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Event remembers lives lost in Holocaust

PLATTSBURGH - We shall never forget - that's the rallying call of the organizers of the annual Holocaust Remembrance Event at State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

"The purpose of [the event] is part of the educational mission of Plattsburgh State," said professor Dr. Jonathan Slater, who will be speaking at the event.

Slater said the event is a commemoration of the Holocaust, with poems, songs and speeches regarding the genocide of millions.

"We've been doing this for about two decades now," Slater said. "It is open to everybody - free of charge."

The event will feature guest speakers and musicians from the area, as well as Mary Borell, board chair of the Florida Holocaust Museum.

"We want to make students aware that we are entering into a very unique time when it comes to Holocaust remembrance," said Borell. "The challenge we face is how do we make the story and the lessons relevant to the generations that didn't live through [the Holocaust]?"

Borell is an experience Holocaust historian, who spent time in Eastern Europe, traveling to the concentration camps and educating the population about what happened to those who survived and those who did not.

Borell said as the first generation survivors pass away, the second generation becomes the storytellers.

"The second generation are not as passionate as the first generation," said Borell. "We're really at a significant crossroads."

The event will include the dedication of the Douglas R. Skopp Creative Competition, which will be an annual event dedicated to the retired Plattsburgh State professor. Skopp, who is currently the university's historian, is "long overdue for naming the competition after him," according to Borell.

The event will take place at 4 p.m. in the Krinovitz Recital Hall on Beekman Street this Thursday, April 15.

For more information, call 564-2090.

Michael O'Keefe is an intern with the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

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