print this page

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012

27.01.2012

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 2012, the International Day of Commemoration will be marked by a number of national and international events.  The UN will focus its 2012 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on the theme "Children and the Holocaust."

The following overview of commemoration events is based on information and links provided by ITF 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: Portugal - the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - Turkey; Permanent Observers: United Nations - UNESCO - CoE - OSCE/ODIHR - FRA

Member Countries

Argentina

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina will be hosting a commemorative event on Friday, 27 January at 11.30 at the Palacio San Martín in Buenos Aires.

Austria

Discussion on "Remembrance as Task", Vienna

Honoring the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the psycho-social centre ESRA, the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DOEW) and AMCHA Austria organized a discussion on the topic "Remembrance as Task" on 25 January. The invited speakers are co-authors of a book edited by representatives of AMCHA Austria "What stays behind of the Shoa" ("Was bleibt von der Shoa"), which were publicly presented that same evening.

"The Girls' Orchestra in Auschwitz", Vienna

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Mrs. Barbara Prammer, president of the Austrian Parliament, is invited on 26 January to a dramatic reading "Das Mädchenorchester in Auschwitz" (The Girls' Orchestra in Auschwitz) by members of Erstes Wiener Lesetheater und Zweites Stegreiftheater, based on Fania Fénelon's memoirs „Sursis pour l'orchestre" (1976).

Commemoration and Action Week against Racism, Antisemitism and Right-Wing Extremism, Austria

In the framework of a Commemoration and Action Week against Racism, Antisemitism and Right-Wing Extremism, which will take place from 20 to 27 January in Vienna and other Austrian cities, numerous public events are supposed to highlight the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. A calendar of events can be found on the Commemoration and Action Week's website www.jetztzeichensetzen.at, where Austria's main religious communities, political parties and institutions same as NGOs, academic and cultural organizations are listed in the supporting committee.

Belgium

In honor of Belgium's 2012 Chairmanship of the ITF and on the eve of the day of commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz, a ceremony was held on 26 January 2012 at the Heritage Centre Lamot in Mechelen by the Board of Governors of "Remembrance - Education - Justice" (National Committee of the Jewish Community of Belgium for the Restitution & Memory).  Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.  Additional speakers included the Chairman of the Central Israelitic Consistory of Belgium, the President of the Claims Conference, Beate Klarsfeld, and representatives of the Jewish Communities.  Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo transmitted a video message to the ceremony.

Canada

Canadian governments (federal, provincial, and territorial) acknowledge 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Federally, this day is marked with official statements by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and by several provincial/territorial premiers.  As well, a number of events will be held by non-governmental organizations in Canada to mark the day.

At the federal level, the Government of Canada also commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day ("Yom Ha Shoah") which is determined in each year by the Jewish lunar calendar. Canada has also officially declared 17 January as Raoul Wallenberg Day, designated for reflection on the evils of racism and hate and the profound impact that an individual who speaks out can have.

The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada, invites people to discover 10 objects from its collection. Through this special guided tour of the Museum, people will discover the history of these artefacts, the stories behind them and of those to whom they once belonged.  Information on reservations and tour times can be found on their website.

The Centre will also launch a human rights website, highlighting how young adults are and can be involved in human rights issues, on January 19. A link is made with the Righteous among the Nations during the Holocaust.  More information on this can be found here.

B'nai Brith Canada, in partnership with the Turkish community, will co-host a premier screening of Turkish Passport. This new film, produced in Turkey, tells the little-known story of Turkish diplomats who went to extraordinary lengths to save Jews with Turkish passports trapped in Nazi-occupied Europe.  These screenings, at events designed to bring together diverse communities in Holocaust remembrance, will be held in Montreal (January 25), Toronto (January 26) and Winnipeg (January 28).

The Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto, will be presenting their third-annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture, sponsored by the Ester Bern Memorial Fund.  The 2012 lecture will take place on January 29 and feature Professor Robert Jan van Pelt.

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Vancouver and Annette & Norman Rothstein Theatre, under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy, will screen 50 Italians: The 50 Men Who Saved 50,000 Jewish Lives on January 30.  The film tells the story of how 50 high-ranking Italian diplomats and generals saved almost 50,000 Jewish lives, helping them to escape persecution, deportation and death.  More information is available here.

Croatia

On the occasion of January 27th a wide range of activities will be organized in Croatia.

Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic, will open the Shoah Academy on January 25th, in the organisation of the Jewish Community of Zagreb, and will give a lecture for high school students in Zadar, on January 27th.

Representatives of the President and representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Science, Education and Sports will attend the opening of the regular annual 3-day training course on the Holocaust education, being held from 25-27 January in Zagreb and Jasenovac. The course is organized by Education and Teacher Training Agency for Croatian primary and secondary-school teachers, and hosts domestic and foreign lecturers who are experts from the field.

Jasenovac Memorial Area, involved in the organization of the course, will organize additional activities on January 27th. The Memorial Museum will be open until 7 p.m., and during that time visitors will have oportunity not only to visit permanent exhibition in the Museum, but also to see an exhibition of posters made by school children, as a result of activities between the  Education and Teacher Training Agency and Yad Vashem. In the afternoon the Flower Monument in Jasenovac will be illuminated, and an ad-hoc exhibition of photographs of the Monument will be organised.

In the Croatian State Archives posters from the International Poster Competition (Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive) will be exhibited during the last week of January and in February.

Czech Republic

No information at this time.

Denmark

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

"A world of choices"

Auschwitz Day is commemorated within the frame of a particular theme - a theme that changes every year. I 2012 the theme is "A World of Choices - Perpetrator, Bystander or Rescuer?" By focusing on the different actors in a genocide key questions of historical, psychological and ethical nature are addressed: How can genocides actually happen? Why do some people become perpetrators while others save lives? And why do some people stand by passively during an unfolding genocide?

Commemorative events and educational activites

A number of events dealing with this theme are hosted by citites across the country. For more information about the programs and activities across Denmark as well as this year's theme, visit the official webpage www.27-1.dk (in Danish only).

In addition to the commemorative events in different municipalities on January 27th, a range of educational activities for pupils, students and teachers from all over the country are carried out. 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. These activities are coordinated and executed 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 students at secondary school, is offered. The educational materials include three websites (www.folkedrab.dk, www.holocaust.dk and www.theresienstadt.dk - in Danish only). These educational websites can be used by both teachers and students and feature articles on the Holocaust, Holocaust denial and other genocides, source material, assignments, eye witness accounts and suggestions for further reading.

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 (in Danish only).

Estonia

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip delivered a speech on 27 January 2012 at the opening of the memorial to the Estonian Jews who died in the Holocaust.

