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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016

22.01.2016

Find out what is happening on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in IHRA member and observer countries.

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. 71 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 2016, 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 international partner organisations.

Member Countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

Observer Countries: Albania, Australia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Portugal, Turkey

Permanent International Partners: Council of Europe, The United Nations, UNESCO

Argentina

A national commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust will be held on 27 January in Buenos Aires. The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the authorities and by civil society. Argentina will also inaugurate its National Holocaust Museum on this day. Read the event press release here.

Austria

The Friends of Yad Vashem (Österreichische Freunde von Yad Vashem) and the city of Linz invite guests to a remembrance ceremony at Linz City Hall. The event starts at 7:30 pm on 27 January in the city hall's Press Centre (Hauptplatz 1, 4020 Linz, Austria).

 

 

Belgium

On 27 January 2016, GrenzGeschichteDG, a department of the Autonome Hochschule in the German-speaking Community in Belgium (AHS), will screen the biography and documentary film of Helmut Clahsen.

Helmut Clahsen was born in 1931 in Aachen, Germany. His jewish mother was persecuted by the Nazis in 1941. Helmut Clahsen and his younger brother moved through more than 40 hiding places in Germany and Belgium before and during the Second World War. Helmut Clahsen died on 24 October 2015 in Aachen. The film is produced by Dr. Herbert Ruland, who made this German documentary in 2011. The event starts at 7:30 pm in the AHS in Eupen, Belgium. Read more here.

Canada

The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre highlights the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, by offering visitors free Museum admission on Wednesday, 27  January from 10 am to 9 pm.

The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of Jewish communities before, during and after the Holocaust. Through the life stories of Montreal survivors, the Museum invites visitors to reflect on the destruction caused by prejudice, racism and antisemitism.

On Thursday, 28 January, at 6 PM at Montreal City Hall, vernissage of the new traveling exhibit  “United against genocide: Understand, question, prevent”. This vernissage is held under the patronage of Montreal Mayor, Denis Coderre, Mr. Frantz Benjamin, Chairman of the City Council, and Daniel Rabinowicz, President of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

  • Traveling Exhibition
  • On display Wednesday, January 22 to Tuesday, February 6, 2016
  • at the Montreal City Hall

The exhibition will then begin its first year of travel across Canada. It is fully booked for 2016.

The exhibition "United Against Genocide: Understand, Question, Prevent" invites us to reflect on issues related to genocide, through an analysis of similarities and differences of four genocides: the Armenian and Cambodian genocides, the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda and the Holocaust (Shoah). The premise of the exhibit is that by being better informed of the process of genocide and understanding and acting on our collective responsibility,  we can prevent history from repeating itself. Visit the online exhibit.

The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program undertook a nationwide initiative to honour Holocaust Survivors in recognition of 27 January, 2016. The launch of their new digital platform for the classroom is designed to help students engage with Holocaust history by exploring rare interview footage, memoir excerpts, photographs and artifacts. RE:COLLECTION allows for students to explore, find and collect assets on a variety of themes – immigration, discrimination, ghettos, arrival in Canada. There will be workshops on the new tool across the country this year.

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC)

In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Presents Confronting the Heart of Darkness a compelling critical examination of historic antisemitism and the repercussions for our collective future.  Featuring Ambassador Szabolcs Takács, 2016 Chair, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The Azrieli Foundation

The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program undertook a nationwide initiative to honour Holocaust Survivors in recognition of January 27, 2016, UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).  

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new groundbreaking digital platform for the classroom to help students engage with Holocaust history by exploring rare interview footage, memoir excerpts, photographs and artifacts. RE:COLLECTION allows for students to explore, find and collect assets on a variety of themes – immigration, discrimination, ghettos, arrival in Canada. We will be offering workshops on our new tool across the country this year. Visit: http://memoirs.azrielifoundation.org/recollection to learn more. 

We've worked with schools, community centres and librarians across the country and provided all the necessary resources for a successful program including our award-winning survivor memoirs and accompanying short films. Memoirs of author’s Nate Leipciger, David Newman, Michael Mason, Felicia Carmelly and Anna Molnar Hegedus were featured. One of these memoirs that do not have an accompanying film is quite rare.  As the Lilacs Bloomed by Anna Molnar Hegedus (who later moved to Montreal) was written in 1945 and is heart wrenching account of one year of survival.

