Sister Susan E.
Nowak’s students at Nazareth College are shining a light on the atrocities of
the Holocaust, Genocide, and mass violence, with the hope of preventing future
violence and the trauma it leaves in its wake. Sister Susan’s fall semester
class,“Holocaust by Bullets,” documented personal stories of four community
representatives, each of whom has experienced personally the devastating impact
of trauma and violence and, in response, shares her/his story in the hope of
motivating others to confront the sources of prejudice, injustice, and
Mr. Henry Silberstern, one of the "Birkenau Boys," shared
his experience of surviving multiple concentration camps as a young boy only to
find out, upon liberation, that no members of his family survived and, thus,
the journey to rebuild his life was a responsibility he bore alone.
Anderson, Visiting Scholar at Nazareth College, used images and stories of "Afro-Rochester
1910-1935" to make real the effects of racism upon multiple generations of
African Americans across the city of Rochester in ways that make clear that the
legacy of slavery still resonates today.
Ms. Lauren Jimmerson, a recent
graduate of Nazareth's Art Therapy program, related her experience as a young
woman growing up on the reservation, the struggle to build a life of promise
off the reservation and within a culture that does not value her indigenous
heritage, and her determination to have her identity as a Seneca woman of the
Haudenosaunee People acknowledged and respected.
Finally, "Joe," a
young Iraqi refugee who translated for American troops during the war and was
allowed entry into the US because of death threats against him, his wife, and his
children, broke open the reality of growing up in a country torn apart by war,
coming into adulthood in the midst of sectarian violence, and raising children
in a society with a decimated infrastructure. ("Joe" is a pseudonym
used because of our community representative's concerns for the safety of his
family members still living in Iraq.)
The young scholars studied the methods of
Father Patrick Desbois, an internationally acclaimed Holocaust expert and
activist, during a 3 day seminar with him, along with students at Hobart and
William Smith Colleges. To see their work, visit www.witnessingforpeace.weebly.com.