A Recap of Holocaust Awareness Week at CSU

Last week, from Monday, February 20th to Friday, February 24th, we remembered those who survived and perished during the Holocaust throughout CSU’s 20th Annual Holocaust Awareness Week.  Events included a guest speaker, a movie, and the amazing story of Mrs. Fanny Starr, a 95-year-old Holocaust Survivor.

On Monday, February 20th, Bruce Wasserman, a local Jewish author, gave a lecture called, “The Breach Beyond the Dark: Literature and the Holocaust.” Wasserman is a poet who has had a literary career that spans news and periodicals.  He works as a freelance writer and edits professional journals.  He is also a potter, musician, a dentist, and occasionally, a horse trainer.  He talked about many things during his two hour lecture, including author Primo Levi, the Warsaw uprising, Nazi doctors, and also shared some of his original poetry.  

Bruce Wasserman
Bruce Wasserman

On Tuesday, there was a screening of the film, The Pianist, which is based on the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was a Jewish pianist who fought for survival during the Holocaust.

Wednesday was the big event for Holocaust Awareness Week.  CSU hosted Fanny Starr, a 95-year-old Holocaust Survivor who now resides in Denver, Colorado and about 1,600 people attended the event. She shared her story of survival during the war and the difficult times she went through.  It was a story of bravery and resilience.  You can read her story here.

Fanny Starr
Fanny Starr sharing her story. Photo by Emily Coffey of Sweet Justice Photography

On Friday, there was a memorial for those who were lost during the Holocaust, as well as a retirement of the field of flags on the plaza.  The flags were put up the Friday before Holocaust Awareness week.  There are different colors of flags to represent the different people lost in the Holocaust, and each flag represents 5,000 people.

Field of Flags
Field of Flags on the Plaza

Throughout the week, student leaders from the Jewish community read from a book of names of those that were lost in the Holocaust.  We must keep their memories alive so they are not forgotten.

It is important for us to remember what happened in order to prevent it from ever happening again.  As Fanny Starr said, “We as Jews are stronger and we will survive all obstacles in the world.” Holocaust Awareness Week is a way for the CSU community to honor those who we lost and those who survived.  We listen to their stories so we will never forget.

Holocaust Awareness Week has been a tradition at CSU for about 20 years.  This year, it was co-hosted by Chabad at CSU, CSU Hillel, AEPi, SAEPi, Associated Students at CSU, and was made possibly by the Lory Student Center Diversity Grant and Colorado State University.