After discovering her family’s own history with the Holocaust and traveling to Eastern Europe in the summer of 2016, College of Charleston Honors College student Samantha Krantz was empowered to bring her experience back to the Lowcountry.
A recipient of the Klaper Fellowship in Jewish Studies, which charges recipients with bettering the Lowcountry, Krantz hopes to plant 1,800 daffodils alongside the Holocaust Memorial in Marion Square on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. The community is invited to take part in planting the daffodil bulbs as a living memorial to the 1.5 million children who were among the 11 million people murdered during the Holocaust between 1938 and 1945 throughout Nazi Germany.
A brief ceremony will precede the planting, with remarks delivered by local Holocaust survivor Joe Engel and philanthropist Anita Zucker, herself a child of Holocaust survivors. The Charleston Holocaust Memorial in Marion Square was erected in 1999 “to remember those who were murdered in the Holocaust and to honor the survivors who came to South Carolina to rebuild their lives.”
“By planting daffodils with local community members alongside the city’s existing Holocaust memorial, I hope to create a living memorial of flowers so that residents and visitors to Charleston may be further inclined to learn about the Holocaust, and its connection to Charleston,” says Krantz, who traveled to Eastern Europe in 2016 with College of Charleston Zucker/Goldberg Professor of Holocaust Studies Theodore Rosengarten. “Each year the eighteen-hundred daffodils will return with a burst of color in honor of the survivors and the innocent lives that were taken too soon.”
The Daffodil Project, a worldwide initiative empowering Holocaust education created by the Atlanta- based non-profit Am Yisrael Chai, aspires to build a Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils around the world to remember the children who perished at the hands of the Nazis. Daffodils represent the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust, and the flower symbolizes both remembrance and resilience.
Krantz’s efforts are being supported by the College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, the City of Charleston Department of Parks, Charleston Parks Conservancy, and the Charleston Jewish Federation’s REMEMBER Program for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness.