Since this story was first published, video of the event has been made available. Click on the audience photo below to see the video, or go to the top of this page and follow the link, “Video Projects” under the masthead photo to find this and many other videos produced for UC Blue Ash College.
On Thursday, April 19th, as part of UC’s annual Worldfest activities, over 500 members of the UC Blue Ash staff, faculty, students, and community came together in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. As part of the European Studies program, UC Blue Ash, in partnership with The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education hosted a panel, “Stories from the Holocaust,” featuring the combined voices of a Holocaust survivor, a camp liberator, and two second generation witnesses.
Dean Cady Short-Thompson provided the opening for the event, welcoming the college and external community to UCBA and introducing the Executive Director of The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, Sarah Weiss. Following Ms. Weiss, four witnesses to the Holocaust spoke: Werner Coppel, an Auschwitz survivor; Lt. Saul Marmer, who liberated a slave labor camp and experienced life as a Jewish soldier in the US Army; Sandy Kaltman, the daughter of two survivors, who shared her mother’s story of escape during a Death March; and Ray Warren, another child of survivors, who spoke of the Holocaust’s impact on subsequent generations.
The audience was deeply moved by the stories the witnesses shared. In anonymous evaluations collected at the event, students described the program as “inspiring,” “informative,” “eye-opening,” an event that made [them] “have more compassion” toward others. They singled out the speakers for praise: “Mr. Coppel was so brave,” “Lt. Saul Marmer was amazing.” The students appreciated the opportunity to hear from those who had lived this history: “Hearing from witnesses of the events that took place gives a more vivid picture of what happened,” a student commented. Another wrote, “This was an amazing experience and I feel that everyone, especially the youth, should attend an event such as this.” Community members expressed their gratitude for the event as well: “History came alive tonight,” wrote one; “I am so happy I came,” another community member shared. “Heart-breaking but so informative. Inspires you to speak up, take action against hate, prejudice, injustice,” wrote another.
“Stories from the Holocaust” was arranged by Drs. Cynthia Crane (English) and Krista Sigler (History) to support the European Studies program, an interdisciplinary certificate from the College of Arts and Sciences that promotes the study of European culture and history. Due to UCBA’s offerings in European topics, many UCBA students will graduate with a significant amount of the required credits for this program. In spring 2013, Dr. Sigler will debut at UCBA the introductory course for European Studies, EUST 1001, which is currently only offered at Clifton. The theme for Introduction to European Studies at UCBA will be twentieth century European history, including the Holocaust. UCBA students interested in the course or the certificate should see the UCBA European Studies website and contact Dr. Krista Sigler through the site.
For further specialized study of the Holocaust at UCBA, students should see Drs. Cynthia Crane and Sue Sipple (English) for their Topics in Literature courses. For more information on the outstanding scholarship on Jewish culture and history at UC, including classes offered at the Uptown Campus, students should see Judaic Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences.
This post was written by guest blogger Dr. Krista Sigler, with contributions by Dr. Cynthia Crane. A complete video of the evening’s program is currently being edited and when available will be added to this blog post. Also, watch for the video to appear on the UC Blue Ash YouTube channel. Additional photographs of this event are available at our Flickr site, and can also be found on Facebook.