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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013

23.01.2013

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated worldwide on 27 January in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  On 27 January 1945, the advancing Red Army entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex, liberating more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, who were for the most part ill or dying.

Days earlier, the SS had forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to evacuate the camp and embark on the infamous 'Death Marches,' in which many thousands lost their lives.

The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 to designate 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day upon which every year the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims. 67 years on from the liberation of Auschwitz, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of the universal lessons of the Holocaust and to foster a shared culture of remembrance.

In 2013, the International Day of Commemoration will be marked by a number of national and international events.  The UN will focus its 2013 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on the theme "Rescuers during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care."

The following overview of commemoration events is based on information and links provided by IHRA member countries, observer countries, and permanent observer organizations, as well as information compiled by the Permanent Office.

Member Countries: Argentina - Austria - Belgium - Canada - Croatia - Czech Republic - Denmark - Estonia - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Israel - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Netherlands - Norway - Poland - Romania - Serbia - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - Switzerland - United Kingdom - United States; Observer Countries: Bulgaria - Portugal - the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - Turkey; Permanent Observers: United Nations - UNESCO - CoE - OSCE/ODIHR - FRA

Member Countries

Argentina

Within the framework of the 2013 Holocaust Remembrance Day, numerous events were organized in Buenos Aires.

The main ceremony was held on 29 January 2013, arranged by the Secretariat of Human Rights, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, with the support of the Ministries of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in representation of the National government represented at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Following UN's theme, the event made reference to the issue of the "Righteous among the Nations."

The Director of the Information Center of the UN in Buenos Aires, David Smith, read the Secretary General's message.

The Minister of Justice, the Minister of Education and the Secretary of Worship attended and participated in the ceremony by giving short addresses. A survivor, saved by Raoul Wallenberg, gave his testimony. The ceremony was also attended by the Argentine special Ambassador to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The ceremony included a candle-lighting, music and a short film on Irena Sendler.

Austria

The Federal Assembly Chamber of Austrian Parliament (Historischer Sitzungssaal), Vienna, Austria

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Mrs. Barbara Prammer, President of the Austrian National Council, (www.parlament.gv.at) has invited to a performance of the new opera "Spiegelgrund", by Peter Androsch.

The Kinderfachabteilung (lit. "Children's Specialist Department," a Nazi euphemism) "Am Spiegelgrund", an institute of the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Am Steinhof in Vienna, (http://gedenkstaettesteinhof.at/en/exibition/steinhof-vienna)  was part of the National Socialist killing machinery in which ill or disabled children and youths were murdered. There were also close connections to the Vernichtungsanstalt Hartheim (http://www.schloss-hartheim.at/index.asp?Seite=441&Lg=2) in Upper Austria. It was not until April 2002 that the mortal remains of 789 Spiegelgrund victims were buried in Vienna's Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery).

With his opera "Spiegelgrund", Peter Androsch continues his intensive and well-documented examination of the Nazi regime (e.g., film music for Hasenjagd by Andreas Gruber). The opera's world premiere is a collaboration between the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität Linz and Ensemble 09, founded during 2009, when Linz was the official European Capital of Culture.

http://www.sonostream.tv/dev/spiegelgrund-an-opera-by-peter-androsch/

Jetzt Zeichen Setzen! ("Send a signal now")

Week of remembrance and action against racism, anti-Semitism and right extremism 25.1.2013-1.2.2013

To mark the international day of remembrance, the Austrian initiative "Jetzt Zeichen Setzen! comprised of various organizations, associations, political parties, NGOs and the Jewish Community Vienna among others, is putting on a series of events.  The focus of the week takes place on 27th January, the Day of Remembrance, when the initiative has invited the public to take place in a ceremony of remembrance on the Viennese Heldenplatz before the Hofburg in memory of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau 68 years previously.

http://www.jetztzeichensetzen.at/?page_id=487

Erinnern.at. Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust. Gedächtnis und Gegenwart ("National Socialism and the Holocaust. Memory and the present").

As part of the educational network erinnern.at, programs and events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day are also being held in the Federal Provinces. For example, in Carinthia a matinee hosted by the Mayor of Klagenfurt including the presentation of an exhibition and a ready is taking place.

http://www.erinnern.at/bundeslaender/kaernten/termine/matinee-anlaesslich-des-internationalen-holocaust-gedenktages

In Upper Austria, on 28th January in the press center of the old town hall the Austrian Friends of Yad Vashem and the City of Linz are similarly hosting a reading by the 16-year-old authoress Maya Rinderer with musical accompaniment.

http://www.erinnern.at/bundeslaender/oberoesterreich/termine/gedenkstunde-anlaesslich-des-internationalen-holocaust-gedenktages-1

In Vorarlberg, in the province's capital Bregenz a film, "See You Soon Again", (http://www.seeyousoonagain.at) will be presented. It tells the story of two Holocaust survivors who emigrated to the USA and their lives since their flight. It shall be followed by a discussion with the historian Werner Bundschuh.

http://www.erinnern.at/bundeslaender/vorarlberg/termine/filmforum-bregenz-see-you-soon-again

Belgium

The federal Government will make a statement and distribute it to the media.

Two major events will be held :

  1. At the Kazerne Dossin Memorial, Documentation Centre and Museum in Mechelen a commemorative event, honoring especially the founder of the museum, Knight Natan Ramet, who recently passed away.
  1. At the Grand Synagogue in Brussels, a Commemorative event, with a special mention of the Belgian Chairmanship of IHRA will be held in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Philippe, with interventions by representatives of Jewish organizations, by Deputy Prime Minister Onkelinx, on behalf of the federal Government; by Ms. Ylva Tivéus, Director, Responsible for the European Year of Citizens 2013 on behalf of the European Commission and by Ambassador Jan Deboutte, Chair 2012-2013 of IHRA.

Canada

Canadian governments (federal, provincial, and territorial) acknowledge 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Federally, this day will be marked with official statements by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and by several provincial/territorial premiers. The Mayor of Vancouver will also officially declare International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Vancouver.

As well, a number of events will be held by non-governmental organizations in Canada to mark the day.

The Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto will present its fourth annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day lecture, sponsored by the Esther Bem Memorial Fund, in partnership with the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, will offer opening remarks and Dr. Doris L Bergen will speak on the subject of Morality & Loss: Expressions of Guilt in Holocaust Survivor Accounts.

The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem will host Minister Kenney and local teachers for the launch of a one-time special Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education.  This award is being launched in conjunction with the 2013 Canadian Chair Year of the Alliance, and the winner will be announced at the Alliance Conference in Toronto in October.

The Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, and B'nai Brith Canada, together with the sponsorship of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue and the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy of the Global College, University of Winnipeg, will be hosting "Flickers of Light".  The keynote speaker will be Dr. James Christie, director of the Ridd Centre for Religion and Global Policy, Global College, University of Winnipeg, who will be speaking on the importance of remembering the Shoah.

The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, in partnership with Consol General of Belgium, will host a vernissage entitled "Hidden Children in Belgium 1942-1945" an exhibition which tells the story of 6,000 Jewish children who escaped deportation by hiding with the help of families, orphanages and convents in Belgium.  There will also be a screening of the film "Children without a Shadow".

The Vancouver Holocaust Centre, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic and under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy will screen Island of Roses: Tragedy in Paradise.  This documentary film tells the story of the Jewish community in Rhodes, Greece, the Nazi's destruction of that community, and one family's story of survival.

March of the Living Canada will launch its Liberation Video Series and upload moving accounts of liberation shared by Canadian Holocaust survivors who have participated in March of the Living programs.

