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2021 Scholarship Essays
University of Houston, double major political science and computer science
The Holocaust’s reputation as an atrocious genocide reduces this nightmare to focus on the massive numbers of lives that were lost. The much more jarring implication was that it was enabled through the willingness of several people who made intentional decisions to remain silent. Whether this occurred as a result of fear, subservience, or some indescribable feeling does not justify the horrors that took place in World War II or today. The HRA virtual march has taught me that waiting until tragedies amass to the extent of the Holocaust repeats the same cycles of violence which permeated Germany during the World Wars.
University of Houston, double major Spanish and history
We stood there. About 15 people were in the tour group, spaced out about 6 feet apart from each other because of the social distancing norms and consideration for our fellow Houstonians. The tour guide continues on with his speech without missing a beat. He tells the story of the unimaginable transportation of the victims of the Holocaust from their native countries to, if they were lucky, labor camps, or the well known extermination camps that were at the center of the Nazi “Final Solution.” But was it so unimaginable?
The one aspect that impacted me the most regarding the March of Remembrance was watching Baerbel Suzette Pfeiffer apologize to all these Jewish descendants on behalf of her grandfather. Baerbel confesses that her grandfather was the man who laid the pipework for the gas chambers in Auschwitz and many of the electric fences that sealed in thousands of Jewish prisoners. When Baerbel found out the truth, she felt so conflicted living with the fact that her grandfather was the one who gave the tools to these Nazis to torture and killed all these Jewish inmates. Her voice sounded so guilty and heartbroken.
2020 Scholarship Essays
My name is Jasmine Infante and I am a student at the University of St. Thomas majoring in communication and minoring in marketing. I wanted to give a huge thank you to the Holocaust Remembrance Association for the scholarship I have received. I was told about this scholarship by my advisor, Dr. Bornigia and I researched it after speaking with her. I never knew about this association until she introduced it to me and I hope to attend a live event next year. Even though the events were held online due to Covid-19, it was still an enlightening experience. I feel like I not only learned about the struggles that affect generations of people, but I learned more about myself in the process, too.
It is unfortunate that the March of Remembrance events were cancelled because of the current times. Fortunately, the Holocaust Remembrance Association was quick to adapt and produced what was a joy to watch, Hope in the Face of Total Loss. Listening to Alex Pollak’s success despite the horrible losses that World War II brought was a sobering reminder that the difficulty of the past should not handicap our future potential. And a particular highlight was Rabbi Don Gordon’s wisdom filled story of elbowless people in heaven and hell. The parable’s instruction tells of the reality of the brokenness of all human beings, yet that brokenness becomes a heaven when humans begin to aid each other.
“This march is about encouraging all of you to pass it on to your families and your friends,
to rise up and not be bystanders. Is that okay?” March of Remembrance director Rozalie Jerome, and the applause following her every point, indicate that spiritually just political action is, for many, a critical component of honoring Holocaust survivors and victims. Confronting the brutality of the Holocaust offers an avenue for Jews, Christians, and all others to take a particularist approach to racial, ethnic, and religious violence.
As opposed to universalism, which sameifies “all sides” in the name of closure and moving
on, Jennifer Harvey writes that a particularist ethic can take into account distinctions in social
The privilege to have been able to see Holocaust survivors, German Nazis descendants reconcile is history in the making itself. Seeing this unfold was captivating. Till this day my generation and future generation will never comprehend how such atrocities took place as the world watched. Watching the German descendants of Nazis with Holocaust survivors and descendants reconcile with tears and long embraces was emotional and powerful to me. This was something that I was not prepared to watch, and it showed as tears started to roll down my face. As a Marine of 20yrs of services I have seen my share of injustice and atrocities in my 3 deployments to Iraq and
Thank you so much for organizing the Holocaust Remembrance event and for giving myself and
others the opportunity to be awarded a scholarship. The Holocaust March event reminded me of
the importance of hope in times of isolation, and the importance of doing the right thing and
helping others even when it may be difficult to do; it also served as a good reminder that we are
not living soley for ourselves because we are all connected. I am very grateful to have been
accepted for the award. This scholarship really helped my family with paying for my classes for the next two semesters and helped to alleviate some of our stress so I’m very thankful for that.