April 24, 2020 | Issue 28
The Ackerman Center's observation of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, has become a hallmark event that has grown every year in size and scope. This year, however, plans that had been put into motion before the pandemic had to be reevaluated and adjusted.
Dr. Nils Roemer, the director of the Ackerman Center and interim dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, never considered canceling the event, but he decided rather to search for a way to convert the event into a digital format.
While the new world of social distancing spurred changes across the world and the University, the need to transition to a virtual event presented the opportunity to transform a local event into a global one. International participants and attendees from places such as Israel, Brazil, Mexico, and Kuwait were able to take part in the event, as well as many others from across the United States.
For nearly four hours, participants read selections of poetry and excerpts of prose in over a dozen languages, including German, Hungarian, Arabic, Hindi, and American Sign Language. Other highlights included survivor testimony and a reading of an excerpt from the opening statement made by chief prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz at the Einsatzgruppen Trials in 1947.
The Ackerman Center faculty has created a collection of important Holocaust poems, which in past years has been printed and distributed at the event as a booklet. This year, it was made available digitally. Click here or on the image to see the 18 poems that they selected.
The Ackerman Center has held multiple workshops with faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to translate several of these poems into a wide array of languages, and we are in the process of compiling these translations. We have already produced a collection of translations of Holocaust poems into Arabic, which can be viewed by clicking here.
Click here or on the image to watch this video.
Dr. Nils Roemer shared the history of the event, recounting some of the major translation
and performance projects that we have featured over the years.
"Like a Bull"
When the Danuabe Ran Red
Fulfilling our mission is made possible because of the generosity of our supporters like you.
This issue was made possible by the following contributors:
Dr. Sarah R. Valente, Visiting Assistant Professor
Amal Shafek, Research Assistant