Holocaust Awareness Week features talk by Holocaust survivor

Oscar "Osi" Sladek
Oscar “Osi” Sladek

Oscar “Osi” Sladek, a survivor of the Holocaust, will speak at Colorado State University as part of the 23rd annual Holocaust Awareness Week, which runs from Feb. 25 to March 4.

Sladek is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom. Sladek was a musical child prodigy before World War II. According to Rocky Mountain PBS, he and his family had to escape the Nazi roundups of Jews in Czechoslovakia. Tragically, half of Sladek’s extended family was killed during the Holocaust.

Students for Holocaust Awareness Week organizers said that Sladek was one of the first Holocaust survivors to tell his story publicly, something he continues to do.

In a statement, they said: “In light of the unprecedented rise in antisemitism and racial intolerance, the message of resilience, hope and love is needed more than ever. It is increasingly rare to be able to hear living testimony from a Holocaust survivor and we are honored to bring this extraordinary opportunity here again.”

In addition to Sladek’s talk, the week includes movie screenings, a memorial walk as well as a lecture from Carolin Aronis, an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, on lessons of the Holocaust for today’s world.

The annual event, which has been a fixture at CSU for more than 20 years, is made possible by Students for Holocaust Awareness at CSU, an organization that focuses on the reflection and remembrance of the Holocaust by hosting a week of events that are open to the public at CSU. An emphasis is placed on the lessons learned to pave a way forward to create hope and a better world.

The event also is co-sponsored by ASCSU, RHA, Hillel, Chabad, AEPi and SAEPi (Jewish Greek Life), the Lory Student Center and International Programs.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available and include an invitation to a private VIP reception with Sladek and premium seating at the event. Call (915) 202-4008 or email denisejpeters@gmail.com for more information about becoming a sponsor.

Holocaust Awareness Week calendar

 For the latest information on Holocaust Awareness Week, visit holocaust.colostate.edu.

Friday, Feb. 25
Field of Flags Set Up
1 p.m., Lory Student Center Plaza
Displayed on the LSC Plaza during the entire week, the flags represent the different groups murdered during the Holocaust, with each flag representing 5,000 victims.

Monday, Feb. 28 to Thursday, March 3
Litany of Martyrs
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
LSC Plaza or Flea Market (weather dependent)
Volunteers will take turns reading the names of those who died during the Holocaust.

Monday, Feb. 28
Flim Night: Jojo Rabbit
7 p.m., LSC Theatre
Jojo Rabbit is a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy whose worldview is turned upside down when he discovers his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic.

Tuesday, March 1
Lecture: “Living the Holocaust Today”
12 to 2 p.m.
LSC Room 302 Longs Peak
The lecture is presented by Carolin Aronis, an assistant professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies who studies race, gender, antisemitism and Jewish experiences through the intersection of critical media studies, rhetoric and technologies.

Wednesday, March 2
An Evening with a Holocaust Survivor: Mr. Osi Sladek
7 p.m., LSC Grand Ballroom
Oscar “Osi” Sladek also is a veteran, writer and internationally known educator who has shared his extraordinary story of survival, tragedy and hope with thousands of people.

Friday, March 4
Memorial & Walk to Remember by AEPi
1 p.m., LSC Plaza or Theater Lobby (weather dependent)
The week concludes with a memorial service for all the victims of the Holocaust, along with a Walk to Remember by AEPi.