The following organizations will hold a special screening of our films and memoirs made available to those in attendance:

  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • Dartmouth Learning Network, Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia Archives
  • Cape Breton Northside Library, Nova Scotia
  • Calgary Jewish Federation
  • Edmonton Jewish Federation
  • Regina Jewish Community
  • Hamilton Jewish Federation

Additionally, our outreach team has been busy working with teachers to create meaningful IHRD programming:

  • 1700 Francophone students from 17 schools in the surrounding Montreal and Ottawa area will attend a presentation by Holocaust survivors Arthur Ney, Leslie Vertes and Marguerite Quddus at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.
  • Forty-eight high schools and eleven junior high schools in Southern Ontario will devote a to week studying survivor memoir and film and working with the Azrieli Foundation’s new digital tool RE:COLLECTION (http://memoirs.azrielifoundation.org/recollection). 
  • The memoirs of Canadian Holocaust survivors Helena Jockel, Michael Kutz and Marguerite Qussus will be the focus of the third citywide Holocaust Remembrance event in Dakar, Senegal. Dr. Alioune Dème, past fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and an assistant professor in Cheikh Anta Diop University’s history department, organized the event in partnership with us and the Israeli Embassy. Our French language memoirs were distributed to participating schools in the Senegalese UNESCO school network and more than 300 high school students will read the memoirs and present the stories of our authors at the assembly. We were again invited to participate because our Program is the only one of its kind to make written French-language first-person Holocaust survivor memoirs and supporting resources available for free to educators.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is partnering with the Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a special event and book launch featuring renowned Canadian journalist and TV anchor Steve Paikin, author of “I Am a Victor.” His book tells the story of Canadian Auschwitz survivor Mordechai Ronen.  This free event will take place at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba at 7:30 pm on January 27, 2016. 

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre will be screening My Italian Secret which tells the story of sports idol Gino Bartali and other courageous Italians who carried out ingenious schemes to rescue Jews, partisans and refugees from Nazi-occupied Italy. Gino Bartali is a sports legend; but his most daring triumph came when he risked his life over and over to save Jews threatened by Nazi extermination.

The Sarah and Chiam Neuberger- Holocaust Education Centre and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto will hold an annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day lecture. Michael R. Marrus, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto will discuss his new book Lessons of the Holocaust, and offer reflections on the field of Holocaust Studies. Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 PM. Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto.

The program includes introductory remarks by Doris L. Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor Holocaust Studies, book sale and signing of Michael Marrus' new book, Lessons of the Holocaust. Sponsored by the Esther Bem Memorial Fund. For more information, please click here.

Croatia

At the occasion of 27 January K. Grabar-Kitarović, as the President of the Republic, will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, together with her special adviser, N. Jovičić. In the Dverce Palace in Zagreb, four righteous among the nations will be proclaimed, in the presence of the President of the Croatian Parliament Ž. Reiner and the Mayor of Zagreb M. Bandić. Ceremonies and various occasional activities will be held in various towns of Croatia, organized by local authorities, antifascist organizations and Jewish communities. Cultural institutions and schools will join with educational programs, exhibitions, film projections or presentations of books.  In the French pavilion in Zagreb B. Lustig, the Auschwitz survivor and president of the Festival of Tolerance, will open the exhibition of Manfred Bockelmann’s drawings of children perished in Holocaust, entitled Drawing Against Oblivion.

Four-day training course on the Holocaust education will be held in Daruvar, from 25 to 28 January, organized by Education and Teacher Training Agency, for Croatian primary and secondary-school teachers, and hosting domestic and foreign lecturers-experts from the field. Representatives of the President of Republic, and Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, will  attend the opening, together with the head of the Teacher Training Agency J. Žarković-Pečenković, Mayor of Daruvar D. Rohlik, head of the Bjelovar-Bilogora County  D. Bajs, and Z. Kalay Kleitman, the Ambassador of the State of Israel in the Republic of Croatia. See the programme here.

Czech Republic

The main commemoration ceremony will take place in the Upper Chamber of the Paliament of the Czech Republic. Read more (Czech only). The statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is available here.

Denmark

Auschwitz Day

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

This year Auschwitz Day is marked under the theme “Active Citizenship” and events and activities throughout the country will put a special focus to the concept and practice of active citizenship, which can lead to discussions on human rights issues, inclusion and discrimination.

