Yom Hashoah 24-hour Name Reading today

Rachel Merzel ’12 writes:

Tonight is the start of  Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Traditionally, students and professors at Wesleyan participate in a 24-hour long name reading of Holocaust victims. This year, Yom HaShoah falls on the night of the 20th. We will be doing a midnight-to-midnight reading in the lobby of the Exley Science Center on Tuesday the 21st.

READERS NEEDED! We still have some big gaps to fill. Go to this link to sign-up for a timeslot:
https://docs.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/Doc?id=dhc2xfj3_0dvc5g7hd&hl=en

About Yom HaShoah: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_HaShoah

This event is one of efforts world-wide to never forget the 6 million and more murdered in the Holocaust. Sadly we have yet to see an end to genocide in the world. Reading the names of victims is very powerful both for the reader and the listener.  I hope you will consider taking a part in this effort.

Edit 1:51 am: The slots have all been filled! Thanks so much to everyone who has helped make this happen. For those who are reading, the location of the table is the Exley Science Center Lobby Church St. side (nook near Pi Cafe, ST lab, & elevators). There will be instructions taped to the table and you can always call the coordinator on-call for any questions or if you would like a second person to read with you.

May a tragedy like this never happen again, and may humankind be above genocide.

19 thoughts on “Yom Hashoah 24-hour Name Reading today

  1. Anonymous

    Wesleyan Jews aren’t responsible (any more than anyone else) for the fact that a list of non-Jewish dead doesn’t exist.

    I don’t think it’s at all true that they’re thinking of it as “our dead vs their dead”; it just happens to be a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish dead. If the Jewish holiday didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be remembering the Holocaust at all, so maybe we should all just be thankful to have this level of remembrance on campus.

    If you care about genocide (as all of you obviously do), the ones to get upset at are the people who don’t attend events like this one at all, not the people who are organizing this event but are doing it in a manner that you have issues with.

    If you (not directed to anyone in particular, just “you”) want to take the initiative and find a book of names of dead Roma and then hold a day of remembrance for it, that would be wonderful, but the Jews are already doing their part by celebrating this holiday like they do every year. Let’s not get mad at each other — we’re all on the same team.

  2. Anonymous

    Wesleyan Jews aren’t responsible (any more than anyone else) for the fact that a list of non-Jewish dead doesn’t exist.

    I don’t think it’s at all true that they’re thinking of it as “our dead vs their dead”; it just happens to be a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish dead. If the Jewish holiday didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be remembering the Holocaust at all, so maybe we should all just be thankful to have this level of remembrance on campus.

    If you care about genocide (as all of you obviously do), the ones to get upset at are the people who don’t attend events like this one at all, not the people who are organizing this event but are doing it in a manner that you have issues with.

    If you (not directed to anyone in particular, just “you”) want to take the initiative and find a book of names of dead Roma and then hold a day of remembrance for it, that would be wonderful, but the Jews are already doing their part by celebrating this holiday like they do every year. Let’s not get mad at each other — we’re all on the same team.

  3. Anonymous

    I don’t hold anything against the specific organizers of this event. Like they said, it is a Jewish holiday. That alone, for me, is a sufficient defense.

    That said, you have to pay attention. Given my own background, I consider it an ACTIVE affront that the majority of people in this country think 6 million people died in the holocaust. I consider it an active affront that their are not accounts of non-Jewish dead, and that those lists of names do not exist. And it’s not as simple as, “well, Jewish groups made the effort to make those lists.” There are very real, very enduring reasons for why there are no lists of homosexuals killed during the holocaust. There are very real reasons why there is not a Roma state anywhere in the world, but there is a Jewish state.

    So when someone says something like “Six million and more,” that’s not as simple as the argument “we’re dealing with our dead, but we understand everything else was really bad.” Silence is part of the problem. I appreciate that you only have books of Jewish names; maybe you should take think about what that means when you plan next year’s event.

    Like I said, I have a personal interest in this issue, but I don’t think that should matter. Thinking about “our dead” and “their dead” is a natural and completely understandable way of thinking. It’s also a dangerous one.

  4. Anonymous

    I don’t hold anything against the specific organizers of this event. Like they said, it is a Jewish holiday. That alone, for me, is a sufficient defense.

    That said, you have to pay attention. Given my own background, I consider it an ACTIVE affront that the majority of people in this country think 6 million people died in the holocaust. I consider it an active affront that their are not accounts of non-Jewish dead, and that those lists of names do not exist. And it’s not as simple as, “well, Jewish groups made the effort to make those lists.” There are very real, very enduring reasons for why there are no lists of homosexuals killed during the holocaust. There are very real reasons why there is not a Roma state anywhere in the world, but there is a Jewish state.

    So when someone says something like “Six million and more,” that’s not as simple as the argument “we’re dealing with our dead, but we understand everything else was really bad.” Silence is part of the problem. I appreciate that you only have books of Jewish names; maybe you should take think about what that means when you plan next year’s event.

