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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015

19.01.2015

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.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary since this liberation and the 15th anniversary since the Stockholm Declaration was signed. To commemorate this important year, IHRA has issued a statement to reaffirm commitment to Holocaust education, research and remembrance.

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. 70 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 2015, the International Day of Commemoration will be marked by a number of national and international events.  The following overview of commemoration events is based on information and links provided by IHRA member countries, observer countries, and permanent internationa partner organisations, 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: Albania- Bulgaria El Salvador- the former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaMoldova- Portugal - Turkey - Uruguay; Permanent International PartnersClaims ConferenceCoEFRAITS- OSCE/ODIHRUNESCO - United Nations

Member Countries

Argentina

The Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires have produced the following video to mark the event: 

The Museum is also holding a commemorative event on 27 January entitled “Voices from Auschwitz”. The programme is available here.

Austria

The main Holocaust commemoration day in Austria is the 5th of May.  On 5th of May 1945 the Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated. Another important day of remembrance in Austria is the 9th of November Reichskristallnacht” when a number of events are held.

27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day Events in Vienna:

The President of the National Council, Doris Bures, opened the remembrance ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015 at the Austrian Parliament with contemporary eyewitness Ari Rath. This is now the fourth occasion on which the Austrian Parliament has commemorated the liberation of the National Socialist concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in this way . During the ceremony, Ari Rath spoke to Michael Kerbler and the young audience about his experiences and the conclusions he has drawn from them. In her speech opening the ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, National Council President Doris Bures stressed the importance of remembering the Holocaust in modern Austria.

“The images captured by the liberators have been branded into our European memory”, said Bures. “The crimes, which were brought to an end with the liberation, remain unforgotten in the history of Europe”. Auschwitz was the symbol for the Nazi genocide, the murder of millions within a few years; it has become a place whose liberation seventy years ago today was selected to signify the United Nations’ International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The road towards finding a responsible way of dealing with Austria’s recent history was a long one,” Bures reflected. The remembrance ceremony was intended to be an expression of respect towards the victims and survivors, and their descendants. For a very long time, those who had been able to save themselves by emigrating had not been afforded the respect they were due. Thankfully, this has now changed, said Bures, and expressed her special delight at being able to welcome to the Parliament Ari Rath, the Vienna-born former Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post.

Ari Rath was born in Vienna on 6 January 1925. Being Jewish, he had had no future in Austria and in 1938 he managed to reach Palestine on a Kindertransport. In 1948, he visited Vienna for the first time since the Nazi era.

From 1957, Ari Rath was a reporter at the Jerusalem Post, in 1975 he became an editor and in 1979 he was appointed as the newspaper’s Editor-In-Chief. Since the season 2013/2014, Ari Rath has also been involved in the contemporary eyewitness theatre production “The Last Witnesses” at Vienna’s Burgtheater.

On 27th of January 2015, a large commemorative event was held on Heldenplatz in Vienna, organized by the platform “Jetzt Zeichen Setzen!” A large number of different organizations took part in this huge event-among others the Jewish Community of Vienna. The event was attended by around 2000 people, including leading politicians. Speakers included a number of Holocaust survivors and the Mayor of Vienna. Photos: Spielauer/die Grünen Wien

The Diplomatische Akademie Wien will hold a presentation on Thursday 29 January at 18:30.

ORF III will show the film “Shoah” on 25 January and will also live stream the commemorative events from Auschwitz on 27 January.  The full TV programme of programmes related to 27 Janaury is available here.

The Austrian Friends of Yad Vashem, together with the city of Linz, will hold a commemorative event to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Press Centre of the Alten Rathaus on 27 January at 19:30.

Belgium

The Belgian Federal Authorities are fully engaged in this day of remembrance, which is acknowledged as being an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust and respect for the human rights of all people, irrespective of race, sex, language or religion.

On 27 January Kazerne Dossin opens its doors for a special evening opening and admission is free between 5 and 10 p.m. The programme can be viewed here.

Between 28-30 January the Ecoles Fondamentales from the Mons region organised a range of events:

  • An exposé on Januz Korzack and the rights of the child. (Photo left)
  • Update on the documentary research on the Loibl Pass camp
  • Meetings with witnesses and survivors, including Ben Helfgott, a member of the United Kingdom Delegation to IHRA.

Canada

Canadian governments (federal, provincial, and territorial) acknowledge 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Non-governmental organisations across Canada will host events to mark the day and a partial list is included below:

In Toronto, the Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre invites you to join them for the sixth-annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day Lecture, generously sponsored by the Esther Bem Memorial Fund, on Sunday, January 25 at the Royal Ontario Museum.

On Tuesday, 27 January a special daytime programme will take place, offering visitors the opportunity to hear voices of liberation, 70 years later, presented in partnership with the March of the Living Toronto.

On Wednesday, 28 January, the Neuberger is proud to co-present a panel on the Lodz Ghetto photographs of Henryk Ross, the subject of a unique Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition opening on January 31. The full programme of events can be viewed here.

On January 27, 2015, visitors will be offered free entry to the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. At 7pm the Centre invites you to the film Amnon's Journey (in French subtitled in English). For over a decade, Israeli master violin maker Amnon Weinstein located and lovingly brought back to life violins that had been played by Europe's Jews during the Shoah. In this moving documentary, featuring soul-stirring performances by Maestro Shlomo Mintz, Amnon leads us from his Tel Aviv workshop and through Europe in search of these remnants of a lost cultural world. This journey ends with a concert in Jerusalem's Old City. The full programme of events is available here. The Museum has also developed a youtube playlist of survivor testimony which deal with the topic of liberation: http://bit.ly/1JX2aER

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz with a film Screening of Numbered a documentary film by Dana Doran and Uriel Sinai. An estimated 400,000 numbers were tattooed in Auschwitz and its sub-camps; only some several thousand survivors are still alive today.  This event will take place on Sunday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m. at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, 950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver. The poster for the event can be viewed here.

The Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada in Winnipeg will be marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a major exhibit, The Face of the Ghetto: Pictures by Jewish Photographers from the Litzmannstadt Ghetto 1940-1944.  The exhibit is co-sponsored with the Winnipeg Polish community. This will be the first time that any such initiative will have occurred. The exhibit will run from January 27 to February 13 at Ogniwo, the Polish Museum. Docents from both communities will participate. On 25 January, a gala will be held alonside the world premiere at the Berney Theatre (at the Asper Jewish Community Campus)  of a Polish film that documents the “Sperre,“ the 1942 roundup and removal of more than 15,000 children, elderly and ill Jews in a one-week period from the Lodz  (Litzmannstadt ) Ghetto.

The North American premiere of Piotr Weychert’s powerful film, “Wielka Szpera” took place on 26 January at the Berney Theatre in a crowd which counted among it the Polish consul, and a representative of the Polish Canadian Congress, both of whom addressed the audience.

The Azrieli Foundation has a number of events planned across Canada. In Toronto there will be a film and talk about the liberation of Auschwitz at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre on Sunday January 25, and at the Village Shul on January 26, 2015, and on January 27 there will be an evening event honouring three survivors from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp (poster below).  Films and memoirs from the Azrieli Foundation will be distributed and discussed on the 27th at The Calgary Jewish Federation, The Jewish Federation of Edmonton, The Nova Scotia Archives, in Cape Breton, NS and other smaller schools and libraries. Memoirs from the Azrieli Foundation will also be distributed as part of the commemorative event to be held at Ottawa at City Hall.  In addition, memoires will be distributed to every Member of Parliament and Senator.

Croatia

The main commemoration of 27 January in Croatia was held in the Croatian Parliament, in the presence of the newly elected President of Republic K. Grabar-Kitarović, diplomatic corps and representatives of the religious communities, and with the participation of other high-ranking officials, among others the Minister of Foreign Affairs V. Pusić, Minister of Social Affairs M. Opačić, and Vice-President of the Parliament, D. Zgrebec. In her speech D. Zgrebec emphasized that commemoration of 27 January should send messages important for the future of humanity: messages of peace, liberty, equality, solidarity, respect of the differences and the right to personal choices.