Educational activities

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, the Danish Institute for international Studies (DIIS) offers lectures from experts and visits from survivors for students in lower and upper secondary education. As part of the learning programs, schools may also make special visits to relevant museums and thus learn about the Holocaust and other genocides (see a list of museums here). All educational activities are free of charge and in the weeks and months leading up to 27 January, several thousand students across the country have made good use of these opportunities. Please visit www.auschwitz-dag.dk (in Danish only) to learn more.

Commemorative events

On or around 27 January various remembrance activities aimed at the public are organized by local authorities, universities, libraries, museums, churches, private organizations, NGOs, etc.

Events on Auschwitz Day 2016

In Copenhagen, the municipality invites the public to the main commemorative event in the Copenhagen City Hall. The program includes speeches and music performances.

The Danish Jewish Museum offers a free guided tour related to minorities and citizenship.

The Vapnagård Library in Elsinore marks Auschwitz Day with an exhibition and a lecture that will take the audience through the immigration history of Denmark.

The National Museum of Denmark and DIIS invite students to visit the exhibition on the White Busses and partake in thematic workshops focusing on the rescue of Danish and Norwegian Jews during the end of the Second World War.

At a public meeting held by the University of Southern Denmark, a history professor will introduce a former prisoner of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp who will tell his story and release the book “Only a Number”.

In addition to the listed activities, events and initiatives related to Auschwitz Day will also take place in Roskilde, Aarhus and many other cities. Please visit the Auschwitz Day calendar and learn more about different events across Denmark (in Danish only).

Estonia

Commemoration Ceremony of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January at 14:00 at Tallinn Rahumäe Cemetery (Rahumäe tee 8).  The ceremony will be organized by the Ministry of Education and Research in cooperation with the Jewish Community of Estonia and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Read more.

Commemoration Conference "Is It Possible to Learn from the History?" for History and Social Science Teachers to be held on 29January at the Estonian Museum of Occupations (Toompea 8, Tallinn). The conference will be organized by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA) in cooperation with the Foundation Unitas, the Museum of Occupations and the Ministry of Education and Research. Read more.

With reference to Holocaust Remembrance Day, from 25January until 12February 2016 the Estonian Jewish Museum is inviting the student groups to visit the Commemoration Gallery and Jewish Museum located at the Community House (Karu 16, Tallinn). Opening hours are 10-16 from Monday to Friday, registration by e-mail museum[at] jewish [dott] ee, entrance is free.

France

Mémorial de la Shoa offers a list with the events that take place on and around 27 January 2016 in France on its website (French only).

Prime Minster Manuell Valls and the French Head of Delegation to the IHRA, Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, will be present at the main commemoration event in Paris, which will be held under the auspices of UNESCO. Please click here for more information.

Ambassador Sparacino-Thiellay will also attend the Paris based exhibition Après la Shoah on 27 January.

Germany

The Central Commemoration Ceremony will take place in the German Parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin at 12 pm on 27 January. In 2016, the remembrance event will focus on the topic of 'forced labour'. The parliamentarians will be joined by government representatives and dignitaries from the civil society.

Across the country numerous cities and organisations commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau (nonexhaustive list):

1.   21. Januar 2016, 19:00 Uhr: „Braunschweig – Łodź 1939. Zwei Städte zu Beginn des Zweiten Weltkriegs“ in der Stiftung "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft" Lindenstraße 20-25, 10969 Berlin.

2.   22. Januar 2016 , 18:00 Uhr: 71 Jahre Befreiung von Auschwitz: Gedenken an Felka Platek und Felix Nussbaum in der Vertretung des Landes Niedersachsen beim Bund, Berlin.

3.   24. Januar 2016 , 10:00 Uhr: Ev. Gottesdienst zum Holocaust-Gedenken im Ökumenischen Gedenkzentrum Plötzensee 'Christen und Widerstand' Heckerdamm 226 13627 Berlin.

4.   24. Januar 2016 , 11:00 Uhr: Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus in der Gedenkstätte SS-Sonderlager/KZ Hinzert.

5.   26. Januar 2016, 17:30 Uhr: „Lasst unsere Bilder nicht sterben! Felka Platek / Felix Nussbaum“ in der Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand.

6.   27. Januar 2016, 9:30 – 14:45 Uhr: ERINNERN – BETRAUERN – WACHRÜTTELN in Rostock.

7.   27. Januar 2016 , 10:00 Uhr: Belgische Häftlinge im KZ Sachsenhausen 1940-1945 in der Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen.

8.   27. Januar 2016 , 11:00 Uhr: Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus in der Mahn- und Gedenkstätten Wöbbelin.