On January 27, a memorial dedicated to Estonian Jews who were victims of Holocaust will be opened. The names of 947 Estonian Jews that were murdered during the Holocaust in Estonia have been identified and will be recorded in the "Gallery of Memory" that will be opened in the Center of Estonian Jewish Community on the Holocaust Memorial Day.  The authors of the memorial are Vanessa Jaretski and Aleksei Nugis. The project was financed by private donations and supported by Estonian Government. Prime Minister of Estonia, Mr Andrus Ansip will make a statement at the ceremony; the chairperson of Estonian Jewish Community, Mrs Alla Jakobson; Ambassador of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr Dan Ashabel; Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, H.E. Mrs Renate Kobler; survivor of Holocaust, Mr Isidor Levin and Chief Rabbi, Mr Shmuel Kot will also speak. Opening of the memorial will be followed by concert with Nevil Blumberg and "The Endless Journey". Photo exhibition of Peter Rigaud „Jude sein - being Jewish", in co-operation with the Vienna Jewish Museum and Austrian Embassy in Tallinn will also be opened in the Center of Estonian Jewish Community on that day.

For more information:

Vadim Rõvlin

Head of Estonian Jewish Community

phone + 372 6 99 80 25

mobile + 372 5 114 585

vadim [at] jewish.ee

As a side event, Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association in co-operation with Estonian Ministry of Education and Research held a one-day seminar mainly for teachers on the topic of Holocaust on January 24th 2012. ITF Chair Ambassador Karel de Beer addressed the seminar, adding an international dimension to the event. During the seminar human rights were tackled in a broader context, and historical, cultural and communication aspects of Holocaust remembrance were discussed. Estonian Chief Rabbi, Mr Shmuel Kot; historian and teacher, Mr David Vseviov; professor of international law at University of Tartu, Mr Lauri Mälksoo; communication expert, Mr Marica Lillemets were among the speakers. Around 80 teachers participated in the seminar.

 

Finland

The commemoration event for International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Helsinki was held on 26 January and was arranged by the Finnish Holocaust Remembrance Association in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Anne Frank House.  For more information, please see the attached program.

This year visitors to the commemoration will have the possibility to see the Anne Frank exhibition, which will be officially opened on January 30.  More information on the opening ceremony can be found in the invitation.

France

No information at this time.

Germany

Prof. Dr. Marcel Reich-Ranicki, prominent literature critic and survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, will address the German Bundestag in the Plenary hall of the Reichstag in commemoration of 27 January 2012.  The ceremony will begin at 9:00 with an introduction by Bundestag President Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert.  The ceremony can be viewed live on TV via www.bundestag.de (versions available in German and English).

The Federal Agency for Civic Education launched a database for memorial sites and initiatives in coordination with the commemoration of 27 January.  This database also includes websites concerning Holocaust education.  A mobile app is being launched as a follow-up soon.  Datenbank Erinnerungsorte für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus www.bpb.de/erinnerungsorte.

In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a new exhibit entitled "Staying Together:  Hungarian Holocaust Survivors Report" opened in Berlin on Wednesday, 25 January 2012.  The exhibit focuses on the experiences of Hungarian women during the Holocaust, a topic that has not been the subject of extensive historical or literary publications.

The exhibition will be shown at the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand, and is presented in cooperation with the International Auschwitz Committee, the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the International Youth Meeting Center in Oswiecim/Auschwitz.  The exhibition will also be shown in Budapest.

The opening ceremony took place at the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand on 25 January.  Speakers included Dietmar Nietan, Member of the German Bundestag, Christoph Heubner, Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, and Dr. Katalin Pecsi-Pollner, in conversation with Auschwitz survivors Irma Biedermann and Nomi Gur in Hungary.

More information on the opening ceremony can be found here.

Greece

No information at this time.

Hungary

To commemorate the famous rescuer and Swedish diplomat, the Raoul Wallenberg Year was officially opened on 17 January  -  the day Wallenberg was last seen - in the premises of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The opening speech was held by H.E. János Martonyi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary. H.E. Mr. Yoseph Peled, Minister at the Prime Minister's office of Israel and H.E. Mr. Carl Bildt Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden spoke at the opening as well.  After the ceremony, the guests were welcome to visit the Swedish exhibition: „For me there is no other choice - Raoul Wallenberg 1912-2012."  More information can be found in the program and the informational brochure.

The Holocaust Memorial Center holds a commemoration ceremony in cooperation with the March of the Living Foundation at 11 AM 27 January 2012 at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest also marking the opening of the traveling Wagon Exhibition.



Addresses will be made by H. E. Ilan Mor, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary, Dr. Bence Rétvári, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, Prof. dr. Szabolcs Szita, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center and Gábor Gordon, President of March of the Living Foundation.

Ms. Sonja Wintersberger, Acting Director of United Nations Information Services, Vienna will convey the message of the  the UN.

Following the commemoration participants will have the opportunity to take part in a guided tour of the Holocaust Documentation Center and Memorial.

After the event participants will have the opportunity to take part in a guided tour of the Holocaust Documentation Center and Memorial.



The program will be accessible online, broadcasted on the homepage (www.hdke.hu).

More information:

Holocaust Memorial Center

H-1094 Budapest, 39 Páva St. Hungary

Phone +36 1 455 33 33

Fax: +36 1 455 33 99

E-mail: info [at] hdke.hu

 

Ireland

Ireland's National Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration, in association with Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, The Department of Justice and Equality, and Dublin City Council, will take place on Sunday, 29 January 2012 from 6-8 pm at the Mansion House, Dublin 2.

The 10th Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked in Ireland on the evening of 29 January 2012 at a ceremony in the Mansion House, Dublin. Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI), in association with the Department of Justice and Equality, and Dublin City Council, organises the national commemoration and several other events to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day. As a signatory of Stockholm Declaration, Ireland has undertaken to commemorate the Holocaust every year and to teach the lessons from it for the future.

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins 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 we will also be considering the destruction of Jewish culture. Some of the readings refer specifically to this and some of the readers are drawn from the sphere of Irish arts and culture.

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.

To coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, Holocaust Education Trust Ireland will be displaying the exhibition The Holocaust in Europe, in association with the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. It will be displayed in Dublin and afterwards it will tour Ireland. The Annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Prof. Richard J. Evans on the 2 February in association with HETI and Trinity College Dublin.

Israel

22 January 2012

Cabinet Meeting of the Israeli Government to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day- including unveiling of "Keeping The Memory Alive" Poster Exhibit, organized by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

23 January 2012

At Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

A new exhibition, "Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity" will open at Yad Vashem's Exhibitions Pavilion at 12:30 in the presence of the diplomatic corps and Holocaust survivors. The exhibition presents some 200 portraits of Jews drawn by Jewish artists during the Holocaust. The depictions were undertaken in ghettos, concentration camps, and during slave labor.

An international symposium in the presence of diplomats, historians and the general public will take place in the Yad Vashem Auditorium. The Symposium, "70 years since the Wannsee Conference: The Organization of the Mass Murder of the Jews and Its Significance" will take place in Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation. Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, HE Mr Henri Etoundi Essomba, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem, and Prof. Omer Bartov, of Brown University, will be among the speakers. The full program is available here >.



26 January 2012

Ceremonial evening of the "Next Generation" Association, an event at "Bet Hatfustot" (Museum of the Diaspora, Tel Aviv) in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry for Senior Citizens

January 26th - Israeli National Library- "Five Tragic Songs" - World premiere performance to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The National Library will host ac oncert to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, 26 January 2012, sponsored by the Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of Uruguay in Israel, at 8pm. The concert will feature world premiere of a new work of Uraguayan Jewish composer Leon Breoti  to texts on the Holocaust selected from the Spanish poetry of Prof Moses Liba,  the prolific writer and retired Israeli Ambassador. The works will be performed by "21st Century Ensemble", one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music , in Israel. The ensemble also will perform another work written in Theresienstadt.