Croatia

The main commemoration of 27 January in Croatia will be held in Zagreb, at the opening of 4-day training course on Holocaust education taking place in Zagreb and Jasenovac from 27-30 January (further details are available in the program).

President of the Republic, Ivo Josipović, the Minister of Culture, Andrea Zlatar-Violić, and the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Željko Jovanović, as well as other high guests, will attend the opening. The course is organized by Education and Teacher Training Agency, for Croatian primary and secondary-school teachers, and hosts domestic and foreign lecturers/experts from the field. The exhibition, coming from the Jasenovac Memorial Site, entitled Correspondence from Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška Concentration Camps, will be open in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb on 28 January.

Jasenovac Memorial Site will also present works of Bogdan Bogdanović, the architect-author of the Flower Monument, on 27 January in Venice, and Jewish Community of Zagreb and Shoah Academy organize chapters reading from Ann Frank's Diary, in cooperation with Lea Deutsch Theatre and actress Marija Kohn, on 28 January in Zagreb.

Czech Republic

On 25 January, the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic held a ceremony for the Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust and Prevention of Crimes Against Humanity.  The program is available here.

on 24 January, a gala concert was held at the Spanish Synagogue in Prague to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The concert was organized by the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Jewish Community of Prague, and the Foundation for Holocaust Victims.  Further information in English and Czech is available here.

Denmark

On January 27, Denmark marks the national Day of Holocaust and Genocide Remembrance, called "Auschwitz Day". Various remembrance activities such as survivor testimonies, debates, concerts, film screening and readings aimed at the public are organised by local municipalities around the country. Moreover, a range of educational initiatives takes place across Denmark throughout the year. The activities are organized by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Holocaust and Genocide, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.

"Fleeing genocide"

Auschwitz Day is commemorated within the frame of a particular theme that changes every year. In 2013 the theme is "Fleeing genocide". Fleeing from a genocidal situation is never an easy choice. It makes people leave everything they know for an uncertain future, and the flight itself is both risky and filled with dangers. This year Auschwitz Day addresses some of the dilemmas and choices that the flight implies. Is your life in danger or will the conflict soon be over? Who can you trust? Can you protect your children by taking them with you or will they be safer if left behind? Do you dare to risk your and your family's lives by fleeing? Dare you not to?

Educational activities

A range of educational activities aimed at pupils, students and teachers from all over the country are taking place throughout the year. Through these activities, DIIS provides knowledge and research-based education on the dynamics of the Holocaust and other genocides and the challenges connected with preventing genocide. The activities are coordinated and carried out in cooperation with teachers and include

-          Seminars for students and teachers with experts or eyewitnesses to genocide

-          Film screenings of the documentary film "THERESIENSTADT - Danish Children in Nazi Captivity" (DIIS, 2010)

-          Guided visits to the Danish Jewish Museum

-          Educational material about Holocaust and other genocides

Furthermore a series of multidisciplinary educational material mainly for high school students, but also for pupils in secondary school, is offered. The educational materials include three websites (www.folkedrab.dk and www.holocaust.dk - in Danish only - and www.theresienstadt.dk - in both Danish and English). Both teachers and students can use these educational websites, which feature articles on the Holocaust, Holocaust denial and other genocides, source material, assignments, eyewitness accounts and suggestions for further reading.

Commemorative events

In addition to the educational activities a number of events dealing with this year's theme are taking place across the country on and around January 27. This year the local activities include:

-          January 21: Public lecture with Tove Udsholdt, who was hidden as a child, when her mother fled to Sweden, and journalist Kirsten Nilsson, author of a book about the fate of hidden children.

-          In the week leading up to Auschwitz Day: Daily film screenings of documentaries on various genocides.

-          January 27: Screening of the documentary "THERESIENSTADT- Danish Children in Nazi Captivity".

-          January 27: Reading of parts of Imre Kertész' "Kaddish for an Unborn Child" with musical accompany.

-          January 27: Official commemorative event with speeches and music in Tivoli, Copenhagen..

-          January 28: Public seminar at the Danish Institute for International Studies, "Conflicting Memories and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Hungary and the Czech Republic".

Further information

For more information about the programs and activities across Denmark as well as this year's theme, please visit the official webpage www.auschwitz-dag.dk (in Danish only).

To find educational articles about the Holocaust and other genocides or to learn more about the Danish educational initiatives in connection with Auschwitz Day visit www.folkedrab.dk or www.auschwitz-dag.dk (in Danish only).

Estonia

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a ceremony was held in the Tallinn Jewish Cemetery with the participation of Minister of Education and Research Jaak Aaviksoo and representatives of the Jewish Community of Estonia and the diplomatic corps. On behalf of the state, Minister Aaviksoo lay a wreath on the memorial monument dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. In his speech he confirmed, in the name of the Republic of Estonia, that the memory of the victims of the Holocaust carried out during the war requires us to do everything possible to ensure that such tragedies never again take place. During the ceremony chairwoman of the Jewish Community of Estonia Alla Jakobson gave a speech and Chief Rabbi of Estonia Efraim Shmuel Kot read a prayer in memory of the victims.

Later a memorial meeting organized by the Jewish Community of Estonia was held at the Tallinn synagogue. Before entering the synagogue the participants walked through the Gallery of Memory, where the walls bear the names of Estonian Jews lost in the Holocaust. In accordance with Jewish custom, guests placed small stones along the wall in memory of the dead.  Participants in the meeting included members of the community, former prisoners of ghettos and concentration camps, representatives of the State Chancellery and ministries, ambassadors residing in Tallinn, cultural figures, and many others. In her speech, chairwoman of the Jewish Community of Estonia Alla Jakobson pointed out how important Holocaust Remembrance Day is to the European Parliament and many European Union countries. This year a high-level conference for history teachers was organised in Estonia, because it is essential for students to learn about this devastating time under the guidance of their teachers. The need to teach about the Holocaust in schools was also addressed in a speech by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Research Kalle Küttis. Küttis stated that a travelling exhibit about the Holocaust is currently being compiled, which will be introduced in Estonian schools together with teaching materials.

The meeting concluded with a concert. Austrian director Michael Pfeifenberger's film "Call Me a Jew" was shown in the auditorium of the Tallinn Jewish school.

On 25 January 2013 the Holocaust Victim Memorial Conference will take place in Tallinn at the Nordic Hotel Forum

The conference, which is being organized for the second year in a row by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association in co-operation with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, focuses on methods for teaching about the Holocaust in Estonian public schools. The organizers' goal is to help teachers bring broader knowledge into schools about the Holocaust and its significance in different countries, which is why the conference includes not only Estonian presenters but also diplomats and experts from Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, and Israel.

A highlight of the conference will be a screening of the film "May Your Memory be Love," which is one example of a film that can be used in schools to help teach about the effects and significance of the Holocaust. Over 80 participants from all over Estonia are expected to attend.

On 28 January 2013 the Estonian Minister of Education and Research Mr Jaak Aaviksoo will lay a wreath on the memorial monument dedicated to victims of the Holocaust at the Tallinn Jewish Cemetery

Members of the Estonian Jewish community and representatives of the diplomatic corps and the ministries will also be in attendance.

On 28 January 2013 the Jewish Community of Estonia will organise a memorial meeting in connection with International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the building of the Jewish Community of Estonia and the Tallinn Synagogue

Event programme:

Memorial meeting at the synagogue

Performance by chief cantor of the Vienna Israelite Community Shmuel Barzilai (Jelena Anstal on piano)

Screening of Austrian director Michael Pfeifenberger's film "Call Me a Jew" (95 min) in the auditorium of the Tallinn Jewish school.