9.   Ab 11:00 Uhr: Gedenktag für die Opfer der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in der Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen.

10. Ab 11:00 Uhr: „Ankommen in der Fremde“. Eine kollektive Lesung in der Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück.

11. 27. Januar 2016 , 13:30 Uhr: Tag des Gedenkens an die Opfer des Holocaust - Gedenkveranstaltung in Potsdam.

12. Ab 14:00 Uhr: Gedenkveranstaltung anlässlich des Gedenktages der Bundesrepublik Deutschland an die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus in der Gedenkstätte KZ Lichtenburg Prettin.

13. 31. Januar 2016 , 14:00 Uhr - 17:30 Uhr: „Juden in Braunschweig – Leben vor dem Holocaust“ in der Gedenkstätte Schillstraße Braunschweig.

14. 27. Januar 2016 , 15:00 Uhr: Gedenkveranstaltung anlässlich des Holocaust- Gedenktages in der Ehemaligen Jüdischen Blindenanstalt, Wrangelstraße 6 in Berlin- Steglitz.

15. 31. Januar 2016 , 16:00 Uhr - 18:00 Uhr: Veranstaltung anlässlich des Holocaust- Gedenktages und Tu Bischawat im Max-Joseph-Saal, Residenz München.

16. Ab 17:00 Uhr: Niemanden vergessen! Berichte aus der Augsburger ErinnerungsWerkstatt zum Gedenken an die Opfer des NS-Staats im Foyer des Theater Augsburg.

17. 28. Januar 2016 , 17:30 Uhr:  Ausstellungseröffnung "Leben nach dem Überleben" im Glashof des Auswärtigen Amtes, Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin.

18. 27. Januar 2016 , 18:00 Uhr: „Erinnern - Eine Brücke in die Zukunft“ in der AntoniterCityKirche, Schilderasse, Köln.

19. Ab 18:00 Uhr: Ökumenischer Gottesdienst mit anschließendem Vortrag in der Kath. Gedenkkirche Maria Regina Martyrum und Karmel Regina Martyrum Heckerdamm

230/232 in Berlin.

20. 27. Januar 2016 , 19:00 Uhr: Gottesdienst am Gedenktag für die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus in der Französischen Friedrichstadtkirche, Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin Mitte.

21. 27. Januar 2016 , 19:00 Uhr: „Barbarei in einem Lande der Christenheit“: Bekennermut und Glaubensgehorsam der Zeugen Jehovas im „Dritten Reich" im NS- Dokumentationszentrum München.

22. 27. JanuarAb 19:00 Uhr: „DEM ÜBERLEBEN EINEN SINN GEBEN“  VORTRAG UND ZEITZEUGENGESPRÄCH ZUM HOLOCAUSTGEDENKTAG im Alten Rathaus, Göttingen.

23. Ab 20:00 Uhr: Requiem für Auschwitz in der Frauenkirche Dresden.

Additional events in Berlin are being organized be the International Auschwitz Committee, with the support of other foundations and government institutions:

  1. "71st Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: Remembering Felka Platek and Felix Nussbaum". Science reading "I see dogs straining at their leashes" (in German) and Exhibition on 22 January 2016, 6:00 pm at the Representation of the Federal State of Lower-Saxony (In den Ministergärten 10, 10117 Berlin). Read more here.
  2. "Sea Lavender or The Europhia of Being". Dance event, German Premiere on 24 January, 7:30 pm at the TAK Theater Aufbau Haus (Prinzenstrasse 85 F, 10969 Berlin). Read more here.
  3. "Exhibition: Don't let our pictures die!". Opening of the exhibition on 26 January, 5:30 pm at Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (Stauffenbergstrasse 13-14, 10785 Berlin). Read more here.

Greece

Events organized in Greece

in order to honor the Holocaust Day of Greek Martyrs and Heroes (January 27th)

This year the Holocaust Day of Greek Martyrs and Heroes was commemorated, as in all previous years, in five major cities across the country.

In Athens a full day program started in the morning of January 27th, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic who unveiled the monument of the 327 Greek Righteous erected at the entrance of the Synagogue Etz Hayyim (Paris and now Athens are the only two cities across Europe with such monuments) and other representatives of the government at the highest level, the Chief of the Greek Army, political parties and foreign Ambassadors to Greece.