27th January 2012

Ghetto Fighters House (Lohamei HaGetta'ot)

"The Young Leading The Way- Then and Now" - Commemorative Conference 9.30am-1pm

http://www.gfh.org.il/Eng/?CategoryID=39&ArticleID=59

"I Honor" Wall-  Online virtual event on Yad Vashem's Facebook page, invites people to honor the Righteous Among the Nations. https://www.facebook.com/events/334399479915909/

International Holocaust Memorial Day Diplomatic Commemoration Ceremony, at Massuah, January 27th 2012, 10am

In the presence of Robert Serry, The Hon. Dorit Benisch, MK Danny Ayalon, H.E Daniel Shapiro, and others.  Full program: http://www.massuah.org.il/english/news.aspx?ItemId=22

January 30, 2012

Yad Vashem will inaugurate the new International Seminars Wing of the International School for Holocaust Studies, generously supported by Joseph Gottdenker of Canada along with Friends of Yad Vashem worldwide, and the new Edmund J. Safra Lecture Hall, donated by the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.  The new wing adds 45,000 square feet of space to the International School, and provides state-of-the-art facilities, to meet the ever-expanding demand for educational seminars for teachers and public opinion-shapers from Israel and around the globe.  The inauguration event will take place with the participation of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar, the donors, dignitaries and educators currently participating in seminars at the International School from Taiwan and Latin America.  The event will take place at 10:30 in Hebrew with English translation and is open to the press.

Italy

No information at this time.

 

Latvia

No information at this time.

Lithuania

Lithuania Makes Sincere and Continuous Efforts Towards Perpetuating Memory of the Holocaust Victims, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Says

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis called for the continuation of the successful fight against antisemitism, racism and other forms of intolerance, the fostering of the memory of the Holocaust victims, the development of education about this tragic page of history and support for the projects of the Jewish culture that is deeply rooted in Lithuania.

"On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day we commemorate millions of Jews and other victims of Nazism. It reminds us to join the fight against any form of discrimination, intolerance or hatred. Best way to pay tribute to the Holocaust victims is to make continues effort to ensure that this tragedy would never happen again, also to ensure the respect of human dignity and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms irrespective of the origin, sex, race, religion or social status," Ažubalis said.

The Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania declared 2011 as the Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania. The Government has implemented a comprehensive programme commemorating the Holocaust victims, Lithuanian anti-Nazi fighters and saviours of Jews, also preserving and perpetuating the historical and cultural heritage of the Lithuanian Jews.

As part of the Government's programme, Lithuanian diplomatic service engaged in the organization of the international academic conference in London "No Simple Stories: Jewish-Lithuanian Relations between Coexistence and Violence". Exhibitions presenting the Jewish cultural heritage ran during this colloquium of historians.

In Prague, Lithuania's OSCE chairmanship in cooperation with its foreign partners organised the conference "Confronting Anti-Semitism in Public Discourse". The exhibition "The Jewish World of Yesterday, the Hope of Today" was opened during the event.

Lithuanian embassies, Jewish communities, non-governmental organisations and the global Litvak diaspora commemorated the victims of the Holocaust.

"Lithuania makes sincere and continuous efforts towards perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust victims, fighting against anti-Semitism, fostering tolerance and mutual respect," Ažubalis stressed.

In November 2011, the international conference "Totalitarianism and Tolerance. Challenges to Freedom" took place in Vilnius. Officials, diplomats, representatives from the academic community, members of minorities and public organizations, clergy, journalists, specialists of Holocaust studies and history from the U.S., Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania shared their experience and knowledge at the event.

A special exhibition devoted to Nazi crimes in Lithuania runs in the former Gestapo cell at the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, a film on the Jewish massacre in Lithuania was produced and can be viewed by visitors at the centre. A publication "Holocaust in Lithuania in 1941-1944" was issued.

"I am certain that in spite of the fairly difficult economic situation, and together with the Lithuanian Jewish community, we shall continue to implement the activities that are important for our historical memory, to foster the Lithuanian Jewish cultural heritage and to strengthen ties with Litvaks living all around the world," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who initiated the launch of the Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania together with Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Emanuelis Zingeris.

After the re-establishment of the state of Lithuania, the historical and cultural heritage of the Lithuanian Jewry is consistently being restored. Last year, an exhibition of Arbit Blatas pictures  was organized at the Lithuanian National Gallery of Art, and an exhibition of pictures by Samuel Bak runs at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. The memory of the Vilna ghetto prisoner, world-renowned Yiddish poet Abraham Sutzkever was perpetuated. His book of poetry was published in Lithuanian and presented at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. The historical Jewish ghetto fragments of Vilnius are being restored, the memorial plaque at the old Jewish cemetery in Šnipiškės was unveiled and the remaining fragments of the Great Synagogue were unearthed. Monuments were built for Dr. Tzemach Shabad, one of the founders of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Romain Gary, the Prix Goncourt winner and writer, Zalman Reisen, a scholar, Danielis Dolskis a composer and performer of popular music in Kaunas. Other works were carried out engaging Lithuanian historians, scholars, and museum employees from various regions of Lithuania. In December, the Jewish Public Library opened its doors in Vilnius.

Since 1994, Lithuania has annually marked the National Holocaust Remembrance Day on 23 September, on the occasion of the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto in 1943. In 2005, the United Nations designated January 27 - the day of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau - as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Younger Generation Should Be Well Aware of Holocaust Roots and its Tragic Scope, Lithuanian Foreign Vice-Minister Says

On 27 January at the events of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Vilnius, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė called for making every effort to perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and for encouraging the younger generation to learn about the roots of this unique racial crime and its tragic scope.

"Even today the Lithuanian society and the entire international community should make every effort to help the younger generation, who have not witnessed the horrors of the Second World War with their own eyes, learn about the preconditions that enabled this unique racial crime - the Holocaust - and its manifestations," the Vice-Minister stressed.

According to her, the scientific studies about similarities and differences of the totalitarian crimes carried out in many countries of the world contribute to better understanding of "the evil seed giving rise to hate crimes based on a race, ethnic background or religion, which have claimed the lives of millions of people".

Moreover, this makes it easier for us to find effective ways to curb anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and any kind of discord that can potentially lead to bloody conflicts.

Skaisgirytė Liauškienė took part in the opening of the exhibition of a unique 'malina' shelter at the Jewish Culture and Information Centre in the former Vilna ghetto territory. This exhibition acquaints with the so-called ghetto "malina" shelters - the hiding places where Jews found shelter during the Nazi-occupation of Lithuania.

