Holocaust memorial

Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor

In commemoration of the lives lost in the Holocaust and violence tied to World War II, Western continued their annual tradition by placing thousands of flags along Monmouth Avenue from May 3 – 7.

Western’s description of the event on the school-wide calendar directly quoted the Holocaust Encyclopedia for a definition: “The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators. The Holocaust was an evolving process that took place throughout Europe between 1933 and 1945.”

“These flags are meant to be a large, powerful display representing the lives of millions lost,” said Western’s calendar description. “There are different colored flags that represent the lives lost of certain peoples. The yellow flags represent the biggest number of Jewish lives lost.”

Multiple other flag colors lined the streets during the event, such as blue, red, white, green, brown, orange, purple, pink, lime green and light blue. In order, the communities they represent are as follows: Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish civilians, Serbian civilians, Romani people, people with disabilities, repeat criminal offenders, LGBTQ+ people, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Spanish republicans.

The flags, although disrupted by the construction along Monmouth Avenue, shined bright against the backdrop of Western’s spring campus and were eye-catching to passersby.

“Every year for Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, we place thousands of flags along Monmouth Avenue to commemorate the lives lost,” said Western in an Instagram post. “This display provides an opportunity for reflection as a community… Thank you to the volunteers and (Western Student Engagement), who helped with the flags for this year’s remembrance.”

Contact the author at howlnews@mail.wou.edu