Finland

The main event in Helsinki on the 27th of January is arranged by the Finnish Holocaust Remembrance Association.  The guest speaker of this event in the Helsinki Synagogue is Luc Lévy from Mémorial de la Shoah and editor Saska Saarikoski from Helsingin Sanomat (largest newspaper in Finland).

On 28 January, the embassies of Poland and Israel will present a a screening of the film "The Last Korczak Boy."

The invitations and more information on both events can be found here.

France

Within the framework of the 2013 Holocaust Remembrance Day, numerous events are organized everywhere in France. Ceremonies for remembrance and educational purposes are conducted in partnership with local authorities, the French Shoah Memorial, and other memorials.

Among these events, the Milles internment camp Memorial, inaugurated in September 2012, holds a ceremony under the patronage of Madame Simone Weil at the Milles Remembrance-Wagon.

During Second World war, the Milles internment camp was used for the transit, imprisonment, and deportation of prisoners, making it an essential aspect of European history. Around 19,000 people of 27 different nationalities were imprisoned here, including artists who produced hundreds of works. Examples include Max Ernst, Hans Bellmer and Lion Feuchtwanger. Over 2,000 Jewish men, women, and children were deported to Auschwitz from Les Milles.Using this history, an innovative educational programme has been developed, giving visitors an opportunity to confront issues such as racism, anti-Semitism, and fanaticism. The programme features cultural activities, debates, conferences, concerts, performances, and readings.

In Strasbourg, the Alsace region, Yad-In Unum, and the Shoah Memorial along with several French NGOs, take part in the event organized by the Council of Europe and the European Centre of Deported Resistance Members: a conference is held on the Holocaust by bullets

The Minister of Education M. Vincent Peillon will attend the commemoration held by UNESCO on the theme "The Courage to Care: Rescue during the Holocaust".

UNESCO entered into a close partnership with the French Shoah Memorial in 2009, now officially recognized as UNESCO's "Operational Partner" in this matter. This cooperation includes the organization of the International Remembrance Day events on every 27th January as well as exhibitions, video-conferences, seminars, and expert meetings.

The wider educational community is requested to join the commemorations on Monday 28th of January. In schools, interdisciplinary work, conferences, meeting with witnesses and reflection sessions on Holocaust and other genocides are organized. Regional advisers for Memory and Citizenship are in charge of the coordination of the various activities.  More information is available here.

Germany

In the years since 1996, when then-Federal President Roman Herzog proclaimed 27 January to be a day of remembrance for all victims of National Socialism, this day has become the prime occasion for remembering the crimes and the victims of the National Socialist regime in Germany. Every year countless events are held all across the country on this day. These range from official ceremonies of remembrance in the Bundestag (generally attended by senior figures from all constitutional organs) and Land parliaments and various regional and local activities commemorating various specific groups of victims to diverse educational events run by schools and extracurricular sources, particularly memorial sites, and cultural events. Such events are organized not only by public institutions and authorities, but are in many cases the result of civil society initiatives. The character of these events also varies greatly, ranging from official state ceremonies to educational events designed to give interested individuals the chance to confront this historical topic as intensively, and as independently as possible, as well as concerts, readings, symposiums, etc.

Particularly in schools, the day of remembrance often features presentations rounding off projects on the topic over several days or even weeks. Given the vast number of events and organizers, and the fact that most of them are initiated and run not by government bodies but civil society groups, it is virtually impossible to draw up a complete list of all such activities. However, a selection of them are listed (in German) in the GedenkstättenForum overview available here.

Greece

No information is available at this time.

Hungary

Please click here for an updated list of memorial events for International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Hungary.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's statement is available here.

January 24, 2013, 5 pm

Israeli Cultural Institute

(1 Paulay Ede u., 1062 Budapest)

The Voice of Female Survivors. Special event dedicated to the International Holocaust Memorial Day

Lectures by Teri Szűcs (Women in the Holocaust Literature) and Dr. Katalin Pécsi (Holocaust and Gender)

Screening of the documentary The Three Missing Pages by Richárd Schuster (2007)

For further information, see:

http://izraelikultura.hu/holokauszt-nemzetkozi-emleknapja-alkalmabol-noi-tulelok-hangja

January 27, 2013, 11 am

Holocaust Memorial Center

(39 Páva u., 1094 Budapest)

  • Welcoming remarks by Dr. János Botos, Deputy Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center
  • Address by Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Prof. Máté Szabó
  • Message of the OUN at the occasion of the Remembrance Day, read by Mr. János Tisovszky, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Vienna
  • Opening of the Remembrance Day exhibition based on the collection of the Memorial Center
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial Wall of the Victims

From 10 am:

Continuous screening of the seven sequences of the documentary KL Auschwitz at the Wallenberg room (except for the period of the commemoration ceremony)

Free admission to the exhibitions

RSVP by January 24 at regisztracio [at] hdke.hu

January 27, 2013, 11 am

The March of the Living Foundation

Uránia National Movie Theatre (21 Rákóczi út, 1088 Budapest)

For further information, see:

http://www.eletmenete.hu/az-ensz-holokauszt-emleknapja-2.html

RSVP at info [at] eletmenete.hu

January 27, 2013, 2.30 pm

The Jewish Community of Komárno

Menház Jewish Cultural and Community Center (15 Eötvösa, 94501 Komárno, Slovak Republic)

Holocaust Memorial Day and Tu Bi Svat (bilingual program)

Lectures by Dr. László Csősz, Holocaust Memorial Center (The Hungarian State and the Holocaust) and dr. Szilvia Czingel, Centropa Hungary (Survival Strategies in the Concentration Camps)

For further information, see: http://kehreg.com/

January 31, 2013, 6 pm

Zachor Foundation

Bálint Ház Jewish Community Center (16 Révay u., 1065 Budapest)

Book presentation

Lajos Erdélyi: Survival - The memoire of a photographer. The author is interviewed by the editor of the book Ferenc Katona

Excerpts from the documentary "Laló" about Lajos Erdélyi

For further information, see: http://iremember.hu/

Ireland

The National Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration will be marked in Ireland on the evening of Sunday 27 January 2013 at a ceremony in the Mansion House, the formal residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.  Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, in association with the Department of Justice and Equality, and Dublin City Council, organizes the national commemoration and several other events to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day.

The commemoration cherishes the memory of those who perished and recalls the millions of innocent men, women and children persecuted during the Nazi Holocaust because of their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliations or their religious beliefs.  The ceremony includes readings, survivors' recollections, candle-lighting and music.

There are a handful of Jewish survivors living in Ireland who were victims of the Holocaust.  As a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration, Ireland has undertaken to commemorate the Holocaust every year and to teach the lessons from it for the future.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter T.D., will attend and participate in the ceremony by giving a short keynote address.  The commemoration in Ireland is always about the Holocaust, the destruction of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis and their collaborators.  This year, Ireland holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and reference will be made in some of the readings to the legacy of the Holocaust in European consciousness.  Readers at the ceremony include representatives of the judiciary, government, arts, academia, diplomatic corps, and civil society. The Advisor to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Dr. Steven Katz, will also attend.  Over 700 people attend the commemoration coming from all walks of life and all over Ireland.  100 school children attend and twelve will read from the Scroll of Names.  The ceremony comprises readings, survivor's recollections, candle-lighting and music.  It is a very moving and dignified event.

To coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, Holocaust Education Trust Ireland in association with the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris is showing the exhibition "The Holocaust in Europe" in Cork City Library. A further three exhibitions will circulate throughout Ireland during the coming year.

The Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Professor Jay M. Winters, the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University, on the 5 February 2013 in Trinity College Dublin in association with Holocaust Education Trust Ireland.  The title of this year's lecture is "Primo Levi as a Moral Witness to the Holocaust".