Members of Lithuanian diplomatic service abroad commemorate the memory of the Holocaust victims together with the Jews of Lithuanian origin. They participate in various memorial events organized by international institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Additional Events

A project called "The Butterflies" the project will be implemented in Lithuania and was initiated by the Secretariat of The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania  and Radviliškis Vaižgantas Progymnasium in order to commemorate the tragic fate of Lithuanian Jewish children during the Holocaust.   All school communities were encouraged to join the project and make butterflies to symbolize Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust.  Handmade butterflies will be exhibited at the exhibition in Radviliškis Vaižgantas Progymnasium on 3rd February, 2012.  This project is being done in coordination with the Holocaust Museum Houston, which is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies for a special exhibit in 2012.  More information is available here.

The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum held an event entitled "Asking Questions About the World We Live," which took place on 26 January 2012, at 5.30 p.m.

in the Tolerance Center (Naugarduko St. 10/2, Vilnius).  They also screened the documentary „Samuel Bak. The Art of Speaking About the Unspeakable" (2003).  Famous Litvak artist Samuel Bak tells his personal reflections about the tragedy which shook all the mankind during the years of WWII. The repercussions of the unspeakable horror repeat in the oeuvres of the artist. The providence disclosed in this movie also presents the opportunity to re-discover his exposition „The Stations in Life", currently exhibited in the Tolerance Center.

A list of events occuring in Lithuania for International Holocaust Remembrance Day can be found here.

Luxembourg

No information at this time.

Netherlands

There are numerous Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration events all over the Netherlands, including events in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Maastricht, among others.  For a comprehensive list of event, please click here.  The events include several lectures, films, personal testimonies, and educational programs in schools.

Norway

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg delivered a speech on 27 January for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Archive Foundation

The Holocaust Memorial Day in Kristiansand 27. January 2012

For the seventh time, Kristiansand is the scene of a comprehensive educational event on the Holocaust Memorial Day 27. January 2012. More than 600 pupils from the local lower secondary schools take part in a full day event in the city center.

The opening session for all 600 pupils consists of an appeal by Trond Blattmann, the father of an Utoya massacre (July 22nd) victim, a story told by Mona Levin about a Jewish family fleeing from persecution, and a short theatre play called Kuan Yin, which deals with the existential questions of survival and being alive.

After lunch the pupils visit several educational stands. One of the stands is the film "Napola" on the elite cult of Hitler, and in four more stands the topics of Holocaust, prejudice and human rights are presented in various ways by the organizations and institutions the Red Cross, the United Nations Association of Norway, the Living History Forum, Stockholm, and Stiftelsen Arkivet, Kristiansand.

Falstad Centre

The observance of the Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 at the Falstad Centre will be held in cooperation with Sund Folk College. The event consists of an educational programme during the day and an official arrangement in the evening. The educational programme will be initiated with a lecture on the Holocaust and the history of the former SS Camp Falstad. Then the students will be able to choose between different workshops, lasting 2,5 hours each. Through working on photo, film, forum theater, art, themed meetings, creative writing, journalistic activities, stories from the Falstad archive or in a choir, the students will get the opportunity to express their own reflections and opinions about the topic of the day by engaging in practical and creative activities. Their expressions will be made available to guests, the local community and others through mini-exhibitions and programme posts inside the centre and in the outdoor surroundings. The evening arrangement will be initiated with an appeal by the author Dag Skogheim and musical performances in the courtyard of the Falstad Centre, followed by presentations of the finalized workshops. The event ends with a walk of contemplation to the Falstad forest, the former site of executions. In the forest, today a public war grave site, there will be an artistic performance, a student appeal and the reading of a story from the Falstad archive.

The activities will be presented at www.holocaustdagen.blogspot.com. The event is organized by the Falstad Centre and Sund Folk College.

Jewish Museum Trondheim

In the city of Trondheim, the Jewish Museum will arrange a memorial event at the monument commemorating Cissi Klein, a 13 year old girl murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. The observance will be followed by a lecture on the topic of Norwegian SS Volunteers on the Eastern Front. The arrangement will take place in the Jewish Synagogue.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - Oslo

The Norwegian Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities (the HL-Center) will arrange a commemorative event at the quayside from where the Norwegian Jews were handed over to the SS by Norwegian police officers and brutally forced into the ships for deportation to Auschwitz and extermination. Representatives of the Norwegian government, the Jewish community, former political prisoners and the Roma people will address the meeting.

The HL-Center also publishes new teaching material every year to help teachers address and commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Pedagogical staff from the Center will lecture at the school Oslo Handelsgymnasium.

The Benjamin Prize is presented every year on the 27th of January to a school that has a well founded and comprehensive work against racism and discrimination. The award is dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Hermansen, who was murdered at the age of 15, late in the evening of January 26 2001. The murder was racially motivated and committed by neo-Nazis. In 2012 the winner of the prize is Karuss School, in the town of Kristiansand in the south of Norway. Founded in 2002 the school has worked steadfastly and consciously to increase tolerance and foster a school environment free of racial and other forms of harassment.

More information on the commemoration events in Norway can be found here.

 

Poland

The 67th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz



The main ceremony to mark the sixty-seventh anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners of the Nazi German Auschwitz concentration camp will be held on Friday, January 27, 2012. President Bronisław Komorowski of the Republic of Poland has extended his official patronage over the event.



The seventieth anniversary of the start of the extermination of Jews in the Birkenau gas chambers at Auschwitz falls in 2012. After the testing of killing with Zyklon-B gas in the summer and fall of 1941, this largest of the concentration camps already in existence went on to become at the same time a center for direct extermination on a mass scale.



The Nazis adapted two village farmhouses for this purpose at first, before going on to build four large gas chamber-crematorium complexes and place them in operation. By the time Red Army soldiers liberated the grounds of the camp, the Nazi Germans had murdered about 1,100,000 people in Auschwitz, mostly Jews but also including Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, and people of other ethnic backgrounds and nationalities.



For the world today, Auschwitz is the symbol of the Holocaust and the barbarism of World War II. In 2005, the United Nations proclaimed January 27 an International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.



Former prisoners of the camp will take part in the anniversary ceremonies, joined by representatives of state authorities, the diplomatic corps, clergy of various faiths, local and regional communities and officials, invited guests, and all who wish to participate.



The main observances begin at 11:30 at the Culture Center in Oświęcim. Because of the limited seating available at the Center, we ask all those desirous of attending this portion of the event to contact us.



The main ceremony in commemoration of the victims will be held at the Monument to the Victims at Birkenau.



Schedule of observances:



Friday, January 27, 2012



9:45 AM - Homage to the Victims at the Death Wall on the Auschwitz I

grounds

11:30-12:30 - Anniversary observances at the Culture Center in Oświęcim

1:45-2:15 PM - Main ceremony in commemoration of the victims at the

Monument to the Victims



Contact:

e-mail: 27january [at] auschwitz.org

tel. + 48 33 844 81 01 / 81 86



Press information: accreditation is not required for the observances, but

we ask media wishing to attend the Culture Center event or to operate

satellite trucks to contact the Museum press bureau after January 15

(press [at] auschwitz.org ). Organizational and technical details to follow on

the Museum website.

