The 2013 Holocaust Memorial Observances here were the most comprehensive and extensive in our 30-plus year history. We featured two Survivors of the Holocaust, Eric Cahn of Denver and Albert Garih of the Washington, D. C., area, 2 presentations by University of Northern Colorado Faculty, the Litany of the Martyrs, the play “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” at the UCCC Hensel-Phelps Theater, numerous films, Survivor presentations at 4 area schools, the key note Survivor presentation at the Ballrooms of the UNC University Center, and an interfaith memorial service at Beth Israel Synagogue.
We gratefully acknowledge our partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum again this year, and in particular cite Rachel Wagner, Program Coordinator Survivor Affairs at the Museum, for her work with us to have a Survivor volunteer from the USHMM be with us. Rachel arranged for Survivor Mrs. Estelle Laughlin to be our feature presenter. About a week before the Observances began, Estelle received an invitation from President Obama to join the United States delegation to the ceremonies in Warsaw, Poland, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which Mrs. Laughlin witnessed as a child. Of course, such an invitation is not one to turn down, as understandably, Mrs. Laughlin did not. She returned to Warsaw for the first time since the day the NAZIS overran the Ghetto after a month-long struggle against the valiant defenders and resistance fighters. The forces of the Third Reich deported those who had not died in the fighting or whom they had not murdered. Estelle was among those whom they deported. She survived Majdanek and several labor camps.
Rachel then invited Survivor Mr. Albert Garih, another Museum volunteer, to participate in our Observances. He was available and enthusiastic to join us, and he fulfilled all the venues that we had arranged for Estelle. Albert’s Holocaust experiences are of survival in France during the NAZI occupation. He and his family were often on the run. They owe their survival to Christians who hid them. His family members had to separate during that dreadful era. Attendees at his appearances at Chappelow K-8 Arts Magnet School, Franklin Middle School, Eaton High School, and the UNC Ballrooms received him warmly and appreciated his sharing his Holocaust experiences, which he couched in the Holocaust timeline of history.
Denver Holocaust survivor Eric Cahn gave a morning presentation for middle school students and other attendees at The Resurrection Fellowship Church School in Windsor, CO. At least 400 people attended his presentation. He expected to deliver a second presentation in the sanctuary of The Resurrection Fellowship Church, but inclement weather forced cancellation of that evening event. He will reschedule his presentation at “The Rez,” and we will notify you of the date and time.
UNC Professor Joan Clinefelter presented “Holocaust by Bullets: From Mass Shootings to the Death Camps,” and her audience found her session to riveting and inspiring. We owe Joan much thanks for bringing her scholarly expertise and her dynamic style to this presentation.
Thanks also go to … Beth Israel Congregation and Greeley Interfaith Association, the two founding groups of these Holocaust Memorial Observances and the following people without whose help and dedication, the Observances would not have been as successful:
Besa-The Promise and The Last Flight of Petr Ginz headlined our film series this year. Much thanks goes to Naomi Johnson, indefatigable Co-Chair of the Committee, who, among her many tremendous contributions, coordinates the film series, which this year brought these two stellar movies to our Observances.
Please consider making a donation to help support and sustain these Holocaust Memorial Observances, especially to keep them free to all who attend. You may make donations at any time directly to the Committee’s Treasurer, Joe Bluestein, 151 Bayside Circle, Windsor CO 80550, or via our website http://www.aims.edu/holocaust .
The Committee works all year to plan Observances. Meetings are the third Tuesday of each month. Our next meeting is May 21, 2013, 11:30 AM, at Centennial Park Library. There is a Facebook space for the Greeley Holocaust Memorial Observances. Please participate in the discussions there.
Our heartfelt special thanks goes to Beth Israel Congregation members and friends who attended these Observances, who are members of the Committee, and who support the Committee’s work in unseen ways. Our mission is to memorialize and educate about the Holocaust and to provide events that better our community and world by addressing racism, hate, intolerance, and prejudice that persist to this day. Let none of us stand idly by!
Please visit our partner sites:
Light /The Holocaust & Humanity Project
The Yizkor Project
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
DU Holocaust Awareness Institute
To donate by mail, please make your checks payable to
Greeley Holocaust Memorial Observances or Greeley HMO and send to:
Greeley Holocaust Memorial Observances
P.O. Box 867
Greeley, CO 80632