A four-day training course on the Holocaust education was held in Varaždin, from 25 - 28 January, organized by Education and Teacher Training Agency, for Croatian primary and secondary-school teachers, and hosted domestic and foreign lecturers-experts from the field. Representatives of the President of Republic, and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, attended the opening, together with the Mayor of Varaždin G. Habus, and Z. Kalay Kleitman ,the Ambassador of the State of Israel in the Republic of Croatia.

Ceremonies and various other activities were also held in other towns of Croatia, organized by local authorities, antifascist organizations and Jewish communities. Cultural institutions and schools joined with educational programs, film projections or book presentations.

Czech Republic

From 26 – 28 of January 2015 Museum of Romani Culture will hold educational programmes for elementary and high schools about the Second World War, Nazi genocide of the Roma and its relevance to the present day. Part of the programme will be also the screening of the documentary movie Žít! Ceija Stojka (To Live! Ceija Stojka, director: Anna Juránková-Babjárová, 40 min.), which was made for the exhibition about Ceija Stojka's artwork in the Museum of Romani Culture in 2009. Using the life story and work of famous Austrian Roma artist and writer Ceija Stojka (1933-2013), pupils and students have the opportunity to look at the events of the WWII through the eyes of a little girl who was imprisoned in various concentration camps. The programme was created with financial support of Czech Foundation for Holocaust Victims.

On Tuesday, 27 January at 18:30 a screening of the documentary To Live! Ceija Stojka also for the wider public in the Leisure Time Centre Lužánky in Brno. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Michal Schuster, historian of the Museum of Romani Culture. More information.

The full programme can be viewed here.

Denmark

In Denmark 27 January is marked as Auschwitz Day, a day of Holocaust and genocide remembrance. The day is dedicated to commemorating the victims and supporting the survivors, to promoting education and public awareness about the Holocaust and other genocides.

FREEDOM is the theme for 2015. The Danish Jewish Museum will mark the day with the showing of the documentary White Busses and Black Powers (Hvide busser og sorte magter, Norden 2014) about the Deputy Secretary-General of the Swedish Red Cross, Folke Bernadotte, who contributed to saving the Scandinavian Jews from the horrors of the concentration camps. The programme also offers a guided tour in our special exhibition HOME about Danish Jews’ experiences of their homecoming after being prisoners in the concentration camp Theresienstadt or refugees in Sweden. The full programme is available here.

Public activities

A variety of other events are carried out in relation to Auschwitz Day: Speeches, debates, concerts, film screenings, exhibitions at local museums, churches and libraries across Denmark.

 Main events in Copenhagen on or around 27th of January 2015

  • The Municipality of Copenhagen hosts the official key event in “The Glass Hall Theatre” in the Tivoli Gardens the 27th of January 2015. The event will be comprised of speeches and music.  
  • Concert in “Holmen’s Church” in Copenhagen  including readings from Primo Levi and music by Olivier Messiaen and Francis Poulenc. The event takes place on the official Auschwitz-day.
  • Poetry, debate and film screening of “Night and Fog” at the “Cinematheque” –the Danish Film Industry’s filmhouse in Copenhagen on January 27th 2015. Other films about the Holocaust such as Andrzej Munks “Passenger”, André Singers “Night Will Fall” and the documentary “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey” is being shown in relation to Auschwitz-day. Full details.
  • The Nathanaels Church in Copenhagen is screening and debating the film “The boy in the striped pajamas” on January 27th at 7pm. 
  • “Kulturværftet”, Elsinore.  The Danish photographer, teacher and writer Peter Langwithz Smith speaks at the opening of his photography-exhibition on January 27th depicting life in Auschwitz.
  • Odense, Denmark the official Auschwitz-day is marked with a meeting in “the House of History” (Historiens Hus). Former Auschwitz inmate Arlette Andersen tells the story of how she was deported to and survived Auschwitz.
  • January 27th –  “Gilleleje Church” in Gilleleje, Denmark,  is hosting an event focusing on the Theresienstadt-families in Auschwitz with a speech by Preist and lecturer Kasper Morville
  • DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies) is hosting a one day seminar about sexual violence from the Holocaust to the contemporary security agenda on January 29th 2015.

Educational activities

In addition to the official events related to the commemoration there are a large number of educational activities taking place all over the country in January and throughout the year – all related to Auschwitz Day. Activities consist of the following:

  • Talks in schools (by survivors, professionals in the field, politicians, journalists etc.): Around 5000 students attended these talks in 2014/2015.
  • Museum visits (exhibitions related to remembrance): Around 600 students visited Holocaust-related museums and exhibitions in 2014.
  • Theater: In connection to Auschwitz Day 2015 more than 500 students have seen the theatrical play “Conversation before Death” (“Samtale før døden”) about the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Learn more at www.auschwitz-dag.dk

Estonia

On January 23, a seminar on Holocaust teaching and learning was held in Tallinn, which was attended by more than 30 history and social studies teachers from across Estonia.The subject of the seminar “Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust in the 21st Century”. Helsinki University professor and University of Tallinn leading researcher Rein Raud spoke about the nature of Holocaust conceptualization today, composer of the opera "Wallenberg" Erkki-Sven Tüür spoke about creating the work and the events which led to its content, Tallinn Jewish School student Mark Stambler explained to teachers how today's young people understand the Holocaust and Yad Vashem Holocaust Research Center scholar Noa Sigal introduced new methods of teaching about the Holocaust. The Estonian Jewish Museum introduced the exhibition dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Studies chair at the University of Tartu, which also features information about the fate of scholars during the Holocaust. The seminar was organized by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Research and is part of the commemoration of worldwide Holocaust Memorial Day in Estonia.

In Estonia the victims of the Holocaust were remembered at the Holocaust victims' memorial at Klooga near Tallinn on Tuesday January 27th, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.The traditional ceremony  was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Jewish community and state officials. The speakers were Minister of Education and Research Jevgeni Ossinovski, Jewish community representative Juzef Luvistsuk, the doyen of the diplomatic corps, Russian Ambassador Yuri Merzlyakov, and Israel's deputy chief of mission Arezoo Hersel. Prayers were said by Shmuel Barzilai, cantor of the synagogue of Vienna, and Estonia's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kot.

On the same day, the Estonian History Museum held an evening of journalist Anna Gavronski's topical films at the Maarjamäe Castle stable building. On the evening of January 27, world renowned cantor Shmuel Barzilai (Vienna) will perform at the Tallinn Brotherhood of the Blackheads House. The concert is supported by the Austrian Embassy and the Kofkin Family Foundation.

Finland

The Government of Finland, including former Prime minister of Finland Mr Matti Vanhanen, will attend the 70th anniversary event of the liberation of Auschwitz in Poland.

Finland also attends the commemoration which takes place in Prague on January 26 and 27, 2015. The speaker of the Parliament Mr Eero Heinäluoma intends to attend the commemoration.

Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will attend the events of the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust in Helsinki, accompanied by the IHRA Executive Secretary Dr Kathrin Meyer and Advisor to IHRA Professor Steven Katz, as part of the initiative of the IHRA Steering Committee on Holocaust Memorial Days.

The Finnish Remembrance Association will hold a remembrance event on 27 January, at the Helsinki Synagogue from 18.00-19.45. The keynote speech will be held the President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinistö, and other speakers include Mr. Dan Ashbel, the Ambassador of Israel to Finland, Mr. Janusz Niesyto, the Ambassador of Poland to Finland and Ms. Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel, the Ambassador of Germany to Finland. A speech on behalf of IHRA will be held by IHRA’s Academic Advisor, Professor Steven Katz. The programme can be viewed here.

A Symposium on the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Concentration Camp Auschwitz will be held on the topic of the Holocaust and Education from 14.00-16.30 at the Finnish National Museum Auditorium. Speakers will include Dr. Kamila Dabrowska, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Prof. Steven T. Katz, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, Dr. Oula Silvennoinen, Helsinki University Secretary General and Johanna Laaja, Peace Education Institute.

France

On 27 January, the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz camp, many remembrance events will be organised throughout France. As in previous years, educational and commemorative ceremonies will be held in collaboration with local authorities and memorial sites.