Romania

The "Elie Wiesel" National Institute for the Study of Holocaust in Romania  will organize for the annual commemoration of the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January 2012, the UN-mandated International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust :

24 January 2012

Conference at the French Cultural Institute the "L'Holocauste en Roumanie: entre oubli et négation" („Holocaustul în România intre uitare şi negare")

26 January 2012

At the Casa Corpului Didactic Bacau  "Bacau a page of recent history. Interrupted destinies. "(Bacău o pagină de istorie recentă. Destine întrerupte". and meeting with survivors of the pogrom in Iasi and Bucharest;

27 January 2012

Exhibition at Center for Culture "George Apostu" (Centrul de Cultura "George Apostu") the "Holocaustul. Destine intrerupte"

Serbia

The official state wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the World War II Genocide Victims' Monument at Staro sajmište in Belgrade on 27 January 2012 at 11:00.  Participants include the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Boris Tadić, the ITF Chair, Ambassador Karel de Beer, the Jewish Community in Serbia, the Embassy of Israel, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the City of Belgrade, and the Municipality of Novi Beograd.

The exhibition "Holocaust in Serbia 1941-1944" will officially open on 27 January 2012 at 14:00 at the Museum of Yugoslav History.  ITF Chair Ambassador Karel de Beer will give a speech, along with Mayor of Belgrade Mr. Dragan Dilas and H.E. Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mr. Rasim Ljajić.

Slovakia

In Slovakia the 27 January is not commemorated on a wide scale at the national level, due to the fact that Slovakia established a national Holocaust memorial day in 2001, which is commemorated on 9 September.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Slovakia has commemorated the victims of the Holocaust and of racial violence on 9 September since 2001. It is called "The Memorial Day for Victims of the Holocaust and of Racial Violence".

The Slovak Parliament designated 9 September as the Remembrance Day, because on this day in 1941, the Slovak State of that time passed 290 repressive laws, the so-called Jewish Codex, with which the process of Jewish deportations was initialized and which resulted in the killings of over 70 000 Slovak Jews.

 

Official Commemorative Activities

"The Memorial Day for the Victims of the Holocaust and of Racial Violence" is always held under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic. It takes the form of laying of wreaths at the memorial of the victims of the Holocaust in Bratislava. The president and members of the government and of Parliament attend the event.  The Ministry of Culture and the Slovak National Museum - Museum of Jewish Culture are also involved in the event.

In the Parliament and in the schools, the day is observed by a minute of silence. Thematic exhibitions, cultural and educational events that commemorate this tragedy are also organized on this day.

 

Events held on a national level in 2012 for 27 January include:

 

In Košice, the second largest town in Slovakia, a commemorative event will be held on January 27 (http://spolok-kosice.webnode.sk/news/a27-01-2012). The document "The Whole World is a Narrow Bridge" dedicated to Jan Mozolak who saved 14 persecuted Jews will be shown as a part of the event.

On January 27, a commemorative event is held under auspices of the Ambassador of Israel in the Slovak Republic J.E. Alexander Ben-Zvi also in Piešťany (http://www.europapreobcanov.sk/kalendar/39/43-Pamiatka-obetiam-holokaustu/).

The Jewish Community of Komárno is holding a commemorative event on January 29, 2012 (http://kehreg.com/2012/01/22/pozvanka-meghivo-14). The lectures by Dr. Veronika Slneková, PhD. (Slovakia) on the Holocaust education and by Dr. Gábor Kádár (Hungary) on the Holocaust in Hungary will be part of the event.

On February 16, 2012 the Slovak National Museum - Museum of Jewish Culture together with the European Shoah Legacy Institute is opening the exhibition of the best posters resulting from the international poster competition on a theme of "Keeping the Memory Alive - Children in the Holocaust". The same exhibition will be displayed also in one of the Bratislava´s secondary grammar schools - Ladislav Sára Gymnasium.

Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

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.

Slovenia

There are a number of events occurring in Slovenia on 27 January 2012, and a full list can be found here (Slovenian language version available here).  These events include lectures, exhibitions, academic gatherings, the ceremonial laying of the "Paving Stones of Remembrance," the "Keeping the Memory Alive" poster competition, and the 67th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz at Festival Hall in Ljubljana.

Slovenia marked international Holocaust Remembrance Day with several events, some of which are mentioned below:

Award for Erika Fürst

On 27 January 2012, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, awarded Erika Fürst, a survivor of the Holocaust, with the Gold Order for Services for her contribution to Slovenian and European awareness of the Holocaust. As a thirteen-year-old girl, Erika Fürst was deported, together with her family, to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Statement by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Gregor Virant

To mark the occasion, the President of the National Assembly made a statement underlining that, despite the tragic accounts of Holocaust survivors and warnings about the dangers of intolerance and hatred of those who are different, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, violence and intolerance on the basis of race, religion and other circumstances are still widespread.

Meeting of experts at Maribor Synagogue

On 26 January 2012, a meeting was held in Maribor Synagogue to discuss the persecution of Jews on the territory of occupied Yugoslavia between 1941 and 1945 (Slovenia and Serbia) and the Slovenian Righteous Man, Andrej Tumpej. The meeting, entitled 'One Name Each Year', included contributions by Klemen Brvar, Boris Hajdinjak, Renato Podberšič, Oto Luthar, Marjan Toš, and Irena Šumi. A film of the life-story of the Kalef family from Belgrade was screened. The film was produced by Centropa of Vienna and presented by Edward Serotta. The meeting was opened by the deputy mayor of Maribor, Milan Mikl, and a representative of the Jewish Community of Slovenia, Igor Vojtic. It was attended by the ambassador of Israel to Slovenia, Shmuel Meirom, and the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Slovenia, Slavko Puljić.

The symbolic laying of Paving Stones of Remembrance

The symbolic laying of Paving Stones of Remembrance was organised by Maribor Synagogue and took place on Ulica kneza Koclja, a street in Maribor, on 26 January 2012 to honour six Holocaust victims from the Kohnstein family. Addressing the audience were the headmaster of the First Maribor Grammar School, Herman Pušnik, the representative of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, General Ladislav Lipič, the deputy mayor of Maribor, Janez Ujčič, and the ambassador of the Czech Republic to Slovenia, Petr Voznica. Students of the First Maribor Grammar School contributed a cultural programme.

On 25 January, a symbolic laying of Paving Stones of Remembrance also took place at Nasipna ulica 68 and Ulica borcev za severno mejo 2. Six paving stones were placed in memory of six Holocaust victims from the Kohnstein and Singer families. Drago Kobal Elementary School participated in this symbolic event, along with Maribor Library and the First Maribor Grammar School.

Pesnica Elementary School also took part in the opening of the exhibition 'The Holocaust 1933-1945, Courage to Remember'. The honorary patron of the event was the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk.

Presentation of a book by Dr Andrej Pančur, The Jewish Community in Slovenia on the Eve of the Holocaust

As the publisher of the book, the Celje Historical Association organised the presentation of 'The Jewish Community in Slovenia on the Eve of the Holocaust' by Dr Andrej Pančur, which took place in the Celje Historical Archives. Through a detailed analysis of demographic, social and economic structures, the book presents the first comprehensive overview of the Jewish community on Slovenian territory before the Holocaust.

