|Davidson Will Observe "Yom HaShoah" with Testimony by Survivor and Exhibition
April 20, 2011
by Robert Abare '13
Davidson College will host a "Yom HaShoah," or "Holocaust Remembrance Day," on Wednesday, April 20. Members of the greater Davidson community are invited to attend the event, which features a talk by Holocaust survivor Manfred Katz and the opening of the traveling exhibition "Faces of Resistance: Women in the Holocaust."
Katz will speak in the Smith 900 Room of the Alvarez College Union from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibition will open that same day in the Union's Brown Atrium, and be on view there until April 28.
The event coincides with a national effort led by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., to promote Yom HaShoah and Holocaust awareness.
Event speaker Manfred Katz was born of Jewish parents in a rural German village. His parents tried unsuccessfully to leave Nazi Germany, but the Gestapo deported his entire family to a ghetto in Riga, Latvia, in December 1941. Katz was subsequently separated from his parents and forced to work as a slave laborer in two concentration camps. After more than three years, Russia's Red Army liberated him and a few others survivors. Having lost all of his immediate family members, he immigrated to the United States in 1946. After a long career in engineering, he settled with his wife in Statesville.
Katz hopes his life experiences will provide a lesson to others. "I offer the listener a first-hand experience of what happens as the consequence of an intolerant and hateful society," he said. "The Holocaust offers many lessons, which if learned, could make this a more tolerant world."
The traveling exhibition, titled "Faces of Resistance-Women in the Holocaust," was assembled by the research institute of Moreshet-The Mordechai Anielevich Memorial in Israel, and is on loan from the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. The exhibit combats the myth that the Jews of Europe went passively to their execution, providing a complex view of Jewish resistance and the crucial role that Jewish women played in the struggles against the Nazi onslaught.
Co-sponsors of the event include the Davidson College Chaplain's Office, Davidson College Jewish Student Union/Hillel, Lake Norman Jewish Congregation, Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Davidson Dean of Faculty's office.
"The event helps broaden Davidson's global, cultural, and religious diversity," said event coordinator and Assistant Professor of History Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan. "This event reminds us that ‘never again' does not only pertain to the Holocaust or anti-Semitism, but to all genocides, which still occur across the world in various forms and manners."
For more information on the event, contact co-chair Rabbi Michael Shields, at 704-252-7038 or Thomas Pegelow Kaplan 704-894-2284.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.