West student body pauses to remember Holocaust during presentation

Letia Juarez, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Greeley West students and staff got the honor of listening to Holocaust survivor Jack Adler’s story during their homeroom period. 

The all-school virtual assembly was led by Penny Nisson from the Mizel Institute who encouraged homerooms to collaborate and have discussions between playing the clips from Adler.

Adler was born in Pabianice, Poland on February 1, 1929. He and his family were forced to live in ghettos before being sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. Adler did not leave Auschwitz until he was 19 years old and was the only person from his immediate family to survive the horrible conditions of the camp. Adler then moved to Colorado and decided he wanted to speak about his experiences of the Holocaust to the world. “I speak for those whose voices were silent.” Adler said, in recorded statements during the presentation. 

During the presentation Adler spoke about his first hate encounter when he was 9 years old when another little boy from his church ripped all of his buttons off of his coat simply because he learned Adler was Jewish. Adler explained how confused he was as to why the little boy hated him so much simply because of his religion. He asked himself the question: “How can humanity learn to be hateful?”

Adler spoke about why having mutual respect for those around you is important so we do not relive history and made students take just a few minutes to reflect on the long term and short term affects hate can cause. 

Greeley West senior Rosemary Mena found herself reflecting a lot during Adler’s presentation,   “I realized just how easy it is to spread hate and how detrimental it can be in the long run to not only the people the hate is directed towards but to people who may fall under the same category just a little bit,” said Mena. 

Students also got to learn more about the Holocaust itself. “I knew that millions of Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust, but I never knew people beyond them were also killed such as people with disabilities and homosexuals,” said senior Anastasia Ortiz. 

Adler encouraged  everyone to speak for those who have no voice, or to speak for those who may be too afraid to speak for themselves because those who “ignoring hatred and evil, is hatred and evil.”