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland have also corresponded with over 100 secondary schools throughout Ireland about marking this important date through holding a commemoration for staff and students.

In 2005 Ireland initiated The Crocus Project whereby school pupils aged eleven years and over are invited to plant yellow crocus bulbs in memory of the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust and thousands of other children who were victims of Nazi atrocities. Seven European countries currently participate in this project every year with Austria and Greece joining in 2013, and further EU member states shortly joining the project.  Last year 55,000 children in Europe participated in The Crocus Project.

Israel

This year a number of Yad Vashem representatives will be travelling to events all over the world to give presentations to help mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  For example, Yad Vashem representatives will be working with diplomats, educators and policymakers in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Italy, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Virtually, Yad Vashem has created a sub-site which provides materials about Holocaust Remembrance day in ten languages.

http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/educational_materials/january27_2013.asp

On January 27th a number of ceremonies will be taking place.

  • In the morning there will be a government meeting to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, will be in attendance.
  • There will be a ceremony for the "Next Generations" Association, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Senior Citizens and Yad Vashem (where).
  • There will be a press conference at Yad Vashem's Archives to talk about the "Gathering the Fragments" project. http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/remembrance/2011/collecting_fragments.asp.
  • The staff of the Italian Embassy will be attending a ceremony at Yad Vashem's Hall of Remembrance.
  • There will be a Gala opening of Yad Vashem's "Mu-zika" project. Israeli high-school students will be giving a performance with songs that were written during the Holocaust which they have set to music. The gala will take place in Ashdod and will be the first of 10 performances throughout the year. The project runs in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.
  • Yad Vashem will be launching its German language website in Berlin.
  • There will be a virtual event on Yad Vashem's Facebook page, "I Remember" Wall.
  • The Ghetto Fighters' House Museum will be hosting a seminar entitled "Acts of Resistance in Warsaw, the Ghetto Uprising, and the Polish Uprising".
  • At the Massuah Institute there will be an event starting at 12:00p.m entitled "Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: Different Narratives, Different Perspectives".
  • There will be an event at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv with the Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority. The Israeli Deputy Minister of Finance and the Ambassador of Germany will be in attendance along with Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council. During the event there will be a performance of the "Glass Wall" by Oren Jacoby from the Beit Leissen Theater.

The Documentation Center of North-African Jewry during WWII at the Ben-Zvi Institute and the World Jewish Congress-Israel will be hosting an event entitled "Jews, Muslims, and Nazis in Occupied Paris". The film Free Men will be screened. http://www.ybz.org.il/?CategoryID=141&ArticleID=1332&Page

Italy

Many events have been planned for the Memorial Day 2013. Some of them have been organized at a national level and have been led by a specific Committee for the Coordination of events to commemorate the Shoah. This committee works at the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministries. On Thursday, January17th a press conference was held to present the most relevant events. These are summarized in the enclosed list.

For further details in Italian, please click here.

Several other events (conferences, shows, debates, videos) will take place in many schools along this period . Some of them are reported in the MIUR's website. Furthermore, Italian media are very active in commemorating the events.

Latvia

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs to launch event on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On 28 January in the Lesser Hall of the University of Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs will deliver an introductory address to launch the event dedicated to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event will see the screening of a documentary paying tribute to Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Kaunas before World War II by issuing them with Japanese visas. The film entitled "He Defied the Tide of Time. Chiune Sugihara and the Saving of the Six Thousand" was created in Sweden.

The event will be moderated by the Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rolands Lappuķe. At the beginning, historian, Mg.Hist. Aigars Urtāns will deliver a lecture on "Holocaust Awareness in Latvian society" followed by a presentation by the author of the documentary, Susanne Concha Emmerich from Stockholm. The event will be concluded by a brief debate. Invited to attend are the resident diplomatic corps, the academia, media representatives, students and everybody interested. The event is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centre for Judaic Studies of the University of Latvia in association with the Embassies of Lithuania, Israel and Japan in Latvia.

The University of Latvia will also host the Foreign Ministry's touring exhibition entitled "Latvia's Jewish Community: History, Tragedy, Revival".

http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/news/press-releases/2013/january/25-4/

Lithuania

Please click here for a comprehensive list of commemorative events dedicated to International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Lithuania.

Memorial event at Radviliskis Vaizgantas Progymnasium, Northern Lithuania

On the 25th January Radviliskis Vaizgantas Progymnasium is hosting a national memorial event to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event is going to be attended by students and teachers from Tolerance Education Centres (TEC).  In the first part of the event several educative reports on the historical significance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day marking the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp - the most horrific laboratory of mass murder in history will be given. The lecturers are going to reflect on the tragic destiny of Jewish people and the duty of remembrance.

In the second part of the event several discussion groups and creative workshops will be organised. Arkadijus Vinokuras who is the actor, author and journalist is going to introduce his artistic composition "Civic Society According to Mister Arcade."  More than 150 students and teachers from 14 schools of Lithuania, where TECs are operating, are expected to participate in the event.

For the third year in a row Radviliskis Vaizgantas Progymnasium (Northern Lithuania) becomes the host of national International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration.  In 2011 the national conference for students and educators was organised. In 2012 the final event of a project "The Butterflies" was held.

The event is organized by the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania and Radviliskis Vaizgantas Progymnasium TEC.

Commemorative events in Lithuania, 25 -28 January in Tolerance Education Centres

A great number of schools with active TECs are also going to have some commemorative (multi-subject lessons, pageants, project work presentations) events. Commemorations will take place in the following cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Kedainiai, Kursenai, Panevezys, Varena, Ukmerge, Kelme.

Luxembourg

No information is available at this time.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is organized each year on the last Sunday of January; the commemoration is held at the Mirror Memorial 'Auschwitz Never again' by Jan Wolkers located in the Wertheimpark in Amsterdam.

Under the slogan of 'Auschwitz Never again' NIOD organizes activities for youths aged 15-25, in cooperation with a number of other organizations. Through such activities, Holocaust Memorial Day Netherlands aims to raise awareness among youths about past and current genocides and promote the debate about the consequences of racial hatred, discrimination and antisemitism.

Holocaust Memorial Day Netherlands thinks it is important that as many organizations as possible take part in HMD. All are invited to organize activities for youths on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day.

A list of commemorative events in the Netherlands can be found here.  This information is also available in Dutch.

Norway

Oslo: The Holocaust Centre: Appeals and Speeches at the Memorial to the Deported Norwegian Jews, Remembrance Ceremony and lectures at the Akershus Castle

Web link to program: http://www.hlsenteret.no/arrangementer/2013/27-januar.html

Bergen: The Rafto House and The North Sea Traffic Museum: pedagogical workshops, theatre and Remembrance Ceremony

Trondheim: Jewish Museum and the Trondheim Art Museum: Appeals and Remembrance Ceremony.

Kristiansand: The Archive Foundation: pedagogical workshops and lectures

Web link to program: http://www.stiftelsen-arkivet.no/holocaustdagen-2013

Levanger/ The Falstad Centre:

The Falstad Centre welcomes you to commemorate the International day of remembrance for Holocaust victims on Sunday 27 January 2013 at the Falstad Centre. The event is held in cooperation with Sund Folk College.

During this year's commemoration on the Holocaust Remembrance day we have chosen to focus on equality. Equality will be a central topic in the year 2013 in Norway: it is century since women got the right to vote and thereby accomplishing universal suffrage in Norway. But the struggle to be accepted as equal has continued for many groups, and it has not become less important to focus upon this today. Throughout the history of the Holocaust, we meet the negation of the concept of equality, and it gives us a potent and important platform for reflections upon what equality means for us today.