On 27 January at 9.30 am, President Hollande will make a speech at the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah.

The Shoah Memorial is also coordinating a number of educational and commemorative events across the country, with support from the Ministry of Defense and the National Office for Veterans and Victims of War, in partnership with the association Œuvre Nationale du Bleuet de France and several memorial sites linked to the persecution, internment, deportation and extermination of French Jews. The full program of events is available on the Shoah Memorial website.

Germany

The German Bundestag’s Ceremony of Remembrance marking the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism will be held on Tuesday, 27 January 2015, beginning at 9am, in the Reichstag Building in Berlin.

Since 30 January 2014 the sculpture of the International Auschwitz Committee "to B Remembered" has sat in front of the European Parliament in Bruseels. The sculpture, developed by the French artist Michele Deodat and produced by young Volkswagen trainees, refers to the inscription above the main gate to Auschwitz I "ARBEIT MACHT FREI” and the hidden message of the prisoners who turned the "B" in the word "ARBEIT" secretly upside down. The sculpture was welcomed by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, together with survivors and young people from different European countries. The message of the survivors engraved in the statue reads:

"RememBer: when injustices take place, when people are discriminated against and persecuted- never remain indifferent. Indifference kills."

On 22 January, the International Auschwitz Committee, in cooperation with the Gedenkstaette Deutscher Widerstand, the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau and the International  Youth Centre in Osweiecim, will open the exhibition “Vergiss deinen Namen nicht: Die Kinder von Auschwitz” [Don’t Forget their Names: The Children of Auschwitz]. The event will be opened by the Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas.

On 27 Janaury, the Komische Oper in Berlin will hold a concert called "Farges Mikh Nit – Jiddische Operettenlieder“, showcasing Jiddisch operetta songs in a programme featuring songs from “Warsaw to Broadway”.  The event begins at 11pm.

Greece

The following events were organized in Greece on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January:

In Athens the Prefecture of Attica and the Jewish Community of Athens, jointly organized a series of events. The central event, entitled “70 Years Later. From Testimony to Education”, was held on 2 February at the “Hellenic World” Cultural Centre and featured the participation of government officials, members of Parliament and the political parties, officials from the Armed Forces, dignitaries of the Church, ambassadors of states, local government officials, representatives of various organizations and, last but not least, survivors and a large audience. Speeches were delivered by the Governor of Attica, Ms Rena Dourou, the Ambassador of Israel in Greece, the Presidents of the Central Jewish Board of Greece and the Jewish Community of Athens, the survivor Mr. Issac Mizan and finally Progessor Chr. Koulouri.  The day also included the laying of wreaths at the Holocaust Memorial in Athens by representatives of the government, the Parliament, the political parties, the Armed Forces, various embassies and the Prefecture, the Mayor of Athens, resistance organizations, Holocaust survivors, the Head of the Greek Delegation to IHRA Ambassador, Mrs. Photini Tomai-Constantopoulou, and Jewish Communities and organizations from Greece and abroad.

In Thessaloniki, the Region of Central Macedonia and the Jewish Community of the city organized a ceremony on 1 February at the Holocaust Memorial in the presence of representatives of the state and local authorities, of diplomatic missions and many citizens. The ceremony included a memorial service by the Rabbi of the Jewish Community, speeches by the representative of the Greek government, the representative of the Ambassador of Israel, the Governor of Central Macedonia, the Mayor of Thessaloniki, the President of the Jewish Community of the city and the President of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece. The Ambassador of the United Kingdom, representing the British Chairmanship of the IHRA, was the key-note speaker.

Moreover, on 24 January the British Embassy co-organized a series of events in memory of the Jews of Thessaloniki victims and survivors of the Holocaust.with the Jewish Community in Thessaloniki  Joined by the President of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki David Saltiel, the British Ambassador John Kittmer laid a wreath on behalf of the members and observers of IHRA at a ceremony that took place at the Holocaust Memorial. Earlier in the day, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Greece received a tour of the Jewish Museum and historic sites in Thessaloniki, such as the ‘Monastiriotes’ Synagogue, the Baron Hirsch neighbourhood near the Railroad Station, where the city’s Jews were deported from to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, and the University, the site of the old Jewish Cemetery.

In Larisa, on 27 January the Jewish Community of the city organized a ceremony at the Municipal Auditorium of the city in the presence of all local authorities, where candles were lit for the 6 million victims of the Holocaust. Metropolitan Ignatios was the key-note speaker of the ceremony.  Wreaths were also laid at the Jewish Martyrs' Square.

In Volos, a ceremony which included speeches by government members and local authorities, as well as laying of wreaths, was organized by the Region of Thessalia and the Jewish Community of the city at the Technical Chamber of the city on 1 February in the presence of many officials and citizens. Wreaths were laid at the Holocaust Monument.

In Ioannina, the Region of Epirus, the Jewish Community of the city, the Gani Foundation and the Municipal Cultural Centre organized an event on 27 January, which included speeches, a concert and a photo exhibition of the period 1890-1930.

Hungary

On 18 January 2015 the Government of Hungary marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation fo the Budapest ghetto and paid tribute to the memory of victims and survivors. Minister of Justice László Trócsányi, representing the Hungarian Government, laid a wreath at the Synagogue’s wall, where the Ghetto’s barrier was located, and paid reverence to the memory of all persons unlawfully deprived of their lives and liberty. State Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, incoming Chair of IHRA Szabolcs Takács and Deputy State Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Head of the Hungarian IHRA delegation Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky participated at the commemoration.

26 January 2015: Hungarian State Opera. Concert in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, paying tribute to those who perished in the concentration camps including several artists of the Hungarian State Opera. Opening speech of Mr. Miklós Szinetár, Honorary Director General of the Operahouse.

  • Programme:  Arnold Schönberg: „A survivor from Warsaw” and Henryk Górecki: Third Symphony (soloist singer: Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser) performed by the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ari Rasilainen who directed many symphonic orchestras from Europe and the United States in the last years.
  • Miklós Radnóti (Hungarian poet and Holocaust-victim): "How Others See" (literally: "I cannot know"), poem recited by Gabriella Varga.
  • Side-event: exhibition to the memory of the musician victims of the Holocaust, curator: Katalin Gerő.

27 January: Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Páva street, Budapest. Commemoration and concert on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Keynote speakers: Mr. György Haraszti, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Holocaust Public Foundation, Ms. Lieselore Cyrus, Ambassador of Germany in Budapest, Ms. Katarzyna Sitko, Director of the Polish Cultural Institute in Budapest presented the letter of the Polish ambassador.

Concert given by violinist Zoltán Mága and an orchestra featuring also violinist Miklós Szenthelyi and pianist Béla Szakcsi-Lakatos and candle-lighting at the Wall of Victims.

Programme entitled: ”The premier demand upon all education is that Auschwitz not happen again” (Adorno)

12:30 – 14.30 Exhibition-guidance for students and teachers (in six groups – ca. 300 persons) followed by a discussion with Holocaust-survivors
15:00 – 15:05  Opening „Memories from Auschwitz” - speech by Prof. Dr. György Haraszti, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Holocaust Public Foundation
15:05 – 15:20 Message of the Secretary General of the UNpresented by Prof. Dr. György Haraszti, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Holocaust Public Foundation
15:20 – 15:30 Music programme violin concert played by András Vavrinecz, student of the St. Stephan Conservatory of Zugló
15:30 – 15:50 Lecture „Women’s Fates” by Edit Linda Németh, member of the Historian experts’ group of the Holocaust Public Foundation
15:50 – 16:00 Certificate handing-over ceremony (the „Saviours” essay competition)
16:00 – 16:25 Lectureby Kolos István Tálas: Mihály Herman Medárd,  the saviour
16:25  Candle-lighting by students together with Holocaust-survivors at the Wall of Victims

27 January 2015: Minister of Human Capacities attends Auschwitz commemoration

Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog attended the official event organised to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland on Tuesday, in representation of President of the Republic János Áder.Other members of the delegation include from the Prime Minister’s Office State Secretary Szabolcs Takács and Deputy State Secretary Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky and Deputy State Secretary Csaba Latorcai, from the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Deputy State Secretary for Higher Education Zoltán Maruzsa and Deputy State Secretary for International and European Union Affairs Gergely Prőhle.The Hungarian delegation also included representatives of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) and the March of the Living Foundation.

