Remembering the Holocaust


This month, the campus community gathered
to reflect and pay respect to Holocaust
victims. This year Central Oregon Community
College assistant professor of word history,
Jessica Hammerman, and Rabbi Johanna
Hershenson facilitated an event to honor Holocaust
Remembrance Day.
“The Jewish community asked me, because
we did it last year” Hammerman said of how
she got involved in this event. “Every student
here knows about the Holocaust, what I’m trying
to do with this event is say, expand our
view intellectually of the history of what happened.”
The movie “A Secret,” a French film, was
shown to a crowd of students and community
members at the April 15 event. The movie is
about a Jewish boy born after the holocaust
in France. Jessica Hammerman described the
film as a “story about someone coming to
terms with the past.”
The boy finds out he had a half-brother, Simon,
who was killed in the holocaust. The family
concealed their actual heritage as to avoid persecution,
but Simons mother wouldn’t compromise
who she was and turned herself and her son in.
“I could imagine my will to survive would be
great,” said Hershenson. “I was born after the holocaust,
so my allegiance to any large body like
that probably isn’t as strong as generations before
The father, Francois, later remarried and had a
son from whom he kept his secret.
“It was both beautiful and heartwarming”,
said Hershenson, “and at the same time there was
a disturbing element.”
At the end of the evening, Rabbi Hershenson
led a memorial ceremony for the many victims.
“It’s unimaginable what happened, nobody
can understand,” said Hammerman, “It’s my
goal as a history professor and an advisor of the
history club to make this about education of the


Will Nye | The Broadside


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