The Falstad Centre is memorial, museum and human rights centre situated in the building that, in the period 1941-45, served as SS Stafgefangenenlager Falstad. As a counterpoint to the site's historical oppression we want to ensure that young people's involvement is heard and seen. During the day, we will organize workshops for students from Sund Folk College. Among other, historian Sebastian Klein will be holding a workshop on Jewish heritage based on his family history and experiences from working at a Jewish museum in the city of Wroclaw in Poland. Digital Storytelling from the workshop will be included in the evening event.

In the evening, we invite all interested parties to attend a public event. There will be a speech by historian Sebastian Klein, which will be followed by a jazz concert. Then, all guests are invited to visit the opening of the exhibition "Equality", with photographies from Norway and India. The commemoration ends with a torchlight procession to the Falstad Forest, which was the execution site of SS Stafgefangenenlager Falstad. During the commemoration ceremony in the Falstad Forest there will be reading of stories from the Falstad archive and musical performances.

For more information in Norwegian, see: www.falstadsenteret.no

Programme:

10.00 -16.30:       Workshops for Sund Folk College

18.00 - 19.00:      Evening Event

  • speech by historian Sebastian Klein
  • jazz concert
  • opening of photo exhibition

19.00 -20.00: Torchlight procession and commemoration ceremony in the Falstad Forest

Poland

27 January 2013 marked 68 years since the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz. The President of the Republic of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, assumed honorary patronage over the anniversary ceremony.



The event was attended by the former prisoners and liberators of Auschwitz, representatives of the governments and parliaments of Poland and Russia, ambassadors and diplomats from over 20 countries, representatives of the clergy, regional authorities, local governments, institutions and civil society organizations, as well as all those who wished to honor the memory of the victims of Nazi Germany.



More information is available from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum's site.

Romania

Although in Romania, by law, the official day for comemoration of the victims of the Holocaust is 9 October, the day of 27 January is also comemorated by the organization of different events.

This year, there will be an exposition organized by the Elie Wiesel Institute in the city of Iasi, under the title of "The Holocaust in Romania. How did it come to this?" There will be 10 young artists who will be showing around 33 works that will describe both the tragedy that the Jewish community had experienced during the Holocaust but also the last recent discovery regarding the Popricani massacre in June 1941.

In Bucharest, on the 30th of January, in partnership with the school history teachers from Ilfov, the Institute will hold a conference with the title "How can the Holocaust be taught in schools? History between knowledge and value."

Alongisde these, there are various events to which representatives of Romania will participate, such as the Romanian Ambassador in Kiev who will be holding a speech at such a commemorative event, which will be held on the 27th January 2013.

Serbia

The central state ceremony of the Republic of Serbia marking the International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day was held on 27 January, in Belgrade. At the monument devoted to the victims of World War II genocide, located within the former concentration camp complex at the Staro Sajmiste, wreaths were laid by President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Nebojsa Stefanovic, President of the Belgrade City Assembly Mr. Aleksandar Antic, Ambassadors of Israel and Germany, representatives of associations of Jews, Roma, etc.

The ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Serbian Government, the Federation of Jewish Communities, National Council of the Roma, officials of the City of Belgrade, the diplomatic corps, Holocaust survivors, victims' descendents and former inmates of the WWII death camps.

President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Nebojsa Stefanovic stated in his address that the monstrous plan of exterminating the entire Jewish people, as well as other peoples, made it incumbent upon us to permanently educate young people and underline diversity as a quality that brings people together, hoping that such crimes will never be repeated again.

President of the Belgrade City Assembly Aleksandar Antic reiterated that the City of Belgrade, in cooperation with the Republic of Serbia, would continue its activities concerning the construction of the memorial complex at the Staro Sajmiste.

A commemoration to Jews, Serbs and Roma, who perished in 1942 in the raids of Hungarian fascists, was held near Becej (Vojvodina).

In all elementary and secondary schools in Serbia, the first classes of the day were devoted to the Holocaust, antifascism and antisemitism.

On 28 January, an exhibition "Zemun Jewish Camp - Holocaust and Collaborationists in Serbia" was held at the Belgrade City Library. The exhibition was opened by Minister of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Bratislav Petkovic, in the presence of Jewish survivors, Belgrade University professors, the diplomatic corps, journalists and public officials. Minister Petkovic reiterated the commitment of the state that a memorial complex be constructed at the Staro Sajmiste.

Slovakia

Slovakia holds an official commemoration on September 9th each year (Day of Remembrance of Victims of Holocaust and Racial Violence). The date refers to the September 9th , 1941 on which the so-called Jewish Codex was adopted in Slovakia. The remembrance day was adopted by the Slovak Parliament in the year 2001 . On this day, several high-level officials attend a commemoration ceremony at the premises of a special Holocaust memorial in Bratislava.

Slovakia also has several commemorative events for 27 January:

- On January 27, 2013 a commemoration ceremony will be held at the auspicies of the former concentration and labor camp in Sered. Ceremony is prepared by the Museum of Jewish Culture, City of Sered, Jewish community of Galanta and Edah. The remains of the camp will serve as the first special Holocaust museum in Slovakia.

- On 27 January the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic regularly issues a statement concerning the International Day of Commemoration to Honor the Victims of the Holocaust.



- Jewish communities in Komarno, Bratislava and other (smaller as well as larger) cities around Slovakia  prepare special public commemoration events.



- UNESCO office for Human Rights Education in Bratislava organizes a special lecture for secondary school students.



- On January 26 (12:05): National TV channel STV1 will broadcast a special edition of program "Five Minutes After Twelve" dedicated to Holocaust education where young  people will discuss the issue with experts and teachers. (http://www.stv.sk/relacieaz/dvojka/5-minut-po-dvanastej/).

- On January 27 (19:00): Theater Arena will perform play "HOLOCAUST" from Slovak writer Viliam Klimáček. (http://www.divadloarena.sk/ponuka/detail/59).

- On January 27 (13:00): Discussion of students with Monika Vrzgulova, expert on Holocaust education and the Chair of the Education Working Group of the IHRA, will take place in Bratislava (http://www.ulib.sk/sk/podujatia/).

- On January 27 (15:00): Presentation of a documentary and book dedicated to Gisi Fleischmann, well-known leader of Holocaust era Jewish rescue group (the so called Bratislava Working Group) who died in Auschwitz, will take place at the premises of The Union of Jewish Communities in Slovakia.

- On January 30th Israeli Embassy in Bratislava organizes traditional event of the Award Righteous Among the Nations. Here is some additional information about it:

The Award Righteous Among the Nations is awarded in Slovakia since 1989 to honor the people of non-Jewish who risks their own lives in order to save their Jewish friends, co citizens, known and unknown people during the Second World War.  Since the establishment of the Embassy of Israel in Slovakia, the awards are presented in the official ceremony, each year in January, beginning of February.  The ceremony is attended by high official, representatives of political, cultural life, as well as survivors of Holocaust, families of rescued and rescuers.

Only in 2012, there were another  17 brave Slovaks, who became awarded with the title Righteous Among the Nations and thus forever have engraved their names in the Wall of Honour, in the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem.

The amount of awarded Righteous in Slovakia reached 542 in 2012, which makes Slovakia one of the leaders in this ranking.

Each story of rescue has its unique character and message, but they all speak the language of preserving the basic moral values in the dark and difficult times.

This year, as it is already a tradition, we will award another Righteous Among the Nations Slovaks in the annual ceremony on January 30, 2013, in the Mirror Hall of Primate Palace.

Further information in Slovak is available here.

Slovenia

A comprehensive list of activities is available in English and Slovenian.