On Tuesday the Minister said that the mass killings of Auschwitz must not happen again and any hatred against ethnic groups must be nipped in the bud. Prior to the event, the Minister said that murderous ideologies seem to keep returning to be used as an excuse for killing people based on their ethnic or religious affiliation. He added, "The expressions of hatred against other ethnic groups must always be nipped in the bud because we do not know how many steps are needed before they lead to another historical disaster", he underlined.

Ireland

Ireland’s national Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration took place on Sunday 25 January 2015 in the Mansion House in Dublin, drawing hundreds of attendees from all walks of society. The event was organised by Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI) in cooperation with the Department of Justice and Equality, Dublin City Council, Dublin Maccabi Charitable Trust, Jewish Representatives Council of Ireland, Sisters of Sion, and Council for Christians and Jews.

The event featured addresses from Ireland’s three remaining Holocaust survivors – Tomi Reichental, Suzi Diamond and Jan Kaminski. President Michael D Higgins gave the keynote address, and among those giving readings were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flangan T.D., Chief Justice Susan Denham, Ambassador of Israel H.E. Boaz Modai, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke,  and Minister of State for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. The press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade can be viewed here.

As well as the six candles traditionally lit for Jewish victims of the Holocaust, members from different ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds were also invited to light candles for other victims groups persecuted during the conflict, including political prisoners, homosexuals, Roma/Sinti, Poles, Slavs and other ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and Christian victims. A scroll of names was read by teenage schools students from around Ireland. The names on the scroll include those who perished in the Holocaust who were cherished family members of people living in Ireland.

HETI and Trinity College Dublin (Herzog Centre and Department of History) organise an annual Holocaust Memorial Lecture. This year it will take place on Tuesday, 10 February at 7.30pm. Professor David Cesarani (Royal Holloway College, University of London) will speak on 'Friendly aliens, enemy aliens, or just aliens? Britain and the Jews of Europe 1939-1945.’ About 450 people usually attend.

The Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 booklet will be made available on the HETI website. The event recieved press coverage in the Irish Times, the Independent and on RTE News.

Israel

A summary of remembrance events taking place around 27 January:

25 January: 13:00 to 10:00 a.m. – Israeli Government Cabinet Meeting to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to be attended by Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Directorate, Yad Vashem

26 January:  "Next Generations Association" conference in cooperation with Yad Vashem. Performance of "Our Class", at the Habima Theatre, Tel Aviv.

27 January: The Official Israeli International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, "Massuah", Tel Yitzchak, Israel. Featured speakers: Prof. Yitzchak Kashti, Chairman; Talya Lador Fresher, Chief of State Protocol, MFA; Elyakim Rubenstein, Supreme Court Justice; Orna Ben-Dor, Director, "Because of That War". Master of Ceremonies: Kobi Meidan. Keynote Address: H.E. Ms. Vivian Bercovici, Canadian Ambassador to Israel

09.30: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony for French Nationals, Hall of Remembrance, Yad Vashem.

15.00: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony for Italian Nationals, Hall of Remembrance, Yad Vashem, Claudio Della Seta's film, shot in 1923 with depictions of family life from Italy in that year, will be screened at the event.

Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev will deliver the keynote address at the United Nations event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The event at the UN General Assembly will take place with the participation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, survivors and liberators. The event will be streamed live on http://www.yadvashem.org/27th/un_event.asp on Tuesday 27 January at 11:00 AM EST.

In Jerusalem, "The Anguish of Liberation as Reflected in Art, 1945-1947" displayed in the Yad Vashem Museum of Holocaust Art, will open on January 27, as part of a special evening marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem.  The evening will be held in conjunction with UNSCO, in the presence of members of the Diplomatic Corps and Thomas Geve, one of the survivor-artists.  The diplomats will tour the new display and participate in a commemoration event at the Yad Vashem Synagogue, during which a live broadcast of Chairman Avner Shalev's keynote address will be screened from the UN. The diplomats will also be addressed by Director of Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research, Dr. Iael Nidam Orvieto, and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.

Opening of the travelling exhibit "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (USHMM)" at the Ghetto Fighter's House. Speakers: Dr. David Netzer, Dr. Leonid Idelman, Mr. Ophir Pines-Paz, Prof. Shaul M. Shasha, Dr. Anat Livne.

A Beit Terezin musical commemorative event at the Mishkenot Shaananim in Jerusalem. Students of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance will perform pieces on the work of Viktor Ullmann.  Artistic director: Prof. Michael Wolpe

28 January: Institute Francais Israel in cooperation with Beit Terezin will hold a piano recital at the Krieger Hall in Haifa. Pianist: Edna Stern, an Israeli living in France, will play various works. Mrs. Stern will focus on work of the composer Gideon Klein. 

A special online event, the IRemember Wall on Yad Vashem's Facebook page, will provide people across the globe with a unique opportunity to engage in online commemorative activity. Each participant will be "linked" to a name of one of the over 4.3 million men, women and children currently found in the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, thus creating an opportunity for personal commemoration.

In addition: Multiple film Screenings and Lectures marking the day will be held across the country.  Finally, Yad Vashem staff members will participate in conferences, seminars, exhibitions, ceremonies, lectures, and government meetings around the world to mark January 27th- including Rwanda, Latvia, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, Vietnam, Ghana, Senegal, The Ivory Coast, The Czech Republic, Ukraine, Croatia, Moldova, Austria, Lichtenstein, the UK, Germany, Venezuala and Canada among others. Some of these are arranged in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

Italy

The Museo dello Sbarco di Salerno wil hold a remembrance ceremony around a wagon used for deportations from Rome to Auschwitz.

Un Ponte per Anne Frank is launching an online national campaign ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, encouraging people to never forget, to prevent another Holocaust and to improve our world learning from the errors of our past.

On occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Regione Toscana in cooperation with Museo della Deportazione and ANED Toscana will organise a train to take 600 people, including students, teachers and the survivors Andra and Tatiana Bucci and Marcello Martini to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

An overview of some initiatives among the hundreds held all over Italy on occasion of the International Remembrance Day in 2015 can be viewed here. The following initiatives listed are only those related to the Italian Jewish Communities but ceremonies and events took place in almost all institutions (schools, ministries, provinces etc.) across Italy.

of the other events which took place in Italy around 27 January can be found here.

Latvia

No information is available at this time.

Lithuania

27 January 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania conduct different commemorative events and incite educational institutions and their Tolerance Education Centres (hereafter TEC) to mark this date.

26 January: Garliava Jonuciai Gymnasium and Progymnasium, Kaunas district, is hosting the commemorative event “NOT FORGOTTEN”. An interactive lecture with video presentations on the tragedy of the Holocaust will be given. Pageant play with live music performances is going to be presented. The event is co-organised by Garliava Jonuciai Gymnasium and Progymnasium TEC, Kaunas Young Tourist Centre TEC, Kaunas Builder Training Centre TEC, and Kaunas Religious Jewish Community. The event is under the patronage of the Mayor of Kaunas County and is going to be attended by teachers and students of different educational institutions both from Kaunas city and Kaunas district. View the event poster here.

27 January: the commemorative event to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is going to be held in Panevezys. The main event is planned at the former territory of Panevezys Ghetto, next to the memorial “The Grieving Jewish Mother”. The event is co-organised by Panevezys Jewish Community, Panevezys Sauletekis Progymnasium TEC, Panevezys Rozynas Progymnasium TEC, and Margarita Rimkevicaite Technological School TEC.

27 January: a national conference for students and teachers at Ariogala Gymnasium, Raseiniai district. The conference participants are going to present their creative works: video films, performances, pageant plays, drawings and posters. The main topics for creative works: History of the Jews in Lithuania and the Holocaust in Lithuania and In Europe. The conference is going to be attended by 100 students and 70 teachers from 20 schools with active TECs. The event will be honoured by the representatives of Kaunas Religious Jewish Community and Panevezys Jewish Community. The conference is co-organised by the Secretariat of the International Commission and Ariogala gymnasium TEC.