Eternal Remembrance

The National Museum of Contemporary History mounted two Holocaust exhibitions. The first features works by students of the School of Design, with seventeen posters addressing themes related to Remembrance Day. The second, a guest exhibition entitled 'The Rice Mill: Death and Memory' was the work of Trieste National and Study Library.

Slovenian Language Resources

A compilation of newspaper articles and reports in Slovenian are also available.

 

Spain

No information at this time.

 

Sweden

The Living History Forum is appointed by the Swedish Government to promote the commemoration of the National Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th of January. This includes both arranging an official ceremony in Stockholm and supporting other events around the country.

An official ceremony organized by The Living History Forum has been held annually since 2004 at the Raoul Wallenberg Square in the city centre of Stockholm. From 12 noon to 6 PM the entire square is lit up by 1,000 burning candles of memory and an exhibition is on display.

This year's exhibition, "To me there's no other choice - Raoul Wallenberg1912-2012" portrays Raoul Wallenberg's courage, his audacity and his creative solutions which saved the lives of thousands of people. The exhibition is produced in cooperation between The Living History Forum, the Swedish Institute and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Every year The Living History Forum announces a theme for the commemoration day. Educational material and information on this theme is published on our web, easily accessible for teachers.

2012 is declared as the Year of Raoul Wallenberg and marks 100 years since the birth of this human rights hero. The Living History Forum will stimulate and commemorate Raoul Wallenberg's life and achievements.

This year's official ceremony takes place at 4 PM in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Daniel of Sweden, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden, Holocaust survivors, Members of Parliament, foreign ambassadors, students, and the public.

Keynote speaker this year is Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Swedish Prime Minister, Mr. Reinfeldt. The opening speech will be held by Mr. Eskil Franck, Director of the Living History Forum.

Before the official ceremony a candle manifestation will be held for human rights. Further, a memorial concert, oratorio The Righteous by Boris Borisov and Robert Neufeldt written in memory of Raoul Wallenberg, will commemorate his deeds and his fate.

The Living History Forum also arranges, annually, a ceremony in cooperation with the Swedish Parliament.

Throughout the Living History Forum's national network for the Holocaust Memorial Day, a large number of events will take place around Sweden on the 27th of January.

 

Switzerland

On 27 January 2011, the parliament and government building in Berne hosted a ceremony organized by the Association of Holocaust Survivors in Switzerland with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A series of 12 books of testimonies, written by those survivors who had not yet done so, was offered as a present to the former President of the Swiss Confederation, Ms Ruth Dreifuss.

However, some members of the Survivors Association were not able attend the ceremony and additional testimonies have been written in the meanwhile, but not published. Therefore, during a meeting of the Association of Holocaust Survivors in Switzerland on 29 January 2012, a follow-up of this book project will be launched officially and a symbolic recognition (a small medal) will be offered by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to those survivors who had not received it a year before.

On 27 January 2012, other ceremonies and activities are organized in some cantons and in schools, such as a meeting between Holocaust survivors and school classes in Zurich (programme) or the opening in Geneva of an exhibition by the Carl Lutz Foundation of Budapest.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, delivered a message to mark the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

United Kingdom

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust's theme for this year is Speak Up, Speak Out, urging people to speak out against hatred and discrimination.  Many signed pledges in Trafalgar Square in London on the eve of memorial day.

In a special video message, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, urged people to find the courage to speak up for the rights of neighbours and strangers, "for people like us and also for people not like us."

"Holocaust Memorial Day brings back to our minds the appalling consequences of a situation when people don't speak for their neighbour and don't speak for the stranger, when people are concerned for their own security, their own comfort zones. And when we look back on that tragic history, one of the things that prevents it from being a totally dark night is the presence of some of those who were willing to speak for strangers and to take risks alongside strangers."

On Thursday 26th January at 1:30pm children took part in a ceremony planting the Anne Frank rose, for the first time in the UK, at Manchester Jewish Museum. The visitors will also have a chance to examine a newly opened exhibition entitled "The Windermere Boys". This tells the heartwarming story of 300 young survivors of the Theresienstadt ghetto that were brought to England in the autumn of 1945 and were housed in the Calgarth estate, built to house workers at an aircraft factory. Their stories of re-entry into normal, civilized life will surprise and delight you. The exhibition is funded by Arts Council England.

Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibition at the Marryat Hall in Dundee, host of the national commemorations, for the week of Holocaust Memorial Day.  A class from each local secondary school will have a guided tour.  Community groups and the public will also visit.  Workshops have been given to a group of young people in supported accommodation and inmates of local prison Castle Huntly.

Following a program of work on Anne Frank and the Holocaust, St Mary's Kenmure Secure Unit will be holding a commemoration on 27th.  More information can be found here.

Members of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) gathered on Monday 23 January 2011 at the Belsize Square Synagogue, London NW3 to commemorate the annual Holocaust Memorial Day.  More information is available in the official press release.

The City of York is holding a series of 18 public artistic and educational events for Holocaust Memorial Day 2012. These include workshops for primary and secondary schools, talks, debates, contemporary and historical exhibitions, film screenings and two major commemorative events. A focus of the events is the role played by international human rights defenders. Organizations hosting events include the University of York, York St John University, York Refugee Action, York City Council and CityScreen Picture Houses.  More information can be found here.

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 on the 27 January itself the Jewish Museum welcomed 50 year 9 students from City of London Girls School to hear testimony from Kindertransport Refugee Bea Green. Also present was the Deputy Mayor of Camden and 50 members of the general public. It was a very uplifting event and Bea was incredibly inspiring. Kaddish was recited by volunteer Larry Ross. The students and visitors also visited our permanent Holocaust gallery which focuses on the story of camp survivor Leon Greenman as well as our installation on the Kindertransport.  Over the course of January the Jewish Museum hosted over 25 schools for Holocaust Workshops in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day.

 

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Scotland:

Dundee:

Scottish National Holocaust Memorial Day Event- held on 26 January. This was hosted by the Scottish Inter Faith Council in partnership with The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, The Scottish Government and Dundee City Council and held in the Caird Hall. Guest speakers were Rabbi Bent Melchior, an international, award winning peace activist from Denmark and former Chief Rabbi of Denmark who spoke about the rescue of the Danish Jews during the Holocaust; and Fukimo Ishioka, curator of the Holocaust museum in Tokyo, Holocaust survivor George Brady, and his daughter Lara, who spoke about Hana Brady and the story of 'Hana's Suitcase'.

George, Larry Winstein (the film director) and Fumiko engaged with audiences across Scotland including speaking at a primary school in Broughty Ferry where their interaction with the school children went out to schools in Scotland via 'Glow Meet' (Glow is the online community for Scottish school).

2000 primary school pupils attended a special morning Holocaust Memorial Day event in the Caird Hall, Dundee, on the 26th January.

 

Edinburgh:

Scottish Parliament- Two former students from East Dunbartonshire who had participated in the Lesson from Auschwitz Project, delivered the Time for Reflection at the Scottish Parliament on 18th Jan.  A members' business debate on Holocaust Memorial Day, led by MSP Stewart Maxwell, took place on 25 January.

HMD 2012 - The City of Edinburgh Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration Event was held on 25th January at Portobello High School.

