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Genocide experts,survivors speak for Days of Remembrance

Posted By Denebola On April 16, 2008 @ 4:04 pm In News | Comments Disabled

By Chris Erspamer

Newton South students gathered together to view presentations about past and current genocides.  These presentations were organized by schoolteachers and administrators and took place in April during the annual Holocaust week, also known as the Days of Remembrance.
Students heard from speakers describing genocides in Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.  Over the course of the week, a total of 16 presentations took place.  Among those speaking were survivors of the killings in Cambodia and Darfur as well as the Holocaust.  A grandson of an Armenian survivor was also present. He was an expert on the Armenian genocide and a member of the non-government organization Physicians for Human Rights.  An award-winning documentary film on Darfur, The Devil Came on Horseback, was also shown.
First started in 1971 as part of the Enrichment Program, an educational program dedicated to informing students of global events, this commemoration has since become part of the school tradition.  In the beginning, it consisted mainly of presentations about the experiences of Holocaust survivors, but it has since expanded to include other survivors of genocide.
In addition to the assemblies, the school prepared an exhibition in the library that displayed posters brought by the Human Rights Committee.
According to Cutler housemaster Donna Gordon, these events were held to raise awareness and encourage students to help bring genocides to an end. Students have recently become more involved in the presentations.
This was the first year since Days of Remembrance began that organizers have worked with a student group to prepare for the events.  The club, known as STAND, is part of a national organization dedicated to speaking out against genocide. It is led by David Fisher, a member of the Newton Human Rights Commission.
This year, STAND helped find many speakers for the Days of Remembrance, including some who attended a regional anti-genocide conference at Brandeis.
According to Fisher, the main purpose of having this week of remembrance is to commemorate past genocides, reflect on why they continue to occur, and create motivation among the students to take part in the efforts to help bring genocides such as the one in Darfur to an end.
This year, a large number of students and classes were able to attend the assemblies, and Fisher feels that the presentations were a success.  However, he also felt that some students were not fully paying attention to the speakers.
“I think that such attitudes are very disturbing. They show ignorance and disinterest of the worst thing that can happen in this world.  It is important to realize how lucky we are to live in such a safe country, and how we have the opportunity to act against these atrocities, Fisher said.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/04/16/genocide-expertssurvivors-speak-for-days-of-remembrance/

URLs in this post:

[1] Days of Remembrance brings speakers to South students: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/days-of-remembrance-brings-speakers-to-south-students/

[2] Newton South students STAND up against genocide: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/26/newton-south-students-stand-up-against-genocide/

[3] STAND up at benefit concert: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/03/25/stand-up-at-benefit-concert/

[4] Newton leaves ADL: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/09/23/newton-leaves-adl/

[5] Students and survivors fight for Darfur: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/10/25/students-and-survivors-fight-for-darfur/

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