Different educational institutions across the country are going to have Multi-Disciplinary lessons and introduce their students some films, literary creations, and photos on the topic of the Holocaust.

4 February at Vilnius Theatre “Lele” the artistic musical performance about former Lithuanian Jewish community and its tragedy during WWII will take place. The representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the representatives from embassies and other missions residing in Lithuania are expected to attend this event. The event is is co-organised by the Secretariat of the International Commission and Vilnius Sauletekis Secondary School TEC.

Luxembourg

No information is available at this time.

Netherlands

In the Netherlands 27 January is marked as Holocaust Memorial Day. On this day, the victims and survivors are commemorated. The annual national commemoration of the Holocaust and Second World War is May 4. On this day there are local memorials as well as the national memorial in Amsterdam which is broadcasted on television. The Holocaust Memorial Day focuses even more on education and the remembrance of other genocides. The activities relating to Holocaust Memorial day fall into two categories: Educational and commemorative events. 

The educational activities are under the auspices of the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) and their committee Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). Examples of activities are workshops, lectures, film screenings and excursions for students of the age of 15 to 25. In addition to the activities of HMD, students are encouraged to organize activities related to the Holocaust Memorial Day. The HMD offers promotion materials, tools and tips to support these events.

Besides activities and events HMD also provides education materials on the Holocaust and other genocides. This year, we focus on the Holocaust, as well as the Armenian and Srebrenica genocides.

NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (supported by the Dutch Auschwitz Committee, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Resistance Museum, Hollandsche Schouwburg, Universities, Humanity in Action, Herinneringscentrum kamp Westerbork and Herinneringscentrum Vught) hold events throughout January 2015.

On 24 January NIOD also organises a training course for teachers, teacher trainers and teachers-in-training free of charge.

On and around 27 January 27 there are several remembrance activities organised by (local) authorities and the Dutch Auschwitz Committee. Annually there is the Auschwitz never again lecture and the memorial at the Auschwitz monument in Amsterdam. 

Each year 27 January is commemorated in Amsterdam, on the last Sunday in January (January 25, 2015). This commemoration will take place at the ‘Auschwitz Never Again-monument’ in the Wertheimpark in Amsterdam. Participants are kindly requested to assemble in the Amsterdam Town Hall (entrance Amstel River) between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. A Silent March will depart from the Town Hall to the Wertheimpark for the main commemoration ceremony at 11:10. The ceremony itself will start at 11:30 and last for approximately 45 minutes. Following the ceremony, there will be an opportunity to lay flowers on the Monument.

22-27 January 2015: The reading of the 102.000 names, Memorial Centre Camp Westerbork.

The Centre Camp Westerbork is organising the reading of the 102.000 names for the third time. It will take 112 hours, day and night. Starting in the evening of January 22 up to and including January 27 2015 the names of those who do not have their own graves, are read. The reading of their names signifies 102.000 is not merely a number, but it means 102.000 times a father, a mother, a grandmother, a brother, a niece, a friend.

Background information on the Reading of the 102.000 names

There is a map of the Netherlands on the former roll-call site of Judendurchgangslager Westerbork (Transit Camp Westerbork for Jews), with 102.000 stones with stars of David on them (and flames as symbol for the Roma and Sinti). By this we indicate that the murder of more than 100.000 Dutch Jews in the Holocaust, must not be reduced to a number, but it is a reminder for us, that the murder of one single human being was committed 102.000 times over.

Personification is the essence of educational work of Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork: every star and every flame symbolises a human being who really existed. These personal stories are told in combination with the setting, because the 102.000 victims and 5.000 survivors used to live in the same cities and villages as the visitors of today. 

Their names were read for the first time in 2005 on the former site of camp Westerbork. Once more, in 2015, on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day and commemorating the liberation of the camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the names of all the men, women and children will be readfor whom transit camp Westerbork was their last residence in the Netherlands, until the moment they were deported to their extermination. As long as their names are mentioned, they will be remembered. And mentioning their names in camp Westerbork has a special meaning and gives an emotional edge to this reading.

When pronouncing their names, more than a memory is kept alive. It feels, as one of the survivors expressed: ‘like a big sense of solidarity with the people who were present while reading the names. It felt like a big relief when I said the names of my parents and the name of my father’s sister. As if you were allowed to pronounce something, that was not allowed before’.

Norway

Since 2002 the Holocaust Center has taken the responsibility - upon request from the Government - for organising the official Norwegian Memorial Day every year on 27 January.

The Memorial event always takes place at the Memorial to the deported Norwegian Jews. The programme consists of a speech by one of the members of the Parliament, representatives of the Norwegian Jews and other groups who were killed or suffered during the Holocaust. Norwegian Jewish school children light torches in commemoration of all the children who perished, and there are usually one or two artistic performances - either a song, a musical piece or a poem. The memorial event usually ends with the Jewish cantor at the synagogue singing the Kaddish.The ceremony is concluded with a gathering at Akershus Fortress. This year's ceremony will be attended by Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Present at this ceremony and at the event which follows, are survivors, members of the Jewish community and the other participating groups, politicians, many ambassadors, representatives from many organizations, the general public and media - television, radio and newspapers. The coverage has been extraordinary broad and informative - before, during and after the Holocaust Day.

Year by year the importance of the International Day has grown. A few years ago it was noted that most Norwegian calendars now mention this day – which really proves to which extent this Memorial Day has become an important part of the Norwegian culture - honoring the Norwegian Jews and the other groups who suffered during the Second World War

For many years there have been memorial events in several other towns in Norway as well. Likewise many schools around the country have organised speeches or other ways of informing the children about this day. Recently the new Norwegian government suggested incorporating the International Holocaust Day into all Norwegian schools' curriculum - which will mean that it then will become an even more important national event.

Oslo Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities: Schoolchildren are invited to aconversation with Samuel Steinmann, the only remaining survivor of the Jews who were deported from Norway during the Holocaust. Many schools around the country will be arranging special events and educational activities. The authorities encourage all Norwegian schools to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Writer Arne Vestbø will be giving a lecture at a lower secondary school on Moritz Rabinowitz, a Jewish businessman who was deported to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1941.

  • The Falstad Centre is a state sponsored institution devoted to historical research, human rights education and commemorative activities. The Centre is located on the grounds of the former Nazi Camp Strafgefangenenlager Falstad, functioning both as a forced laborers camp, internment camp for political prisoners and transit camp to Auschwitz for Norwegian Jews. In conjunction with the 70th WW II Anniversary, the HMD 2015 will focus mainly on memory and the cultural afterlife of the Holocaust. We have invited 200 students from the region to take part in lectures, workshops and a memorial march to the Falstad Forest, the site of execution for SS Camp Falstad. After a ceremony in the forest, we will have an open, public arrangement in the city of Levanger – with speeches, musical performances and screening of the documentary film “The Tram to Auschwitz”, portraying the history of Samuel Steinmann, the last Norwegian Holocaust survivor.
  • Stiftelsen Espeland Fangeleir (Espeland Prison Camp Foundation): The Foundation marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day every year. Adults and young people gather for appeals, speeches and serving of refreshments in Arna, Bergen.
  • Nordsjøfartsmuseet: (North Sea Maritime Museum): A ceremony, including the lighting of candles and a play, will be held for schoolchildren in the museum in Telavåg, Hordaland.
  • Municipality of Trondheim: Opening of Julius Paltiels plass: Appeal and musical performance, speech by Sten Paltiel, and serving of refreshments in the synagogue/Jewish Museum in Trondheim. Julius Paltiel was one of the 34 deported Jews from Norway who survived Auschwitz. Organised by the city of Trondheim, Mosaic Faith Community, and the Jewish Museum, Trondheim.
  • Stiftelsen Arkivet (Archive Foundaton), Municipality of Kristiansand: Vest- Agder Red Cross and United Nations Association of Norway (Southern Norway) will hold a two-day event during which 1,000 pupils will take part in an educational programme with Holocaust survivors, workshops and film screenings.
  • Nordnorsk stiftelse for historieformidling, menneskerettigheter og fredsbygging (Northern Norway Foundation for Historical Education, Human Rights and Peacebuilding): Appeal and laying of flowers on the three sites where Stolpesteine have been laid in Narvik city centre to commemorate the Jewish families from Narvik who died after being deported during World War II. An Appeal and laying of flowers will also take place at the Beisfjord memorial grove (located 10 km from Narvik) commemorating the citizens from other countries who lost their lives as the result of the German occupation force's operation of concentration camps and the work camps on Norwegian soil.
  • Aktive Fredsreiser (Travel for Peace) will participate in the official memorial ceremony and lay a wreath at Auschwitz.

