Joining Together/Remembering Together

Holocaust Remembrance Day


Belle Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Holocaust Remembrance Day is an annual tradition for seniors at John Carroll.

Senior Project Coordinator Louise Geczy, the day’s organizer, said, “The combination of personal Holocaust testimony, displays, keynote address and interactive experiences for participants is a part of Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
However, each year Mrs. Geczy also “attempts to incorporate some new element that will enhance the experience for participants.”
This year Mr. David Estrin came to speak to students about his personal story and his mission surrounding Holocaust Remembrance.
Mr. Estrin comes from a family with a rich Jewish history, including his grandfather, a survivor of the Auschwitz and Mauthausen death camps. In his grandfather’s memory, in 2017, Mr. Estrin established the non-profit organization “Together We Remember” to transform April, Genocide Awareness Month, into a global month of remembrance and activism for all victims of identity-based violent hatred in history through coordinated vigils in communities across the world and on social media.
Senior Ben Rosensteel said, “I learned a lot from Mr. Estrin about how even though our family history can be tough to learn about; it’s a part of who we are, and that’s important.”
After listening to Mr. Estrin, students proceeded to listen to filmed speakers who were first or second generation Holocaust survivors.
Mrs. Geczy hopes that the learning opportunities that programs such as HRD provide “open both the minds and hearts of participants and encourage positive action.”
After lunch was provided to the seniors, JC President Steve DiBiagio shared his story of how his father fought in WWII against the Nazi regime.
To end the program, students were challenged to comprehend how as a student body, seniors could take their empathy and conscious to being the positive change that stops hate.
Mrs. Geczy said, “Learning about the Holocaust and other genocides and mass atrocities is important for everyone — not just seniors. The better informed we are, the greater ability we develop to think critically and act responsibly.”