Colorado State University is hosting the 22nd Annual Holocaust Awareness Week between Feb. 15-22, 2019. Irving Roth, a survivor of Nazi death camps in Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II, is the featured speaker for this year’s Holocaust Awareness Week at CSU.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, member of the CSU philosophy faculty and adviser to Jewish student groups on campus, helps organize the talks by survivors every year, and recognizes the importance of hearing from them while we can.

“With every passing year, we have fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors with us to share their personal testimony of the horrors of the camps and those dark times,” he said.

Previous Holocaust Awareness Week Speakers

Here are 10 things you should know about the Holocaust

1. The unfathomable statistics: Of the 11 million people killed during the Holocaust, 1.1 million were children and 6 million were Jewish – which equaled two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe at the time and one third of the Jewish people worldwide. Other groups targeted included Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled people and Gypsies.

2. Once World War II began, the Nazis ordered all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David that had the word “Jude” on it so they could be easily targeted.

3. Prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp were given tattoos with a number so that they could be identified.

4. There are some people who don’t believe that the Holocaust existed.  Holocaust denial is a crime in 17 countries.

5. There were actually thousands of Nazi concentration camps and sub-camps (researchers say 20,000) during the Holocaust – even though only some are well known like Auschwitz/Birkenau.

6. Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in 1945.

7. The Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. It ended in 1945 when Allied powers defeated the Nazis.

8. Jewish people were excluded from German public life on Sept. 15, 1935, when the Nuremberg Laws were issued. These laws also stripped German Jews of their citizenship and their right to marry Germans.

9. The Nazis established killing centers for efficient mass murder. Unlike concentration camps, which served primarily as detention and labor centers, killing centers (also referred to as “extermination camps” or “death camps”) were almost exclusively “death factories.” German SS and police murdered nearly 2.7 million Jews in the killing centers either by asphyxiation with poison gas or by shooting.

10. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe. Other Jewish DPs emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last DP camp closed in 1957.

– Researched by Kayla Green