Poland

27 January will mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The event will be presided over by President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski. The event is organised by the: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council.

15.30: Main commemoration in the tent in front of the “gate of death” in Birkenau

17.00 : Paying tribute to the victims in front of the monument in Birkenau

For more information click here.

See also the Map of World Remembrance which aims to record all the commemorative events taking place around the world on 27 January.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews will hold a number of events around 27 January. The full programme can be viewed here.

Romania

In cooperation with the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize a commemoration event on 27 January 2015. The event will include speeches delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania, Aurel Vainer, the president of the Association of Romanian Jews Victims of the Holocaust, Liviu Beris as well as Romania’s IHRA Head of Delegation to IHRA, Ambassador Razvan Rusu, and Romania’s future IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu. A presentation of the volume The Pogrom in Iasi (Curtea Veche Publishing House, 2014) by the director of the Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, as well as a reading from Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl”, are also included in the program. A press release will mark both the commemoration day on 27 January, as well as the reaffirmation of the Stockholm Declaration.

 The Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm will hold, on 22 January 2015, 18:30, a lecture by Radu Ioanid, on the Pogrom in Iasi.

Radu Ioanid is the director of archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Musem in Washington and author of several important works on recent history such as The Holocaust in Romania (Ivan R. Dee, 2013) and The Pogrom in Iaşi (Curtea Veche Publishing House, 2014), and co-author of the volume The Ransom of the Jews: The Story of The Extraordinary Secret Bargain Between Romania and Israel (Ivan R. Dee, 2005).
 
The lecture will be on the subject of the Iasi Pogrom in July and June 1941, when thousands of Jews (the exact number varies according to the source) were shot on the streets of the city, on the premises of the Police Prefecture or were deported on two so-called “death” trains, in which they died of dehydration and heat. These events took place a week after Romania joined Germany in war against the Soviet Union. Historians consider that an important role in the pogrom was down to the political landscape in Romania;  in the interval 1867-1913, no less than 196 laws with antisemitic content were adopted.

The lecture will be followed by  a discussion between Radu Ioanid and the Swedish writer and journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink, author of the book Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar ("And in Wienerwald the trees stood tall", Natur & Kultur, 2011), which discussed Nazi tendencies in Swedish society from the Second World War until the present. The book has been translated into 5 languages and has won several prestigious awards such as the August Prize for the best non-fictional book and the Ryszard Kapuściński award for literary reportage.

The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania will organise a series of events dedicated to the International Day of the Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust:

  • In Iasi, on 20-21 January 2015, in partnership with the French Institute in Iasi, the following events will be organised on Tuesday, 20 January 2015, 18:00, in the Museum of Romanian Literature:
  • Projection of the documentary film “The Pogrom in Iasi-70 years later” by Mihnea Chelariu
  • The launch of the photo album “The Pogrom in Iasi” by Radu Ioanid, Curtea Veche Publishing House and the INSHR Publishing House, 2015
    On Wednesday, 21 January 2015, 18:00, Fondane Gallery of the French Institute in Iasi:
  • The launch of the poetry book for children “The girl-grandmother and her story” by Suzana Raweh and Dafna Schoenwald, Curtea Veche Publishing House and the INSHR Publishing House, 2014 (Find below poster for these events)
  • In Bucharest, on 27-29 January 2015, the following events will be organised:
  • On Tuesday, 27 January 2015, 17:30 hrs, Muzeul Taranului Roman, Horia Bernea Studio
  • The official opening of the Holocaust Film Festival, organised in cooperation with the US Embassy in Bucharest; Entry to this event is free and the programme of the movies can be consulted on the internet site of the INSHR.

The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania, in cooperation with the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum and the    Romania-Israel Cultural Center will be organising a two-part commemoration event on 23 January 2015, commemorating the Pogrom in Bucharest (21-23 January 1941):

-the Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum will host the symposium “Human Dignity during the Holocaust” (10:30 hrs);

-the municipal slaughter house in Bucharest will host the conference “Evocation of the tragic events that unfolded in those days” (15:00 hrs).

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 10:30- Lauder Rent Educational Complex: The launch of the poetry book for children “The girl-grandmother and her story” by Suzana Raweh and Dafna Schoenwald, Curtea Veche Publishing House and the INSHR Publishing House, 2014 and of the theatre play with the same name.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 14:00- Romanian National Library, 1st floor: The “International Day of the Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” special session organized by the US Embassy , in partnership with the Elie Wiesel Institute. Students from the “Ion Creanga” college will participate. Presentations will be held by Alexandru Florian, Elie Wiesel Institute General Director and Marjorie Stern, cultural attache of the US Embassy in Bucharest. The session will also include the projection of the Struma movie, directed by Radu Gabrea.

 The Tikvah Association in Oradea has prepared a number of initiatives all related to the remembrance on 27 January 2015 as it follows:

  • It has prepared educational materials called "Voices of the Liberators" which explain the background of the liberation of three concentration/extermination camps in 1945: Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Mauthausen by Soviet, British and American forces and captures testimonies of the liberators.
  • It has held, with the co-operation of the Education authorities, a workshop with over 50 teachers to test our materials for use in schools.
  • It has distributed posters widely in Oradea promoting remembrance; it has had co-operation from the churches, local government, the police, libraries, the museums, the cultural locations and the University in Oradea.
  • It is working with the regional Roma organization to train Roma volunteers to present the story of the Roma genocide in Roma communities on 27 January.
  • It is holding the formal remembrance event at Oradea City Hall and the event is co-hosted by Asociatia Tikvah and the British Embassy. There will be:
  • A display of Asociatia Tikvah's "Voices of the Liberators" materials.
  • A video from Sir Andrew Burns welcoming the guests and welcoming the assumption of Romania's leadership of the IHRA in 2016 (and commending the work of Asociatia Tikvah).
    Extracts from the recently released and acclaimed film "Night Will Fall".
  • A presentation by the Deputy British Ambassador and other local dignitaries.
  • A presentation by Emilia Teszler, President of Asociatia Tikvah.
  • There will also be an art exhibition at the City Hall with a Holocaust theme prepared by the local Art School and prizes will be awarded by Asociatia Tikvah.

Serbia

On 27 January 2015, at 19:00, the Center for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade will convene a round table based on Auschwitz survivor Djordje Lebović's (1928-2004) play, Nebeski odred [tr., Himmelkomanda],which is set in Auschwitz. Using questions drawn from the text of the play, the round table will examine the issue of testimony and giving witness. Since its establishment in 1994, the Center works in arts, culture and social engagement against nationalism, xenophobia, hatred and fear.

In Belgrade the Serbian President, Mr. Tomislav Nikolic led the central state commemorative ceremony marking 27 January. The ceremony took place at 11.00 am at the monument to the victims of genocide in the Second World War, located within the complex of the former concentration camp at Staro Sajmiste in New Belgrade. The President of the Republic of Serbia, with full military and state honors, laid the wreath and addressed the audience. The central state ceremony was attended by the Holocaust survivors, descendants of the victims, former prisoners of death camps in the Second World War, representatives of the Association of Jewish Communities of Serbia, the National Council of the Roma National Minority, Ministers of the Government of Serbia, Vice-President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mayor of the City of Belgrade, a large number of representatives of the diplomatic corps, associations and citizens.

