ROCKBRIDGE WEEKLY

Washington and Lee University’s Hillel presents Holocaust Remembrance Activities from May 2 – May 4. The activities that have been planned range from films to a talk by a Holocaust survivor to a Jewish service.

The Holocaust Remembrance Week activities are open to the public without charge.

“The Last Days,” a film that won an Academy Award in 1999 for Best Documentary, will be shown on Thursday, May 3, at 9:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the University Commons. “The Last Days” is the first feature documentary from Stephen Speilberg’s Shoah Foundation. It is a concise, devastating history of the Nazis’ decimation of Hungary’s Jewish population during the final days of World War II.

The film’s most searing images, shown sparingly near the end of the movie, include scenes of concentration camp inmates liberated from Auschwitz by Allied troops. These pictures are matched in impact by the interwoven testaments of five Holocaust survivors, one of whom, Irene Zisblatt, will speak at W&L on Thursday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater.

One of the most vivid and compelling stories is Zisblatt’s account of her deportation to Auschwitz. Before leaving, her mother had sewn a few diamonds into the hem of her dress. Arriving at Auschwitz she was strip-searched and hid the gems in her mouth and eventually had to swallow them. By swallowing them repeatedly and then retrieving them when she went to the bathroom, she was able to hold on to the diamonds for the duration of her stay. They have since been incorporated into a menorah that has become a family heirloom.

The activities at W&L during the final three days of the Holocaust Remembrance Week are:

• Wednesday, May 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University Commons: Commons Atrium Scroll Signing: Sign a scroll for a victim of the Holocaust and receive a photo of the person and a remembrance paper clip. 7 p.m., film: “The Pianist” in Stackhouse Theater, Commons.

• Thursday, May 3, 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater in the University Commons: Talk by Irene Zisblatt, Holocaust survivor. 9:30 p.m., film: “The Last Days” in the Stackhouse Theater, Commons.

• Friday, May 4, 5 p.m. in the University Commons, room 345: Yom Ha Shoah Service, led by Rabbi Treseder of Lynchburg. Dinner will follow in room 214 of the Commons. 10 p.m., film: “The Pianist” in the Stackhouse Theater, Commons.