Remembering victims of the Holocaust

Lemore Hecht

You are 19 years old, living your daily life. Suddenly, you are torn apart from your friends, family, and loved ones knowing that you will never see them again.

This is the fate millions of Jewish people suffered during World War II.

Newborn babies and the elderly were not excused from the torturous behavior the Nazis inflicted upon these innocent lives.

With Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime taking over Europe, people were at a loss of control. Jews throughout Poland and Germany were ripped out of their homes and subjected to starvation, abuse, and ultimately death.

With six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, it is crucial that people unite throughout the world to remember the tragic events. Last Monday was “Yom Ha Shoah,” which is a Hebrew term meaning “The Day of the Shoah,” in English. It is a commemoration of victims of the Holocaust.

Here at Quinnipiac, Hillel held a Holocaust Memorial Service that was led by Rabbi Reena Judd. As the Jewish community on campus is a fair minority, the turnout was strong.

“It’s vital for today’s Jewish youth to remember our most horrific loss,” Judd said. For Judd, the Holocaust has personally affected her life.

“My whole family was killed in the war: cousins, first cousins, aunts, and uncles,” she said. “Even though I never knew them, I miss them.”

During the holidays, her dinner table is not as full as it should be, she said.

Many people can relate. This is why having a memorial service on campus is important.

“All of us are aware of the Holocaust and are affected by the repercussions of our loss. And for one time we came together and felt less alone, less scared, less vulnerable, and more hopeful,” Judd said.

Daniel Schutzbank, the president of the Quinnipiac chapter of Hillel, said that attending the ceremony was very important for him.

“I lost family in the war because of the Nazis, so taking a short period of time out of my busy day to reflect was something I felt compelled to do,” he said.

The significance of having a memorial on campus is part of a bigger picture.

“We attend a very apathetic school where students are na’ve about the current events and the history of the world,” Schutzbank said. “A simple memorial service might open some eyes.”

For Sabrina Rabau, the vice president of public relations for Hillel, being able to commemorate those who lost their lives is something she is thankful for.

“I feel it is my privilege to be alive and allowed to practice my own beliefs, and it is my responsibility to take a moment to honor those that were not so lucky and had their lives stolen from them,” she said.

Judd said that Quinnipiac students will never forgets the victims of the Holocaust.

“There hasn’t been an organized Hillel of this size and leadership on this campus – ever – but no matter the size, there has always been an organized Holocaust service,” she said.