Ernest Levy Exhibition - Edinburgh Libraries hosted the Ernest Levy Exhibition at Central Library on George IV Bridge as part of this year's Holocaust Memorial Commemorations following the official launch event on the 23rd January. The Ernest Levy archive was gifted to City of Edinburgh's Library and Information Services.

Film Showing - The film 'Inside Hana's Suitcase' was shown at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on 23rd January. George Brady, along with his daughter Lara, Film Director Larry Weinstein and Fumiko Ishioka who set up a Holocaust museum in Tokyo, engaged in a moving Q&A with the audience after the show.

Glasgow:

Film Showing - The films 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' and 'The Roundup' were shown on the 26th January at the Glasgow Film Theatre to Glasgow pupils. Guest speaker was Henry Wuga, a former kinder.

School event - On 27th January Glasgow hosted a school event in the Glasgow City Chambers with George Brady and family as key guests

Pupils in Glasgow have been studying the Holocaust since October with a pioneering project which saw five schools train a group of pupils to conduct tours round a travelling Anne Frank exhibition.

 

East Renfrewshire:

The East Renfrewshire  Holocaust Memorial Day event was held on 30th January at Eastwood Park Theatre. Journalist  Pennie Taylor  spoke about how genocide happens and there was  drama presentation  and film by  secondary pupils.

United States

As it has each year on January 27 since the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosts a special commemoration for the Washington-based diplomatic community. Involving Holocaust survivors and chiefs of mission of major embassies, the event focuses on the survivors and their stories of survival and/or rescue. In addition, survivors say the memorial prayer (Kaddish), and lead ambassadors and other diplomats to the lighting of memorial candles in the Museum's Hall of Remembrance. A survivor also leads a string quartet in an appropriate musical selection.

Observer Countries

Portugal

As usual, the high mark of the commemorations took place in Parliament (Assembleia da República) on the 27th of January proper, when a Declaration was unanimously approved by the plenary. The Speaker of the Assembly presided. A minute of silence marked the approval of the Declaration. MPs, civil society and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps attended. Also in Parliament but the day before, a feature length documentary on the life of Jewish refugees in Portugal during World War Two and after, "Under Strange Skies", was showed. The Speaker of Parliament and the film's director, Daniel Blaufuks, made short presentations.

As for the Government, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs issued a Declaration on the 27th January, in which he paid homage to the Holocaust victims and highlighted the brave acts carried out by three Portuguese diplomats during World War Two, Consul General to Bordeaux Aristides de Sousa Mendes, and Ambassadors Teixeira Branquinho and Sampaio Garrido, both posted to Budapest and all three honoured by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations (the full text can be read at the Ministry's webpage: http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/os-ministerios/ministerio-dos-negocios-estrangeiros.aspx).

The Minister and the Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs also participated in the ceremony at the Assembly on the 27 January.

Civil society was particularly active. An exhibition on the lives and work of the three diplomats above recalled, "Spared Lives" - largely formed by photos and documents belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Diplomatic Institute - was opened in Lisbon, at the Lawyers Guild in the borough of Anjos, with the support of the Museum of the Republic and Resistance. A round table on the same subject later took place there. On the same occasion, a street plaque honouring Ambassador Sampaio Garrido was unveiled.

A total of 22 schools participated in the celebrations. A Yad Vashem exhibition, "But History does not end like this," was inaugurated at the Secondary School Dona Luísa de Gusmão in Lisbon. Film cycles including such favourites as Roman Polanski´s "The Pianist" were organized. Students participated with essays.

Finally, a concert of lieder from Mendelssohn, Korngold, Mahler and Lopes Graça took place at the Lisbon Municipal Theatre São Luíz.

the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

25 January 2012

Public statement for the press in Republic of Macedonia on the significance of the UN-mandated Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust.

26 January 2012

Several interviews for Macedonian national TV-channels for the coming event, coordinated and realized by Republic of Macedonia MFA Ambassador Viktor Gaber.

27 January 2012

Skopje

- 11.00, Open lecture on the significance of this International Day presented by scholars of the Institute for National History for high school students in Skopje. The lecture will be followed by two documentary films on the tragedy and survival of Jews.

- 12.00, Inauguration by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Mr. Nikola Poposki of the Exhibition "The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive" in the Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews from Macedonia.

Bitola

- 11.00, Open lecture on the significance this International Day, presented by history professors for high school students in Bitola. The lecture will be followed by a documentary film on the tragedy and survival of Jews from Bitola.

- 12.00, Opening of the Exhibition "The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive" in the National Cultural center in Bitola, by Mayor Mr. Vladimir Taleski.

Turkey

The Turkish Jewish Community, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organised a ceremony to mark the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, January 26, 2012. At the ceremony, Turkey's Chief Rabbi Izak Haleva and Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu lit candles, in memory of Holocaust victims. The speakers at the ceremony included Ambassador Ertan Tezgör, the head of the Turkish delegation to the ITF, Mr. Sami Herman, President of the Jewish Community in Turkey and Claude Lanzmann, the director of the Shoah Documentary.  Messages were also received including from the Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Cemil Çiçek, Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bülent Arınç, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu and the President of the Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez. The ceremony was attended by the local and national politicians from various parties, representatives of various religious communities in Istanbul, academicians and journalists, in addition to the member of the Turkish Jewish Community.

An Anne Frank exhibition will be put together especially for the ceremony at the Neve Shalom Synagogue. This exhibition will then be brought to Jewish Museum of the Quincentennial Foundation in Istanbul.

You can find various statements, photos, and video clips of the ceremony on the Turkish Jewish Community's website.

All of the speeches given on 27 January can be found here.

Turkey also marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by screening the Shoah documentary on state television.

Permanent Observers

United Nations

The 2012 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust will focus on the theme "Children and the Holocaust". The United Nations will remember the one-and-a-half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust, together with the thousands of Roma and Sinti children, the disabled and others, who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. Some children managed to survive in hiding, others fled to safe havens before it was too late, while many others suffered medical experiments or were sent to the gas chambers immediately upon arriving at the death camps. Highlighting the impact of mass violence on children, this theme has important implications for the 21st century.

Holocaust Remembrance events will be held at UN Information Centres in the following countries:

Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Cameroon, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ghana, Hungary, India, Israel, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Republic of the Congo, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania,Turkey, United States, and Zambia.

New Publications:

The UN Holocaust Outreach Programme has produced a 32-page study guide for students aged 13 and up that serves as a companion to the new animated documentary film entitled, "The Last Flight of Petr Ginz", on the life and artwork of Petr Ginz, a Jewish boy from Prague who perished in the Holocaust at the age of 16. The publication features Petr's art and writings, and provides historical context for the film and information about the United Nations, human rights and Holocaust remembrance activities. The publication will be available online in all official United Nations languages and will be distributed to its global network of information centres with the film for educational programmes in the field.

The UN Holocaust Outreach Programme also partnered with the 92 Street Y to develop a lesson on Petr Ginz for its "School of the Arts Musical Introduction Series" for 5 to 9 year olds in 25 public schools in New York. The Programme contributed to the teachers' guide and student journal, which will showcase Petr's art in the unit entitled, "Remember Me: Art, Music and Poetry Celebrating the Children of Terezin".