Spain

As a component of the IHRA's multi-year work plan focus on Holocaust Memorial Days, the Advisor to the IHRA and the Chair of the Communications Working Group are taking part in a special program of events for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This includes the official Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Senate on 22 January, a seminar focusing on the construction of Holocaust memories particularly through the memories of rescuers, the official Holocaust Remembrance Day in ALCORCÓN, meetings with representatives of governmental ministries, civil society, and scholars, and the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in the Assembly of Madrid.

Sweden

There has been a significant growing widespread awareness of the commemoration of January 27th in Sweden, the Holocaust Memorial Day. The Living History Forum is explicitly tasked by the Swedish government to spread awareness about this day. Thus it has consistently and purposefully worked to inform about and to disseminate and support the commemoration of this day of remembrance. The following information about activities taking place in different parts of Sweden gives a glimpse of the result of this work.

The theme chosen for the Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January is Hitler's assumption of power in 1933 and the Nazi's gradual but relentless dismantling of democracy. In a short period of time all aspects of the German state and society as a whole were coordinated in line with the Nazi world view. The still new Weimar Republic was transformed by the Nazis from a democracy to a brutal dictatorship through political manoeuvrings, massive propaganda, opportunism, intimidation, violence and terror. Teachers and others may read more about this on the web site of the Living History Forum.

On Raoul Wallenberg's Square, in central Stockholm, Sweden's Minister of Integration, Mr. Erik Ullenhag, will give a speech, followed by The Living History Forum's Director. Dr. Eskil Franck. The memorial ceremony will be attended by representatives of the Swedish Government, Parliament, the City of Stockholm, foreign embassies and Holocaust survivors.

In the city of Norrköping a series of events will take place over several days. The program includes an address by author Göran Rosenberg, a lecture about the refugee camp Doverstorp which was situated in the vicinities of the city and an exhibition on the Warsaw Ghetto will be presented by artist Peter Freudenthal. Other events in the city focus on the persecution of the Roma and the issue of bridge building as a way to combat racism.

The city of Malmö is highlighting the Holocaust Remembrance Day Holocaust through the theme Holocaust in literature. Here too Göran Rosenberg, the author of a prize winning book about his father's faith during the Holocaust, will give a presentation. However the main focus in Malmö is on the persecution of the Roma during the Holocaust.

In the city of Västerås the Raoul Wallenberg-exhibition" To me there´s no other choice" will be accompanied by many different activities during what is best described as a memorial week. The program includes lectures with psychiatrist Tomas Böhm, author Ingrid Carlberg and author Bengt Jangfedt, both whom have recently published biographies on Raoul Wallenberg.  On the actual Remembrance Day 27 January, historian Dr. Henrik Bachner, gives a lecture on the return of anti-Semitism.

In the city of Borås there is an extensive program of events taking place. Activities begin on the Remembrance Day and continue thereafter. Two exhibits open on 27 January: "Rescuers during the Holocaust " and "People like you and I". The opening speech is held by author Anita Goldman, followed by a conversation with Holocaust survivors. A storytelling drama is performed by survivors Jovan and Dina Rajs, highlighting the occurrence of "decent people" during the time of the Holocaust. Other activities will focus on the history and persecution of the Roma.

In Gothenburg a rally for democracy will be organized on 27 January in the University Auditorium. Participating speakers are Deputy President Helena Lindholm Schulz, Provincial Governor Lars Bäckström, author Stefan Einhorn and journalist Jonathan Leman from the Expo Foundation, accompanied by musical performances by musicians Cafë Terezin. 



Several more activities are planned to take place in 60 other places all over Sweden.

Switzerland

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, several activities or ceremonies are organized in some cantons and schools. Under the theme "Dialogue of memories"  the Canton of Geneva is inviting the public to the screening of "Laci Bàcsi" a documentary movie about a group of Swiss students and their encounter with a Holocaust survivor from Hungary who lived in Switzerland. They met with him several times and helped him search for his past in both countries.

A workshop dedicated to the Roma genocide is organized in Geneva for teachers under the same theme with the participation of IHRA experts. The Roma genocide and the current situation of Romani people in Europe are the topics of a scientific conference in Aarau.

At the UN Office at Geneva the play "The Third Walpurgis Night" in which Karl Kraus gave 1933 a very accurate analysis of the Nazi propaganda is presented by the Saint-Gervais Theater Geneva.

United Kingdom

Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place in the UK since 2001. Since 2005 the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has coordinated and promoted HMD in the UK. HMDT is a charity set up at the behest of the UK Government and funded by its Department for Communities & Local Government.  In the UK, Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the Holocaust, those who suffered under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

HMDT organizes the UK national event for HMD, as well as promoting and supporting activities and projects in local communities, schools and other educational institutions.  HMDT reaches tens of thousands of people.  Over 1,400 activities took place across the UK for HMD 2012, with half of these activities having audiences of over 100 people. The HMD 2012 film on the theme Speak Up, Speak Out was watched by 140,000 people, and 35,000 people made an online pledge.

Theme for HMD 2013

The theme for UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 is 'Communities Together:  Build a Bridge'. The theme reminds us that during the Holocaust, and during the subsequent genocides, hatred and persecution have fractured communities and turned neighbours against each other.  The culture and way of life of many communities were destroyed.  In some cases, whole communities were wiped out.  The theme emphasises the need for us to show respect to others and to connect with others.  To show we are rejecting the hatred that resulted in genocide, HMDT is asking people to 'build bridges' within their community by signing an online statement.

UK Commemoration Event

HMDT organizes the annual HMD commemoration event for the UK. This is a formal ceremony, providing a national focus for HMD.  The Commemorative Ceremony for HMD 2013 includes candle lightings, survivors' testimony, music, prayer, speeches and a reading of the Stockholm Declaration. Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, and Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, will be participating in the 2013 ceremony. Similar events will be held in the devolved nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

UK Public Event

HMDT is also organizing a short public event for the 27 January. It will be held on the Millennium Bridge in central London, reflecting the 2013 theme Communities Together:  Build a Bridge. A choir will sing a specially commissioned song for HMD, entitled A Bridge of Voice, and members of the public will be encouraged to sign pledges committing them to building a bridge in their community.

Activities across the UK

HMDT's role includes providing support to local event organizers in commemorating HMD. In 2012 over 1,400 commemoration activities took place in the UK for HMD. HMDT produces a campaign pack for event organisers, and its website contains a wealth of resources and advice. Activities include classroom activities, exhibitions, civic ceremonies, speaker events, readings, performing arts, tree plantings and film screenings.

Online activity

HMDT is asking people to take part in an online action - pledging to 'Build a Bridge' in their community. HMDT has also commissioned a short film for HMD 2013. Lessons learnt? features a school photograph in which ethnic diversity and expressions of individuality are gradually erased. It encourages us to guard against exclusion by making connections within our communities - and reminds us that the strongest communities are those that respect difference. The film asks us to remember the communities that were destroyed by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and reach out to make connections in our own communities for Holocaust Memorial Day 2013. 140,000 people watched the online film for HMD 2012.

Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) Holocaust Memorial Day Event

'Communities Together: Build a Bridge' Thursday 24 January 2013 2.00 pm at Belsize Square Synagogue, 51 Belsize Square, London, NW3 4HX.

Guest Speaker: Sir Andrew Burns, UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues

Rabbi Stuart Altshuler will lead the service, during which AJR members will light memorial candles and Kaddish will be recited. The Akiva School Choir will participate. Please bring your children and grandchildren, who will be very welcome. Light Refreshments will be provided after the service.