An askava ceremony followed at the Holocaust Monument right after and the President himself, as well as other Jewish and political leaders, foreign Ambassadors and the Head of the Greek Delegation to IHRA Ambassador Photini Tomai-Constantopoulou laid wreaths.

Early at noon at the Greek Parliament’s Plenary, Speaker Mr. N. Voutsis and the Minister of Education Mr. N. Filis addressed the Deputies and Greek survivors and referred to the message of the day. It was for the first time that a similar ceremony took place inside the Parliament, following a decision taken by the Speaker.

On the same day, later in the afternoon, the Governor of Attica Ms R. Dourou and other speakers –among them Metropolitan Gabriel, the keynote speaker- addressed an attentive full audience of people of every walk of life and age. A musical event followed.

This year the day was dedicated to the Greek Righteous: a special publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, edited by the Special Representative for Holocaust Issues, Ambassador Photini Tomai-Constantopoulou, in cooperation with Yad Vashem, was presented.

In Thessaloniki on Sunday January 31st after the end of the annual ceremonies at the Holocaust Monument, during which representatives of the local authorities addressed the audience and wreaths were laid, an agreement was signed between Mayor Boutaris and the Mémorial de la Shoah Foundation, which will assist the project to establish the Holocaust Center in the city.

In Ioannina on January 29th , the Region of Ipirus, the Municipality of Ioannina and the Jewish Community of the city organized a ceremony during which the Mayor of Ioannina and the President of the Jewish Community delivered speeches. The keynote speaker was Professor Hagen Fleisher. The ceremony was concluded with a concert of Jewish Romaniote and Sephardic songs.

In Larissa the ceremony took place on January 28th, initially at the Jewish Martyrs square, where a memorial service was held and wreaths were laid, and later at the Synagogue where speeches were delivered and the only living survivor Ms Naki Mpega lighted 6 candles in the memory of the 6 million victims. Later, poems that were awarded at a special Poetry Contest on the Holocaust, were recited and five citizens of Larissa, children of concentration camps inmates, spoke about the experiences of their parents. The following day, January 29th, at the Anne Frank square, representatives of local schools laid wreaths and a special educational ceremony for school pupils took place at the Municipal Conservatory.

In Volos on February 7th the ceremonies started at the Holocaust Monument, where a memorial service was held and wreaths were laid. The main event took place at the Cultural Center of the Metropolitan Church of Demetrias. Speeches were delivered by representatives of the local authorities and the Jewish Community. The keynote speaker was Professor G. Panoussis, while a special message was delivered by the Metropolitan of Demetrias Ignatios. The ceremony was concluded with the screening of the documentary film “The Song of Life”, as well as the singing of Jewish hymns and Sephardic songs. During the ceremony, a banner reading “Never Again: Anti-Semitism = Anti-Christianism” was unfolded.

For more information on the ceremonies, please visit the website of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.

It is important to mention that, besides the above ceremonies, this year the Ministry of Education issued instructions, according to which on January 27th all schools in Greece had to spend 2 teaching hours in ceremonies and educational activities related to the Holocaust Memorial Day and focused, preferably, on the Righteous Among the Nations. The aim of these activities would be to inform and educate school pupils on the Holocaust.

Ireland

Ireland’s national Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration took place on Sunday 24 January 2016 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 and the Council for Christians and Jews.

The event featured addresses from Ireland’s three remaining Holocaust survivors – Tomi Reichental, Suzi Diamond and Jan Kaminski. Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, TD gave the keynote address, and among those giving readings were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan T.D., Chief Justice Susan Denham, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, Ambassador of Israel H.E. Ze’ev Boker, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críóna Ní Dhálaigh,  and Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. The press release from the Department of 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, 16 February 2016 at 19.30. Professor Steven E. Aschheim, Hebrew University, Jerusalem will deliver a lecture “Why the Germans? Why the Jews? – The Perennial  Holocaust Question’. About 450 people usually attend.

To mark Ireland’s 14th Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration, HETI in association with the Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow have brought the exhibition: Traces of Memory: A contemporary look at the Jewish past in Poland to Ireland. The exhibition features photographs by the late Chris Schwarz and texts by Prof. Jonathan Webber (UNESCO Committee Chair for Jewish and Interdenominational Studies at the University of Birmingham). Over a period of twelve years, they worked together to gather material that offers a completely new way of looking at the Jewish past that was destroyed in Poland. The exhibition pieces together a picture of the relics of Jewish life and culture in Polish Galicia that can still be seen today, interpreting these traces in a manner which is informative, accessible, and thought-provoking. This exhibition will be on display in Dublin city in January and February 2016 and it will then go on tour throughout the library network of Ireland.