Events:

Wednesday & Thursday, 18-19 January:

Concert series "Remember Me: Music, Art and Poetry - Celebrating the Children of Terezin"

Students aged 5 to 9 and their teachers will attend this series of four concerts celebrating the children of Terezin.  A representative of the United Nations Department of Public Information Outreach Division will deliver remarks at the opening of each concert, which will include a screening of the trailer of "The Last Flight of Petr Ginz", providing the students an opportunity to learn more about Petr's experience at Terezin.

Monday, 23 January:

Special Event for "IWitness" with USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education|

Venue: Conference Room 2, Temporary North Lawn Building (UNHQ)

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Contact: Holocaustremembrance [at] un.org

"IWitness" is a new online application which provides a searchable collection of video testimonies of Holocaust survivors, along with educational tools and supporting resources for students. Twelve classes from secondary schools in the New York metropolitan area will be invited to create a research project using "IWitness". The special event, co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations, will feature student presentations of their projects using "IWitness" and a Q&A with Roman Kent, a Holocaust survivor, whose testimony is in this collection.

Tuesday, 24 January

Exhibit Opening of "The Face of the Ghetto: Pictures by Jewish Photographers from the Lodz Ghetto 1940-1944"

Venue: UN Visitors' Lobby

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Contact: exhibition [at] topographie.de

This exhibition presents new photographs of community life in the Lodz Ghetto, taken by the Jewish inhabitants. The exhibition is curated by the Topography of Terror Foundation, Berlin (Germany) in cooperation with the National Archives in Lodz (Poland). While researching in the National Archives in Lodz, historian Dr. Ingo Loose and curator Dr. Thomas Lutz came across 27 photo albums. Inside were about 12,000 contact prints in small format, sorted thematically and taken by Jewish photographers at the request of the ghetto's Jewish Council. This collection of images - which is hardly known, even among experts in the field - shows a decisive step in the persecution of Jews in the Lizmannstadt Ghetto. Through this exhibition, these photographs are accessible to the public for the very first time.

Wednesday, 25 January

Commemorative Conference to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Tragedy of Babyn Yar in Ukraine

Venue: Conference Room 1, Temporary North Lawn Building (UNHQ)

Time: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Contact: UkraineRSVPDay [at] gmail.com

 

The Conference is organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations. Under-Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka will deliver brief remarks. During the event an album of artwork dedicated to the Holocaust will be presented by the author, prominent Ukrainian Jewish artist Mikhail Turovsk.

 

 

Film Screening and Panel Discussion of "The Last Flight of Petr Ginz"

Venue: Conference Room 1, Temporary North Lawn Building (UNHQ)

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

Contact: Holocaustremembrance [at] un.org and ONLINE REGISTRATION

The UN's Holocaust Programme will screen a new animated documentary film on the life and artwork of Petr Ginz, a Jewish boy from Prague who perished in the Holocaust at the age of 16, after spending two years in Terezin. He was a brilliant child who wrote a diary, four novels and created 200 illustrations and paintings during his short life. The screening will be held in partnership with the Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest University and the Documentary Institute at the University of Florida. A panel discussion with the filmmakers and Mr. Leo Lowy, a Holocaust survivor, will follow. [Film duration: 1h 7min]

Thursday, 26 January:

Opening of the Exhibitions "A Monument of Good Deeds: Dreams and Hopes of Children During the Holocaust" and "The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive"

Venue: UN Visitors' Lobby

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Contact: ruthk [at] yadvashemusa.org or RGrossmann [at] yadvashemusa.org, Tel.: (212) 220 4304

The exhibition on children is curated by Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, and features the stories of 13 children during the Holocaust. Through their portraits, toys and artwork, visitors to this exhibition will learn how these children lived their daily lives as the war was raging around them.



A second exhibit titled "The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive" will feature the top 16 entries of the Design Student Poster Contest 2012, supported by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) and held in partnership with Yad Vashem, le Mémorial de la Shoah, the European Shoah Legacy Institute and the UN Holocaust Programme.

Thursday, 26 January (continued):

DPI/NGO Briefing: "Untold Stories: How Bulgarian Jews Survived the Holocaust"

Venue: Conference Room 4, Temporary North Lawn Building (UNHQ)

Time: 10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Contact: gillet [at] un.org

**Not open to the public**

Speakers include Misha Avramoff, Bulgarian child Holocaust survivor; Joseph Benatov, Professor of Hebrew at the University of Pennsylvania; and Briah Cahana, student at McGill University in Montreal. A representative of the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations will give a special tribute to Raoul Wallenberg.

 

Friday, 27 January

Holocaust Memorial Ceremony

Venue: General Assembly Hall (UNHQ)

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

Contact: Holocaustremembrance [at] un.org or ONLINE REGISTRATION

 

The solemn ceremony on the theme "Children and the Holocaust" will include a video message by the UN Secretary-General and statements by the President of the General Assembly, the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations. The Under-Secretary-General will also launch the UN Holocaust Outreach Programme's new study guide for children. Keynote remarks will be made by Professor Robert Krell (Canada), a child survivor and psychiatrist who is devoted to understanding the problems of Holocaust survivor-families and their wellbeing. Students from New York City will perform songs from the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood's production of "Sosua: Dare to Dance Together", which is based on the true story of the emigration of Jewish refugees to the Dominican Republic.

 

UNESCO

To commemorate the 2012 Holocaust Remembrance Day, UNESCO is organizing and taking part in the following events:

  • Monday, 23 January - French historian Georges Bensoussan will address Holocaust-related pedagogical challenges in a discussion "Why Teach about the Holocaust and Genocides" at UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Education in Africa (Dakar, Senegal). The discussion will include representatives of civil societies and education ministries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Rwanda. More information on the event and the video conference.
  • Wednesday, 25 January (18:30, Goethe Institute, Brussels) - UN Cinema is organizing in Brusselsa projection of the film "The last flight of Petr Ginz". The film will be followed by a Q&A with Marie Paule Roudil, Head of the UNESCO Office in Brussels and Regina Sluszny, Vice President of The Hidden Child. For more information, please visit the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) website
  • Friday, 27 January - On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Samuel Pisar will be officially appointed UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education. Irina Bokova will then visit the Shoah Memorial in Paris.
  • Tuesday, 31 January - UNESCO in partnership with the Shoah Memorial is organizing a symposium entitled "International Dimensions of Holocaust Education" held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Holocaust Education and Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism for the US Department of State will be among the participants. The conference will be followed by a special ceremony under the theme "Children in the Holocaust". The participants will include the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, President of the Shoah MemorialEric de Rothschild, Israeli historian and Honorary Chairman of the ITF Yehuda Bauer and a Holocaust survivor Henri Borlant. A short film entitled "Hidden Children" by film maker Robert Bober will also be shown. In addition, an exhibition of the Shoah Memorial entitled "The Righteous of France" will be presented on this occasion.

Additional information:

Council of Europe

No information at this time.

OSCE/ODIHR

No information at this time.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency

No information at this time.