Remembering those killed during the Holocaust
One of the most moving events on campus each year, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Service, will take place Wednesday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. This year’s ceremony will feature Alan Bell, son of Holocaust survivor Aron (Bielski) Bell. Aron Bell, who changed his name from Bielski, is the last surviving member of the Jewish partisan brothers whose resistance to the Nazis was the subject of the film, Defiance. Free and open to the public, the service will be held in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.
"As we move into the 21st century, the first-hand testimony of those victimized by the Nazi program of the 20th century becomes increasingly critical," said Patricia Behre, Ph.D., associate professor of History at Fairfield and a member of the Judaic Studies faculty. "The generation most directly affected is passing on, and so it falls to their children, and indeed to us, to renew our awareness of these traumatic events, and of the human spirit which survived them. We are very fortunate to have Alan Bell with us at Fairfield, and to have his help in performing this sacred act of remembrance."
Alan Bell will recount the amazing story that was told in a 2008 movie that starred Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber: The Bielski brothers saved other Jews during the Nazis' occupation of Belarus in 1941. After their parents were murdered, the brothers fled to an ancient forest on the border of Belarus and Poland. There, they sheltered refugees, built a community, and later fought the Germans.
The Holocaust Remembrance Service is vital to help students understand the scope of this tragic era, while serving as a reminder of the millions of individuals who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis. The service at Fairfield will include six candles lit in memory of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust.
Fairfield's Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies is co-sponsoring the event with Campus Ministry and KADIMA, Fairfield's undergraduate Jewish student organization. To reserve a seat, call the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at ext. 2066.