News articles on the commemoration were featured in the Irish Times and the Independent. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also issued a press release.

Israel

24.1

10:30 – 13:00 Israeli Government Cabinet Meeting to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to discuss the state of Holocaust Commemoration around the world, to be attended by Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Directorate, Yad Vashem, and Inbal Kvitty Ben Dov, Director of Commemoration at Yad Vashem.

25.1

11:00  The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) will debate online antisemitism in a committee meeting to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

19:00 New Exhibition from Yad Vashem to open at the German Historical Museum in Berlin with the participation of Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Art from the Holocaust: 100 Works from the Yad Vashem Collection" jointly curated by Yad Vashem and the Bonn-based Foundation for Art and Culture, is the first-ever art exhibition of its size and stature that Yad Vashem has sent abroad. The exhibition will be on display from January 26- April 3, 2016.
The exhibition will be inaugurated at the German Historical Museum on the evening of Monday, January 25, with the participation of Chancellor of Germany H.E. Angela Merkel, Avner Shalev, Prof. Dr. Alexander Koch and Kai Diekmann.

26.1

16:30-18:00  Yad Vashem will host an official event marking International Holocaust Memorial Day for the diplomatic corps in Israel.  Israeli and international diplomatic officials from over forty countries are expected to attend this annual event including France, Germany, European Union, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, the United States, Russia and more.  After the formal remarks guests will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Yad Vashem Archives and participate in a discussion in the Learning Center. 

Speakers at the event will include: Dorit Novak, Yad Vashem Director-General; Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Education; H.E. Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. Keynote Address : "Holocaust Remembrance in Contemporary International Discourse" by Dr. Dore Gold, Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

17:00 The Ghetto Fighter's House present a Symposium for International Holocaust Remembrance Day: "Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigration Quotas – Then and Today". Speakers include: Oren Nahari, Prof. Hana Yablonka, Ben-Dror Yemini, Mr. Ophir Pines-Paz, Dr. Anat Livne, Dr. Dror Ider, Avi Blecherman, and Jamaal Umar (a Sudanese Refugee living in Tel Aviv) Flyer (Hebrew).

19:00 On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day Beit Terezin in cooperation with Tel Aviv University, Department of Music, will be holding a concert “The Music of Theresienstadt“.  The students will be playing pieces from the Ghetto written by Hans Krasa, Gideon Klein, Viktor Ullmann and Pavel Haas.

In the Israeli Knesset, various committees will meet especially to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day, and all will have a guest from Yad Vashem in attendance. Special exhibits from Yad Vashem will also be presented in the Knesset throughout the day. 

27.1

10.00-11.30 The Official Israeli International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, "Massuah", Tel Yitzchak, Israel

Featured speakers: Prof. Yitzchak Kashti, Chairman; Mr. Meron Reuben, Chief of State Protocal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel; MK Yoav Gallant, Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing; Prof. Jose Brunner, Tel Aviv University. Keynote Address: HE Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave, French Ambassador to Israel. Master of Ceremonies: Kobi Meidan.

10:00 The Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a ceremony in their offices.

15.00 International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony for Italian  Nationals, Hall of Remembrance, Yad Vashem.

18:00  "Dorot Hemshech” Next Generations Association conference in cooperation with Yad Vashem, attended by Knesset Member Yair Lapid, Beit HaTfutsot Museum, Tel Aviv.

Online:

As in previous years, 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.

Finally, Yad Vashem staff members will participate in conferences, seminars, exhibitions, ceremonies, lectures, and government meetings around the world to mark January 27th- including Malta, Slovakia, Ghana, Senegal, The United Nations HQ in New York, Colombia, Russia, South Africa, EC HQ in Brussels, the UK, and Germany among others. Some of these visits are arranged in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Italy

Rome

11-12 January 11- Memorie d’inciampo (Stumbling Memories)- 7th edition. Installation of 11 new Stolepersteins. Read more.

12 January, 8.30 p.m. Barberini Cinema. Screening of the movie “Suona ancora. Il coraggio dei figli e nipoti della Shoah è stato quello di vivere". (Play more. The courage of sons and grandsons of the Shoah was living). Script and screenplay by Israel Cesare Moscati, directed by Beppe Tufarulo. 

