosting a holocaust survivor, but they are also putting on a play called “Bright Room Called Day,” by famed Play write Tony Kushner. The play will be held on March 6, 7 and 8.
The play is set in Germany in 1932-1933, and it revolves around a concerned group of friends who are caught up in the events of the fall of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Adolf Hitler. It also centers on a woman named Agnes Eggling, a middle-aged actress. Her apartment is occasionally interrupted by scenes featuring Zillah, a young woman in the 1980’s living on Long Island who believes that President Reagan is becoming just like Hitler.
On April 24, Dr. Freda Ginsberg will be the keynote speaker at the Douglas and Evelyn Skopp Holocaust Memorial Gallery at the Feinberg Library during the Days of Remembrance Holocaust Commemoration. Her topic will be “The Inescapable Legacy of the Holocaust.”
This spring the college is also hosting The Douglas R. Skopp Creative Competition on the Theme of the Holocaust. The competition is for creative or scholarly works on the theme of the Holocaust. Two, $100 prizes will be given out to the winning students, and they will be able to read or perform their work at the Days of Remembrance event April 24. Information on the competition and an entry form can be found on Facebook at The Douglas R. Skopp Creative Competition on the Theme of the Holocaust.