On 26 January the Jewish Community of Belgrade, Association of Jewish Communities of Serbia and the Holocaust Research and Education Centre the forum on  Freedom, Life and Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors  held a commemoration to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Sukkat Shalom Synagogue in Belgrade, on the occasion of which the documentary on the Auschwitz was screened, and researchers on the Holocaust delivered speeches. In their address, the representatives of the Holocaust Research and Education Centre spoke about the sites where the Holocaust and Porrajmos took place in Belgrade. The students of the Belgrade Railway Vocational School held the presentation How we were taught about the Holocaust in our school and outside it, followed by the documentary How we visited Staro sajmiište, the place of agony and remembrance

Slovakia

No information is currently available.

Slovenia

A large range of commemorative events are taking place in schools, centres and synagogues throughout Slovenia. A full programme can be viewed here.

Spain

The United Nations, the Casa Sefarad-Israel, Instituto Italiano di Cultura, Polish Institute, Goethe- Institut, Frnch Embassy, Israeli Embassy and the Association of Fine Arts will hold a commemorative concert, composed and directed by Michele Gazich, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  The programme is available here.

Sweden

According to the instructions given by the Governmental Authority, one mission of the Living History Forum is to promote remembrance of the Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th of January. Since the main target group is teachers, the Forum publishes ideas on how to work educationally with this Memorial Day according to a special chosen theme for each year. For 2015 the theme is “70 Years since the Liberation” within which testimonies of survivors will be highlighted, telling stories about life before, during and after the Holocaust.

An exhibition where these testimonies are displayed can be easily accessed and downloaded in different formats through the web site of the Forum.  Every year the Forum invites and encourages schools and other institutions around the country, to publish their programmes for the Memorial Day on the website of the Forum. Several such institutions usually respond to this invitation.

Furthermore the website of the Forum offers a range of teaching ideas and educational materials suitable for the Memorial Day, including materials about the Holocaust as well as other genocides. It also includes materials about the UN Genocide Convention.

In addition to this, the Forum is in charge of a memorial ceremony in the centre of Stockholm each year on the 27th of January. The ceremony includes candle lighting and representatives of the government and the royal family are normally present. For the 2015 ceremony, the Swedish Prime Minister is listed among the speakers.

Sweden is participating with a delegation at the 2015 commemoration in Auschwitz. The delegation is headed by the Crown Princess Victoria and the Speaker of the Parliament who are joined by a number of Holocaust Survivors and a second generation Roma survivor.

Switzerland

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Minister of Justice Simonetta Sommaruga , delivers a written message. She will also attend the ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

On 27 January 2015, the President of the Swiss Confederation will meet a small delegation of Holocaust survivors from Switzerland in the Parliament and Government building.  She will be offered a series of 15 books of Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors. Headed by Professor Ivan Lefkovits, a Holocaust survivor himself, the Memoirs project was launched in 2008 and it will end with this ceremony.

Several activities or ceremonies are also organized in some cantons and schools. Under the given title „Violations of human rights and civil courage in Past and Present" a publication as well as several exhibits and public debates will organized in Lucerne (the entire program can be found under www.27-januar.lu.ch). In Ticino, the activities will focus on the topic "The Origins of Evil" Cinema and History: deportations and extermination in Europe (1933-1945)”. The programme can be viewed here.

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 by 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.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 “Keep the Memory Alive”. Stephen Fry joins a diverse group of British artists and Holocaust and genocide survivors in launching a major new arts project in which survivors’ stories will be interpreted and explored through writing, poetry, film, ceramics, illustration and collage.

The Memory Makers project is pairing seven artists with survivors of genocide living in the UK. The artists have partnered with survivors to hear their remarkable life stories, before creating a work of art that captures the experience of the meeting, and explores the horrors and consequences of the atrocities.  

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has an event map which shows a very comprehensive overview of commemorative events taking place all over the UK. View the map here.

HMDT organises the UK national commemoration 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.  The national commemoration is a formal ceremony, providing a national focus for HMD. 

HMDT’s role includes providing support to local event organisers in commemorating HMD.  HMDT produces an Activity pack for event organisers, and its website contains a wealth of resources and advice. Activities included classroom activities, exhibitions, civic ceremonies, speaker events, readings, performing arts, tree plantings and film screenings.

The Anne Frank Trust UK: The Anne Frank Trust has several copies of the exhibition Anne Frank, A History for Today which visits secondary schools and prisons, where students and prisoners are trained to be peer educators. A range of activities and workshops accompany the exhibitions. 

It also has two touring exhibitions for public viewing, the larger exhibition Anne Frank and You and the photographic exhibition Anne Frank and Family. 

The annual Anne Frank Trust Lunch to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will take place at the Hilton on Park Lane on Thursday 29 January 2015 at 12.00 pm. News presenter and member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Natasha Kaplinsky will be interviewing Dr Eva Schloss, the stepdaughter of Otto Frank, about her time in Auschwitz. Eva will reflect on those terrible times, on the 70 intervening years and will have some pertinent remarks about the future. The Anne Frank Award for Moral Courage will also be presented, this year to the remarkable Mariane Pearl.  Mariane’s husband, the Wall Street Journal bureau chief Daniel Pearl, was murdered by Al-Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002.  Mariane’s book about her husband’s kidnapping, A Might Heart, was turned into a film in which Mariane was played by Dame Angelina Jolie – who signed our Anne Frank Declaration this summer.

An overview of the Anne Frank Trust events which took place all over the UK can be found here.

The Association of Jewish Refugees: The AJR, together with the Second Generation Network and the Kindertransport Association, co-organised an historic inter-generational gathering of Holocaust refugees and survivors and their descendants on Sunday 18 January 2015 at the Institute of Education.

The one-day Holocaust Generations Conference brought together the families of Shoah victims to hear from speakers addressing a number of post-Holocaust subjects, to meet people with similar backgrounds and to share experiences. The conference covered several subjects of interest including history, psychology, genealogy, as well as highlighting the culture and legacy of the refugees and survivors.

United States

On January 27, 2015, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Museum's Hall of Remembrance. The special commemoration marks the 10th Anniversary of the international day of remembrance and the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The Museum's program will feature remarks from a Holocaust survivor, the lighting of memorial candles in the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance, and a short musical interlude. The memorial prayer will also be led by Holocaust survivors.  While the event is open to the public, the Museum invites the diplomatic community to join with Holocaust survivors and US Government officials in marking this day. More than 30 Holocaust survivors will be joined by ambassadors and other diplomats from over 50 nations.

January 27 has been established by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration honoring the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust.  The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp, by the Soviet Red Army on January 27, 1945.  More information on the Days of Remembrance is available here.

This international day of remembrance is being held in addition to the national Days of Remembrance, the official U.S. Holocaust commemoration led by the Museum every year since 1980.  During this week of observance (in 2015 April 12-19), communities across the country conduct remembrance observations, and the Museum leads a solemn ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Observer Countries

Albania

No information is available at this time.

Bulgaria

  • President of Bulgaria, Mr. Plevneliev took part in the The Fourth International Forum „Let My People Live!”, 26 – 27 January 2015, Prague / Terezin, Czech Republic 
  • President of Bulgaria, Mr. Plevneliev took part in the commemoration events for the 70th Anniversary of Liberation of the Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau - January 27, 2015
  • Foreign Minister Mitov published an statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • On January 27th 2015 the Ministry of Education and Science held a ceremony for commemoration of the International Day of the Victims of the Holocaust and 70th anniversary of liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • The Ministry of Education and Science will announce a National contest for schools on the topic: "70th anniversary of liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau- facing the past to have a future".
  • On January 28th 2015 the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria and Embassy of the State of Israel together with the State Cultural Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom” and Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” are holding a Ceremony in the Parliament for marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day with presentation of an Exhibition and laying flowers to the memorial monument next to the building of the Parliament.

El Salvador

On 27 January El Salvador will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a ceremony at the Museo de Antropología "David J. Guzmán". The commemoration will take place at 5:00 pm(11:00 pm GMT). This event is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the IHRA member countries represented in El Salvador: Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, United Kingdom, United States Uruguay and the UN.
The program will include: a screnein of two videos, lighting of candles by children from the Jewish community in El Salvador and by the daughter of Colonel Arturo Castellanos (Righteous among the Nations).
There will also be a religious ceremony and Hebrew and Spanish testimony from Marianne Granat, an Auschwitz survivor. Speeches will also be held by representatives of the UN, El Salvador and the United Kingdom. Viceminister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Castaneda will be in attendce at the ceremony

Moldova

On 29 January 2015 an International High Level Remembrance Conference dedicated to the 70 Anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau will take place in Chisinau organised by the Government of the Republic of Moldova together with the Jewish Community of Moldova.