    Like I said, I have a personal interest in this issue, but I don’t think that should matter. Thinking about “our dead” and “their dead” is a natural and completely understandable way of thinking. It’s also a dangerous one.

  5. Mad Joy Post author

    I helped organize the Yom Hashoah name reading the last few years, and it’s something that’s pretty important to me. I think it’s important precisely because so many other people were killed in the Holocaust and because genocide, hate, and discrimination still continues to exist in the world. It’s precisely because it’s not just the Jews that it’s so important to remember. This is a Jewish holiday, and that’s why Jews in particular are being named (well, really, mostly the real reason is that it’s way easier to get a hold of a book of names of Jews than of other people, because some Jews have compiled such complete records and make them readily available and so there are books of names that has been sitting in the Bayit for years. The slight is practical, not premeditated)

    But you’re right that we should be remembering the Gypsies. Not only that, but the Gypsies still face considerable discrimination in Europe. I wrote a paper last semester about the Roma as an underclass in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. There have been some especially bad problems in Italy lately: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/roma-forcibly-evicted-milan-settlement-20090331 . I recommend Amnesty which sometimes has ways to take action – this online letter to the italian government is still up: http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/italy-must-stop-the-discrimination-against-roma

  6. Anonymous

    Remembering any group killed in a genocide supports any other group killed in a genocide or anyone who could be killed in the future.
    “No one is free when others are oppressed” type deal.

    And please, if you care about people being killed, why don’t you support the event instead of saying “gaah why do you only care about x group and not y group?” Yom HaShoah is a Jewish holiday, so it reads Jewish names, but the purpose of the event is to increase awareness about genocide in general. Be happy.

  7. Anonymous

    Remembering any group killed in a genocide supports any other group killed in a genocide or anyone who could be killed in the future.
    “No one is free when others are oppressed” type deal.

    And please, if you care about people being killed, why don’t you support the event instead of saying “gaah why do you only care about x group and not y group?” Yom HaShoah is a Jewish holiday, so it reads Jewish names, but the purpose of the event is to increase awareness about genocide in general. Be happy.

  8. Anonymous

    Yes, 11 million were killed in the Holocaust.

    But we take this ONE day to remember our dead. We are in no way slighting the fact that others were killed – we take this one day out of the whole year to remember our own millions dead. We do not say that we were more important; we remember our own families who did not make it out of the camps.
    Many Yom HaShoah traditions include the millions of others who died; the point is that we can only say a small fraction of names within 24 hours, not that we only care about the Jewish names or that the gays and the disabled and the gypsies were somehow less of a loss.

    “No one ever cares about the gypsies”?
    Untrue. I’m a Jew, but I care about the five million others who died during the Holocaust.

    Before you consider jumping to such a conclusion, hear me out.

  9. Anonymous

    Yes, 11 million were killed in the Holocaust.

    But we take this ONE day to remember our dead. We are in no way slighting the fact that others were killed – we take this one day out of the whole year to remember our own millions dead. We do not say that we were more important; we remember our own families who did not make it out of the camps.
    Many Yom HaShoah traditions include the millions of others who died; the point is that we can only say a small fraction of names within 24 hours, not that we only care about the Jewish names or that the gays and the disabled and the gypsies were somehow less of a loss.

    “No one ever cares about the gypsies”?
    Untrue. I’m a Jew, but I care about the five million others who died during the Holocaust.

    Before you consider jumping to such a conclusion, hear me out.

  10. Anonymous

    there were 11-17 million people killed in the holocaust.

    no one ever cares about the gypsies.

    fascism is an evil system, but it doesnt just kill jews, it kills all minorities.

  11. Anonymous

    there were 11-17 million people killed in the holocaust.

    no one ever cares about the gypsies.

    fascism is an evil system, but it doesnt just kill jews, it kills all minorities.

  12. Anonymous

    thank you 11:40. you responded in a much kinder manner than i was about to. and it’s important to realize that students on this campus are willing to go to exley at 3 or 4 in the morning to help remember these victims.

  13. Anonymous

    thank you 11:40. you responded in a much kinder manner than i was about to. and it’s important to realize that students on this campus are willing to go to exley at 3 or 4 in the morning to help remember these victims.

  14. Anonymous

    Names aren’t being read so people can hear them, obviously. They’re not going to make any sizable dent into the list of names in 24 hrs anyway — it’s symbolic. So that at the end you can say you read names for 24 hours and only got 1 zillionth through the list of people who were killed, even though you read remembered countless individual lives. I think you’re confused about what the “goal” is.

  15. Anonymous

    Names aren’t being read so people can hear them, obviously. They’re not going to make any sizable dent into the list of names in 24 hrs anyway — it’s symbolic. So that at the end you can say you read names for 24 hours and only got 1 zillionth through the list of people who were killed, even though you read remembered countless individual lives. I think you’re confused about what the “goal” is.

  16. Anonymous

    What’s the point of reading at 4 am when no one is around? is that really advancing the goal?

  17. Anonymous

    What’s the point of reading at 4 am when no one is around? is that really advancing the goal?

Comments are closed.