United States

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will host its annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, January 25th at 11am. A large number of diplomats, including ambassadors from Task Force-member countries, as well as many from other nations, will join Holocaust survivors in remembering the victims of the Holocaust. A string quartet will add to the solemn atmosphere in the Museum's Hall of Remembrance, and diplomats and Holocausts survivors will join together to light memorial candles.

The USC Shoah Foundation has a number of activities for International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

PARIS, FRANCE

Video exhibit at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris

To mark International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, 2013, USC Shoah Foundation will be presenting a multimedia exhibition titled "Rescue: Preserving Humanity during the Holocaust." The exhibition will be on display in UNESCO's Paris headquarters from January 28 to February 4, 2013, and will consist of five monitors running different clips of testimonies.  Visitors will be guided through the exhibition by a series of panels discussing the theme of each monitor - Community Rescue, Diplomats and Rescue, Rescuing Children, Religion and Rescue, and Recognizing Rescue.  The testimonies will offer a multiplicity of voices and experiences with rescue during the Holocaust.  Stories of difficult decisions and strategies of how to participate in rescue activities will immerse the audience in the rich history of WWII and provide a tribute to those who participated.  This collection of testimonies will also be available for viewing at sfi.usc.edu during the week of January 28 to February 4, 2013.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Holocaust and Our Regional History

In partnership with Terezín Memorial, Jewish Museum of Prague and Yad Vashem, USC Shoah Foundation will again be participating in a series of teacher seminars the week of January 21, 2013 titled "Holocaust and Our Regional History." The series will highlight the myriad of web resources available to teachers from the participating organizations in advance of International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, 2013. Seminars will be held in the Karlsbad/Karlovy Vary region, then move to Ostrov and Ohří, and conclude in Pilsen/ Plzeň.  Photos from the 2012 seminars can be found at http://sfi.usc.edu/album/3620/ or through our Czech portal at http://sfi.usc.edu/news/3515.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

3rd Annual Conference of the Malach Centre for Visual History

On January 28, 2013, USC Shoah Foundation will be participating in the 3rd Annual Conference at the Malach Centre of Visual History at Charles University Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. The Malach Centre of Visual History is home to the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive in the Czech Republic.  The conference will welcome academicians and officials from across the Czech Republic, including Jan Hajic from the Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics (UFAL) at the Computer Science School, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University and Martin Smok, Senior International Program Consultant for USC Shoah Foundation. Sam Gustman, who serves as both the chief technology officer for USC Shoah Foundation and associate dean at the USC Libraries will also attend. Contributors will discuss the first three years of work of the Malach Centre of Visual History, and possibilities of using archival material in educational practice and other associated topics.  More information can be found at http://ufal.mff.cuni.cz/cvhm/events.html.

KIGALI, RWANDA

One man can make a difference - Commemorating Raoul Wallenberg and heroes of Rwanda in Kigali

USC Shoah Foundation will take part in two days of activities in Kigali to mark the centenary of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, whose efforts saved thousands of Jews in Budapest, Hungary, and to honor Rwandan rescuers who saved Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. Part of an international commemoration of Wallenberg initiated by the Government of Sweden, activities will include an exhibit opening at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre; remarks by Michael Wernstedt, grandnephew of Raoul Wallenberg; a keynote address and panel discussion among rescuers, activists, and scholars; and public film screenings to celebrate Wallenberg as well as Rwandan rescuers. The commemoration will be held in collaboration with the Aegis Trust Kigali Genocide Memorial, the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), and the U.S. Embassy with the active involvement also of Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.

Observer Countries

Bulgaria

No information is available at this time.

the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

No information is available at this time.

Portugal

This year's main commemoration in Portugal in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust took place as usual at the Parliament, where, on 24 January, the Speaker presided over a ceremony during which choral music was performed and the film "The Consul of Bordeaux," on the events in the life of Consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes in France in June 1940, which lead to the saving of thousands of Jews and the said diplomat beeing postumously awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title by Yad Vashem, was shown.

On 27 January proper, the Minister of Foreign Affairs issued, on behalf of the Government, a statement relevant to the occasion. On the same date, in Porto, the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Porto Synagogue, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, was celebrated, it being worth pointing out that, in 1938, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, while all over Europe synagogues were being razed to the ground, in Portugal, a new one was beeing inaugurated.

On 28 January, a conference on the meaning of the Holocaust for present generations was held at Lisbon's Centre for Judicial Studies, during which a member of the Government, the Secretary of State for Education, delivered an address on the subject. Others taking the floor included the head of the Jewish community of Lisbon and university teachers.

As usual, schools took advantage of the date to organize activities related to the education of the Holocaust.

Turkey

The Turkish Jewish Community, in conjunction with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized on 27 January 2013 a ceremony at the Etz Ahayim Synagogue in Istanbul on occasion of the United Nations Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust. The Synagogue is special in the sense that it is almost side by side with a mosque and a church. A number of distinguished of visitors including local and national politicians, religious leaders, academicians, intellectuals and the press attended the ceremony.

A photo exhibition and a was put together on the occasion of the ceremony at the Etz Ahayim.

Additional information, including the speeches and messages by the Speaker of the Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of European Affairs among others could be found at the following website:

http://www.turkyahudileri.com/content/view/2347/287/lang,en/

Permanent Observers

United Nations

The 2013 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is built around the theme "Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care". Through exhibits, film, educational activities and the annual memorial ceremony, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and the global network of United Nations Information Centres honour those who risked their own lives to save tens of thousands of Jews, Roma and Sinti and others from near certain death under the Nazi regime during the Second World War in Europe. The week's events, beginning on 22 January 2013, will provoke each participant's own thoughts and beliefs about the moral values and courage that lie behind such daring acts of rescue and the importance of preserving human dignity and protecting human rights.

Tuesday, 22 January - Joint Exhibition Opening

Venue: UN Visitors Lobby

Time: 6:00 p.m.

"The World Knew -- Jan Karski's Mission for Humanity"

Contact: ewa.malys [at] msz.gov.pl

This exhibit lays out the captivating background of Polish native Jan Kozielewski, who under the assumed name of Jan Karski served as a courier for the Polish Underground State and informed Allied leaders about Nazi Germany's ongoing extermination of the Jews. Karski was a Roman Catholic who later attained American citizenship and was named an honourary citizen of Israel and a Righteous Among the Nations. The exhibit has been produced by the Polish History Museum in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation.

"Whoever Saves a Single Life ... Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust"

Contact: jfr [at] jfr.org

This exhibit showcases some of those rare but exceedingly important instances where people fought to safeguard their Jewish fellow citizens during the Holocaust. In a time of overwhelming death and destruction, rescuers did not stand by silently. They chose another way, and their bravery offers us a glimmer of hope. It shows us that people are able to make choices and act on them, even in the face of powerful constraints, offering us a lesson on the universal value of the preservation of human life, human dignity, and human rights. It shows us that people are able to make choices and act on them, even in the face of powerful constraints, offering us a lesson on the universal value of the preservation of human life, human dignity and human rights. The exhibit has been produced by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

Wednesday, 23 January - Film Screening and Panel Discussion of "The Rescuers"

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Venue: ECOSOC Chamber, North Lawn Building

This documentary film by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Michael King chronicles the heroic efforts of a dozen diplomats who used the powers and privileges tied to their postings throughout Europe to save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews during the Second World War. These 12 individuals - from a Muslim Turk stationed in Greece to a Japanese envoy posted in Lithuania - took enormous personal risks to their lives and livelihoods to help others in dire circumstances. Michael King follows Sir Martin Gilbert, an eminent Holocaust historian who lost family members to the Holocaust, and Stephanie Nyombayire, a young Rwandan anti-genocide activist whose family was murdered during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as he interviews Holocaust survivors and descendants of the rescuers. Producer Joyce D. Mandell will introduce the film. Michael King and Leon Moed, a Holocaust rescuee, will take part in Q&A following the screening. The screening is organized by the United Nations Holocaust Programme in partnership with the United States Mission to the United Nations and Sousa Mendes Foundation.