The purpose of this event is to contribute to the efforts of the Moldovan Government and civil society in its work to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as serve as a platform to discuss the contemporary challenges and modern facets of antisemitism. The agenda of the Conference will include subjects related to the issues of Holocaust denial prohibition and victims’ remembrance; modern anti-Semitism appearances; Holocaust education; Mass-media role in human rights promotion. The format of this conference will bring together high ranking officials, diplomats, government and civil society leaders, fostering dialogue, raising awareness, proposing specific recommendations, and inspiring succesful models of society cohesion and tolerance promotion in the Republic of Moldova and participating countries. IHRA Delegate Werner Dreier will be in attendance.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The “Memorial Center of the Holocaust of the Jews from Macedonia” held a seminar on 27 January called "Diplomacy and the Deportation of the Jews from Macedonia in 1943". The event was organised along with the Diplomatic Club-Skopje, the Institute of National History, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is supported by IHRA. More than 100 participants from the Jewish community, different institutions, representatives of the diplomatic community, media, and NGOs were in attendance. The seminar featured academics, govenrment representatives and IHRA delegates. The event will be moderated by Ambassador Tegovski, the IHRA national coordinator.

The President Mr. Gjorge Ivanov took part at the commemoration events held on the occasion of the 70 years of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27  January  2015.

The President of the Assembly Mr. Trajko Veljanovski took part at the Fourth International Forum “Let My People Live” held in Prague/Terzin on 26-27 January 2015.

A delegation from the Holocaust Memorial Center of the Jews from Macedonia took part at the International Conference “Learning From the Past, Learning for the Future” held in Brussels on 27 January 2015.

Portugal

Clube Europeu - Escola Básica Adriano Correia de Oliveira, Avintes: Students will organise an exibition about Holocaust. The students will see a film about Irena Sendler.

Agrupamento de Escolas de Airães: March of the Living including students, teachers and other employees of the community associated with the education representing the schools from the Felgueiras municipality and other participants. Unveiling of the commemorative stone associated with the event as well as a conference on the Holocaust, in the School Amphitheater, Primary and Secondary School in Airaes.

22 January: a 20 minute webinar is posted on the Ministry of Education and Science’s site addressed at teachers and students of the Portuguese school system containing a presentation by the Head of the Portuguese delegation to IHRA under the title “Keeping the Memory Alive – Portugal and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance”;

26 January: Teatro S. Carlos (national opera theatre) with the support of the Austrian Embassy - Concert: lieder by Robert Schumann and Viktor Ullman; soprano Julliane Bance; presentation of the movie “Nuit et Brouillard” by Alain Resnais with the musical score played by the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa and reading by Luís Miguel Cintra (actor and theatre director);

27 January: special session at the Parliament – addresses by the Speaker and by the Presidents of the Permanent Parliament Commissions for Liberties and Fundamental Right and for Education, as well by the Head of the Lisbon Jewish Community; presentation of extracts from the opera “Bundibar”; opening of a photo exhibition “Children and the Holocaust;

27 January: Faculty of Letters – University of Lisbon: public discussion of works on the Holocaust and Holocaust related subjects by students in the course of the academic year;

28 January: Parliament – presentation of the play “As mãos de Abraão Zacut” (Luis Stau Monteiro) by students from schools from the city of Portalegre.

Turkey

On 27 January has been commemorated in Turkey for the last 5 years.  This year, for the first time, the Turkish Jewish Community together with Bilkent University also organized a commemoration ceremony for the Holocaust victims in Ankara. The Speaker of the Grand National Assembly, H.E. Cemil Cicek, attended the Holocaust commemoration ceremony in Ankara.  The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Omer Celik, the Deputy Minister of National Education, Mr. Orhan Erdem, the Deputy Chief of the Republican People’s Party, Mr. Murat Ozcelik, the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s General Secretary, Mr. Dr. İrfan Neziroglu, members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly from different parties, the Undersecretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Levent Murat Burhan, foreign ambassadors, diplomats, academics, teachers, students, high-level civil and military officials. Nearly 600 people were in attendance and the ceremony attracted press and TV channels and was covered quite broadly in the Turkish media.

At the beginning of  the ceremony, the messages conveyed by Prime Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu and Minister of Youth and Sport Mr. Çagatay Kılıc, included IHRA’s press release published to reaffirm the Stockholm Declaration. President of the Bilkent University Abdullah Atalar, Associate Professor Umut Uzer (a member of Turkish Delegation to IHRA), retired Ambassador Ertan Tezgor (Head of Turkish Delegation to IHRA), President of Turkish Jewish Community Ishak Ibrahimzadeh and Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mr. Cemil Çiçek gave speeches in the ceremony.  The speeches were mainly focused on the importance of educatingthe broader public about Holocaust, fighting against antisemitism, hatred, racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, and Turkish diplomats’ efforts  during the World War II to save Jews by providing them Turkish Passports. All of the speeches can be read here.

Bilkent University Trio, Jewish musicians Linet Shaul and Jerfi Aji gave a small concert during the ceremony. The Jewish photographer Alberto Modiano aslo organized an exhibition about the Holocaust images at the foyer of the ceremony hall.

On January 26-27 Mr Cicek attended a forum in Prague named “Let My People Live” which was organized together with the European Parliament, the Czech Parliament and the European Jewish Congress. The President of the Turkish Jewish Community, Mr. Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, was also part of the delegation .

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Çavuşoglu, attended the commemoration ceremonies in Auschwitz together with the Vice President of the Turkish Jewish Community, Joseph Nassi, and Rabbi Naftali Haleva.

This year, the TRT (Turkish public radio and television) aired two Holocaust documentaries. A new documentary which was produced by the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington named “The Path to Nazi Genocide” was shown on January 27.y Claude Lanzmann’s "Shoah" was televised again in five parts between January 26-30.

Uruguay

No information is available at this time.

Permanent International Partners

Claims Conference

No information is available at this time.

Council of Europe

No information is available at this time.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)

No information is available at this time.

International Tracing Service

22 January: Uprooted and a New Beginning: Conversations with the Children of Displaced PerGesprächsrunde mit Kindern ehemaliger Displaced Persons. To mark the closing of the exhibition "Where should we go after Liberation?", the ITS invites you to conversations with the children of DPs. Dr. Meron Mendel, director of the Bildungsstätte Anne Frank will moderate the event. More details.

19 January: René Bienert will hold a presentation in the Christian Daniel Rauch-Museum, Bad Arolsen."Survived-Liberated-Homeless: Displaced Persons in Arolsen." For more details please click here.

OSCE/ODIHR

On 22 January IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns will address the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

ODIHR provides assistance to governments in raising awareness about the Holocaust and its causes, notably anti-Semitism. Partnering with other intergovernmental organizations, including the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), ODIHR fosters multilateral co-operation and dialogue among governments and civil society on issues related to Holocaust education and remembrance.

ODIHR’s online publication Holocaust Memorial Days in the OSCE region provides both general and country-specific summaries on the days chosen and the activities implemented on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Days. It also contains information about efforts to commemorate the Roma and Sinti genocide on a special day, in some countries on 2 August.

UNESCO

All events at UNESCO Headquarters are available on this website

The United Nations

The new traveling exhibition "Shoah: How Was It Humanly Possible?" will open on January 26, 2015, at the United Nations Visitors' Lobby in New York City. The exhibition, which uses texts, images, and video clips to recount a comprehensive history of the Holocaust from 1933-1945, will remain on display at the United Nations through February 2015. The full programme of events being organised by the United Nations around27 January can be viewed here.

Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev will deliver the keynote address at the United Nations event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The event at the UN General Assembly will take place with the participation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, survivors and liberators. The event will be streamed live on http://www.yadvashem.org/27th/un_event.asp on Tuesday 27 January at 11:00 AM EST.

The full program of UN events around January 27 can be viewed here.