By Paige Cornicelli.
On the second floor of the Huntington Library is the schools Holocaust Memorial Center. The center provides an eye opening view into the old world.
To get to the College’s Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding Center, students should go to the Huntington Library and enter from the doors in the courtyard. From there, go up the maim stairs to the top floor. The center takes up a small portion of the libraries top floor. Outside is a small area dedicated to slavery.
On the inside of the center itself, there are three rooms, each comprising of smaller exhibits that students are welcome to come and take a peek at (as long as there is someone in the Holocaust Center itself).
In the center, you can either encounter two professors, or a handful of volunteers. Professors Jill Santiago and Steve Klipstien are frequently there, along with student volunteers Kevin Perlow and Paige Cornicelli. There are other volunteers who come and go throughout the day. If a student needs to enter and there is no one up there, the secretaries down stairs will let you in as long as it is between the hours of 8 in the morning and 4:30 in the evening.
The outside wall is an exhibit showcasing the history of slavery. In the center, student volunteers or professors will be available to offer information or answer questions. Along the first wall when students walk in, is a timeline of photos. The photos depict the propaganda shown, all the way through to Hitler’s speeches.
In the second room, there are bookshelves filled with different books. Students are welcome to rent these books from the library. Along the walls, are cases of different sizes with uniforms in each case, in two of the cases are the striped pajamas that the male and female prisoners wore. In the other cases are the coats and uniforms the officers in the German ranks would wear, depending on their job or class. There are smaller cases with photos and a model can of cyanide-based pesticide with an authentic Zyklon-B label.
In the third room is multiple photos, a glass case, and a chain link fence. Along the fence, throughout the case and along the walls are photos the portrayed the life in concentration camps. There are some graphic pictures in the third room- use caution when entering: photos can be disturbing to some viewers.
“A lot of the things we obtain is by donations… Students can volunteer to stay in the center for it to be open to all other students,” says Professor Jill Santiago.
“It’s a nice place to study, but kind of creepy and sad. But, from being up there I have learned more about the life in a concentration camp.” Student Isabelle Desilier
While there are students who have been to the center, some students like Alyssa McKennna have not. “I have not been up there… It seems sad, but also educational.”
The college is hosting Goose Stepping on Long Island, a Holocaust themed exhibit in the library on the Eastern Campus. The Exhibit tells the story of Camp Siegfried, a German camp that was in Yaphank, NY. The event takes place throughout the month of March. On Wednesday April 20th, during common hour there will be a Holocaust survivor speaking in the Shea Theater in the Islip Arts building, Ammerman Campus.
The center is open from 8 in the morning until 4:30 in the evening, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters.