By Emmy Addison
Class of 2014
With Holocaust Awareness Day just one week away, senior Jack Marcus shared his knowledge and personal connection to the events of World War II with the first and fifth period humanities classes today.
He explained why he wanted to put together and share his presentation.
“The people that were in the Holocaust and that fought in the war are starting to leave us,” he said. “The Holocaust is slowly moving into the history books to become just a piece of history rather than [being] a constant reminder of what we did and [why] we can never go back.”
The word Holocaust has Greek roots and its accepted meaning is “total fire,” or “sacrifice by fire.” It is also called the Shoa (Hebrew word for “The Great Catastrophe”), to avoid the implication of sacrifice rather than massacre. It began in 1941 and continued through 1945. During its course in World War II, the Nazi regime slaughtered about 6 million Jews.
Standing at the front of the room, Jack clicked through his slides with a white remote, explaining the history and impact of the Holocaust on Europe, the Jewish community and the world.
The detailed slides were done in the gray and white.
“I wanted colors to contrast the words,” Jack said. “I wanted to empasize that there is nothing good, nothing happy about this subject. I wanted them to be subtle so they did not take away from the meaning.”
Along with the symbolic colors, he included pictures of anti-semantic propaganda used by the Nazis to gain support for their acts of systematic genocide.
Pacing back and forth across the room, he showed photographs of the gas chambers –slaughterhouses once capable of effectively exterminating 2,000 people at a time– the now-empty concentration camps and the solemn memorials that accompany the former killing grounds.
Jack also shared his personal connection to the events that transpired during the Holocaust. Waving his hands expressively, he explained that it is a deep part of his ethnic and religious history.
“I’m Jewish and so the Holocaust is a part of our history,” said Jack. “It was so recent that the shadow still hangs over the heads of the Jewish people. And [because of that] I’m regularly reminded of the atrocities committed.”
Lifting his chin, he says with fiery defiance, “I would fight it. I know and believe that it can never happen again.”