RSVP: http://www.un.org/holocaustremembrance/index.shtml

Thursday, 24 January DPI NGO Briefing "Rescue during the Holocaust: The Story of the Danish Jews"

Contact: sainte [at] un.org

Friday, 25 January Holocaust Memorial Ceremony "Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care"

Venue: General Assembly Hall (UN HQ)

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Anchored by this year's theme of "Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care", this solemn ceremony includes a video message by the United Nations Secretary-General and statements by H.E. Mr. Raymond Serge Balé, Vice-President of the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, delivered on behalf of H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and H.E. Ms. Signe Burgstaller, Deputy Permanent Representatives of Sweden to the United Nations. Professor Ethel Brooks, who is Romani and a sociologist at Rutgers University, will share her perspective on the impact of Nazi terror and murder on Roma and Sinti families, while the keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Mordecai Paldiel of Yeshiva University, who is a Jewish Holocaust survivor and leading authority on the acts of rescue during the Holocaust. Professor Paldiel is the former director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, which marks its 50th anniversary in 2013. Cantor Chaim David Berson will recite memorial prayers. The music during the ceremony will be performed by the Motyl Chamber Ensemble.

RSVP: http://www.un.org/holocaustremembrance/index.shtml

At the initiative of the Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme, The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) has made an eight-part poster series on the subject of "Rescue" available to the global network United Nations Information Centres for their educational activities. A teacher's guide on how to generate a discussion on the importance of rescue, and student handouts describing individual stories accompany the posters, which convey the values of self-sacrifice, integrity and moral courage, offer a universal lesson on the importance of the preservation of human dignity and the protection of human rights.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, with the assistance of UNIC Buenos Aires, UNIC Moscow, UNRIC Brussels and UNIS Geneva, has translated these products into French, Russian and Spanish for classroom use.

UNESCO

The official message of the Director-General of UNESCO for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January 2013), UNESCO has published a new brochure, "Why teach about the Holocaust?" which provides an overview of Holocaust education. The brochure explains that the Holocaust was a defining historical moment; that genocide is not inevitable; that states and citizens have responsibilities; that silence contributes to oppression and that prejudice and racism have roots. In addition, it explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching about the Holocaust and provides educational resources on the Holocaust and other genocides.  All reviewers of the brochure are IHRA members.  More information is available here.

UNESCO Events for International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

Monday, 28 January 2013 | Conference

From Holocaust Education to the Prevention

of Genocide: What have we learnt from the Past?

Room IV, from 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

With the participation of:

  • Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO;
  • Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide;
  • Edward Kissi, Professor at the Department of Africana studies of the University of South Florida (United States of America/Ghana);
  • Dan Michman, Historian, Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem (Israel);
  • Karen Pollock, Executive Director of the Holocaust Educational Trust (United Kingdom);

Samuel Pisar, writer and lawyer, Holocaust survivor,  UNESCO Honorary Ambassador, Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.

Monday, 28 January 2013 | Ceremony

Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Room I, 7.30 p.m.

  • Screening of the short film Les Justes by Emmanuel Finkiel;
  • Speeches:
  • Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO;
  • Eric de Rothschild, President of the Mémorial de la Shoah (Paris);
  • Nimrod Barkan, Ambassador, Permanent  Delegate of Israel to UNESCO;
  • Vincent Peillon, French Minister of Education;
  • Rossen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • Reading of a text written by Jean-Claude Grumberg by Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Artist for Peace, and actor Francis Huster;
  • Testimony of Serge Klarsfeld, historian et lawyer, President of the association Fils et filles des déportés juifs de France;
  • Musical pieces performed by Pascal Amoyel (piano) and Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello);
  • Prayers by Officiating Minister Adolphe Attia.

From 28 January to 4 February 2013 | Exhibitions

Resistance and rescue in Denmark

Photographies by Judy Ellis Glickman

Pas Perdus Room

The history of Shoah in Denmark is an exception in the European history: 99 % of the Jewish population survived the German occupation, the majority of the Jews of Denmark having succeeded in escaping towards Sweden with the help of the Danish resistance and numerous citizens of the country. Those who were deported stayed in Theresienstadt and were finally transferred in Sweden before the end of the war. Besides, most of the Jews found their houses and synagogues intact at their return in 1945 because there were no plunders organized in Denmark.

The presented exhibition was prepared at the beginning of 1990s by the photographer Judy Ellis Glickmann and by the founder and director of Humanity in Action, Judith Goldstein, then entrusted to the Mémorial de la Shoah (Paris) to ensure its circulation in Europe. Since then, new research on Denmark and the Holocaust was published and an updated version of the text was prepared by the Mémorial de la Shoah for the French version.

Rescue: Preserving Humanity during the Holocaust

Miró Halls

This multimedia exhibition presented by the University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation, Institute for Visual History and Education consists in five monitors running different reels of testimonies on a loop. Visitors will be guided through the exhibition by a series of panels discussing the theme of each reel - Community Rescue, Diplomats and Rescue, Rescuing Children, Religion and Rescue, and Recognizing Rescue. The testimonies will offer a multiplicity of voices and experiences with rescue during the Holocaust. Stories of survival and stories of difficult decisions and strategies of how to participate in rescue activities will immerse the audience in the rich history of WWII and provide a tribute to those who participated in rescue activities.

The University of Southern California Shoah Foundation was created in 1994 by Steven Spielberg to collect and safeguard testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.

OSCE/ODIHR

No information is available at this time.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency

The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) released a statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

International Holocaust remembrance, a timely reminder of the need to step up efforts to fight racism and antisemitism in the EU

International Holocaust Memorial Day, on 27 January, marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and honours the millions of victims that suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime. The initial findings of FRA's latest survey on antisemitism underline the need to reflect on the lessons of the Holocaust in order to more effectively combat the racism, antisemitism and political extremism that we are witnessing across the EU today.

"Antisemitism in the EU remains high, as initial findings from FRA's survey reveal," said Morten Kjaerum, FRA Director. "Three-quarters of respondents say that the situation has got worse in the past five years with online antisemitism being more common. Clearly Europe and its Member States face serious challenges of racism and antisemitism. But we can all learn from the past for the future. This is why greater understanding of human rights through history can empower us to act and try to make a difference to those who are regular victims of hate crime, threats and violence."

In 2013, FRA will publish the results of its extensive research into hate crime. In June, FRA will publish its annual report on antisemitism in the EU, followed by findings from its survey of Jewish people's experiences and perceptions of antisemitism in the autumn. It will also release results from its EU-wide surveys on hate crime against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in May, and on violence against women in October. This year, FRA's annual Fundamental Rights Conference in November 2013 will also focus specifically on hate crime.

The first-ever official annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day event took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 22 January. FRA reaffirms its commitment to continue its work preserving the memory of the Holocaust as an important part of raising awareness on antisemitism and promoting human rights. Since 2006, FRA has conducted research on Holocaust and Human Rights Education and published handbooks on human rights education at Holocaust memorial sites and guidance for schools and teachers. The agency has also worked together with memorial sites and museums bridging in practice human rights and Holocaust education. In partnership with Yad Vashem, FRA has also published an online toolkit for teachers to teach Holocaust and Human Rights Education.

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe will be holding a conference entitled "La Shoah par balles" on 27 January in Strasbourg.  More information is included in the program and the invitation.