14 January, 2016- 12.00 a.m. Palazzo Chigi press-room. Press conference fto present the Remembrance Day 2016 events.

21 January, 2016- 3.30 p.m. Multifuncional Room- Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Roundtable “Memory of the Shoah, fear of the different. Past and present incitement to hatred “. Opening: Paolo Aquilanti, Secretary General Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Renzo Gattegna, President UCEI. Greetings: Sandro De Bernardin, Italian Head of Delegation at IHRA. Speakers: Ernesto Galli Della Loggia, Historian and Columnist; Ales Giao Hanek- OSCE, “Hate Crime Officer”; Sarah Benomar- Secretary General of the Moroccan Association “Mimouna”; Victor Magiar- UCEI Councillor for Culture and Memory of Shoah.

25 January - 5.30 p.m., Presentation of Alberto Mieli’s book "Eravamo ebrei. Questa era la nostra unica colpa" (We were Jews. That was our only fault), written by Alberto Mieli and Ester Mieli, Marsilio ed., Museum MAXXI, Auditorium.

26 January 2016, Parliamentary Groups Room- Senat of the Italian Republic. Presentation of the docu-film  “Salvate tutti” (Save them all), based on the story of the Jewish kids of Villa Emma, by Aldo Zappalà.

27 January, 2016 Palace of Quirinale. Official Celebration of the Holocaust Remembrance Day at the presence of President of the Republic. Students Awards for the XIV Edition of the National Competition “Young People Remember the Holocaust”.

Latvia

To commemorate 27 January in Latvia different events are being organized between 22and 29January 2016, upon the initiative of several Embassies in cooperation with Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Latvia and other Latvian partners and institutions. The programme includes concerts, exhibitions, seminars, conferences and film screenings dedicated to Holocaust remembrance. Most of the events are open to the public and free of charge. Further Information can be found here: List of events (English and Latvian), Press Release (English), Leaflet 27 January (English and Latvian).

Lithuania

The Secretariat of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania has organized several events to commemorate the Victims of the Holocaust on 27 January:

20-22 January: The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum is hosting an international seminar for teachers, co-organised by the Memorial de la Shoah (France), the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and the Secretariat of the International Commission. The seminar participants will be given lectures by the lecturers from Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania and the USA. 44 teachers from all over Lithuania will attend this seminar.

27 January: On the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the Secretariat of the International Commission, together with Ariogala Gymnasium Tolerance Education Centre (hereafter TEC), are organising the traditional conference for the communities of TECs. The representatives of 20 TECs are going to introduce their projects and creative works implemented by their communities. The conference will also be attended by representatives of the Jewish Community, and various institutions.

25-29 January: Lithuanian schools – TECs are going to organise interdisciplinary lessons, film reviews and discussions aimed to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Currently there are 111 Tolerance Education Centres in Lithuania; they are active in organising commemoration events every year.

11 February: The Vytautas Magnus University is going to host the final event of the project “Who was Chiune Sugihara?” At the event the victims of the Holocaust will be commemorated and the rescuers will be recalled. 12 Lithuanian schools with active TECs implemented the project “Who was Chiune Sugihara?” (September 2015-January 2016), at the final event the project activities and the results will be presented by the TEC representatives. The project aimed to honour the memory of Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, who issued transit visas for Jews in 1940. The event is co-organised by the Secretariat of the International Commission, Embassy of Japan in Lithuania, Sugihara House and Vytautas Magnus University. The event aims to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Luxembourg

27 January 2016: Holocaust commemoration in Luxembourg

On 26 January 2016 the Jewish community of Esch/Alzette invited citizens from the second city, Esch/Alzette, to join them in the Synagogue Square for the annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today Synagogue Square is an empty place where the old synagogue was located before it was destroyed in 1941 by the Nazis. Together with the mayor, Vera Spautz, the president of the Luxembourg Parliament, Mars di Bartolomeo, Minister for Health, Lydia Mutsch, and Minister of Justice, Felix Braz, members of civil society, including the Jewish community of Esch, gathered for this commemoration.

On 27 January two major events took place in the city of Luxembourg.

In the late afternoon a commemorative plaque was officially unveiled at the former Gestapo-Headquarters, the “Villa Pauly”. The plaque informs passers-by that in that building the Gestapo did the preparatory work for the deportation of the Jews from Luxembourg.

Passant, souviens-toi qu’en ces lieux fut organisée,  à partir de 1941, la déportation des Juifs du Luxembourg. 1300 enfants, femmes, hommes ont péri dans la tourmente de la Shoah.

