Edith Eva Eger, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, will be the keynote speaker for the 2003 Holocaust Awareness Week, which will be observed April 4-9 at Virginia Tech. Eger will give her talk on April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Donaldson Brown Hotel & Conference Center auditorium on the Tech campus. The event is open to the public and is free.

Eger, who has lectured throughout the world, uses her past as an analogy to inspire people to tap into their full potential and to shape positive and productive destinies. Her message is one of healing and growth, of freedom from self-imposed limitations. She speaks of transforming adversity into advantage, of finding meaning and purpose in life.

The keynote address is sponsored by the Holocaust Awareness Week Steering Committee. For information, contact Kimberly Philpott at (540)231-3787.

The week of observance will begin on Friday, April 4, with the showing of the movie Schindler's List, which highlights the life of a man who saved thousands of Jewish people from genocide. The movie will be shown 5:30-9:00 p.m. in the Black Cultural Center in 126 Squires Student Center. It will be repeated at the same time on Saturday, April 5. Sponsored by the Student Advisory Committee for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SACDMA), the movie is free. For information, contact Nathan Mitchell at (540)232-1288.

Other Holocaust Awareness Week observances include a "Reading of the Names" ceremony on the drillfield from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday, April 7. The names of those who died in the Nazi camps during the Holocaust will be read and acknowledged publicly. This event will be sponsored by Hillel. For information, contact Jason Rubin at (540)449-3082.

Another event on April 7, this one at noon, will be a "Presentation/Discussion: Buddhist Perspective on Overcoming Hate." The presentation will focus on different Buddhist teachings that address the importance of compassion for every human being, how mindfulness of self and others contributes to such compassion, the importance of having strong faith in humanity, and the willingness to speak out against injustices against humanity. The presentation will be followed by a discussion of Buddhist philosophy in relation to the Holocaust and similar atrocities being committed today. Sponsored by the Living Buddhism Club, the event will be held at the Multicultural Center in 140 Squires. There is no admission charge. Contact Kai Zuehlke at (540) 230-4760 for information.

On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m., Hillel will sponsor a video and music presentation, "Effect of the Holocaust from Terezin to Shanghai," beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Donaldson Brown Hotel Auditorium. The program will concentrate on the artistic expressions of the Jewish prisoners of Camp Terezin, Czechoslovakia. It will include a brief personal video of a German Jew who began a newspaper in Shanghai and will also include stories about 20,000 European Jewish refugees who fled Shanghai from 1938-41. Music will be performed by a group of professional musicians, organized by David Ehrlich, formerly first violinist of the Audubon Quartet. The contact person for this free event is Sue Kurtz, who can be reached at (540)953-2045

All of the programs, which were organized by a steering committee coordinated by the Dean of Students Office, are open to the public. Persons needing special accommodations to participate should contact the Dean of Students Office at (540)231-3787/TTY or (540)231-8718.

Up-to-date information about the events is available online at http://www.mcp.vt.edu/calendars/HAW2003.shtml.