For the ceremony Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the President of the Luxembourg Parliament, Mars di Bartolomeo, representatives from different political parties, the mayor of the city of Luxembourg, Lydie Polfer, the president of the Jewish consistory, Claude Marx, the Grand Rabbi of Luxembourg, Alain Nacache, many diplomats and representatives of patriotic associations gathered at the “Villa Pauly”.

The ceremony concluded very emotionally when 90 year old Holocaust survivor Marcel Kahn played the national anthem on his mouth organ.

In the evening 400 people gathered at the concert hall of the municipal music school for a concert with young music and theater students. An exhibition about the Shoah in Luxembourg was shown at this occasion. State Secretary for Culture, Guy Arendt, and the mayor of the city, Lydie Polfer, attended this very moving concert.

The Netherlands

27 January is marked as Holocaust Memorial Day in the Netherlands. On this day, victims and survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides are commemorated. The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and their committee Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) coordinate the Holocaust Memorial Day in The Netherlands. They cooperate with different museums and heritage organizations throughout the country, like the Anne Frank House, Kamp Vught, Kamp Westerbork, the Amsterdam Resistance Museum, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee. Schools and universities, like VU University also cooperate by organizing yearly events. The activities relating to Holocaust Memorial Day can be split into two categories: educational activities and commemorations.

Educational activities

Educational activities are carried out under the auspices of NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and their committee Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). Examples of educational activities are lectures, workshops, film screenings, teacher trainings and field trips for students within our target group. Besides this, the NIOD also provides free educational material on the Holocaust and other genocides. Teachers can download these materials from the NIOD website free of charge.

In 2016, NIOD developed educational city walks for high school students. The educational material was developed for three cities: Amsterdam, The Hague and Enschede. The materials will be published on our website were teachers can download a teachers manual and student assignments free of charge.

Photo: Dirk P. H. Spits / DPHOTO

Commemorations

The National Committee for 4 and 5 May is responsible for the national ceremonies in relation to 4 and 5 May. On and around 27 January there are several remembrance activities organized 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. On 27 January, Lieutenant-General (external duty) Roméo A. Dallaire will be honored with the Annetje Fels Kupferschmidt Onderscheiding (Annetje Fels Kupferschmidt Distinction) at the Royal Tropical Institute. Due to this honor, Roméo A. Dallaire will deliver the 13th Auschwitz Never Again lecture.

Each year 27 January is commemorated in Amsterdam, on the last Sunday in January (31 January, 2016). 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 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 at the Monument.

Nijmegen

The Anne Frank Foundation and the University of Applied Science Nijmegen are organizing a public commemoration event for the victims of the Holocaust and World War II from 4pm until 8:30 pm on 27 January. The location of the event is Kapittelweg 35, Nijmegen.

The program consists of survivor testimony, lectures, workshops and an exhibition on Auschwitz-Birkenau. The main target group are educators (teachers and students) but the event is also open to the general public. Connecting the history of World War II to recent developments, the organizers will emphasize the importance of the Holocaust in regard to the creation of open societies with democratic values in Europe and how this links to the contemporary refugee situation. More information can be found here.

Norway

A full programme of the events taking place in Norway is available here.

Poland

Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum

A commemoration event will be held at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. More information can be found on the website of Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. There will also be a video live stream on Youtube, which will be available in Polish and English.

The European Network Remembrance and Solidarity

To commemorate the libaration of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity created a short film called Memento, an educational spot designed for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Romania

23rd of January 2016

Television – documentary screening

Auschwitz: what happened after, TV DIGI 24, 21:00

26th of January 2016

Conference on Crimes of War in Times of Peace: the acquittal of Holocaust perpetrators by the Romanian post-communist judiciary.

Main speaker: Alexandru Climescu, researcher

Organizer: `Elie Wiesel` National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania

Venue: `Elie Wiesel` Institute, 89 Dacia Bd., 2nd District, Bucharest

27th of January 2016

  1. Exhibition: “The paths of pain...”

The exhibition displays works by young artists, completed in the painting camps “How was it possible?”, organized by the “Elie Wiesel” Institute starting with 2008. The event will also comprise of a meeting of the students from “J. Petrus” Highschool with Mr. Iancu Tucarman, Holocaust survivor.

Organizer: `Elie Wiesel` National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania in co-operation with Teachers’ Center Ilfov and “Ion Manu” Cultural Center.

Venue: “Ion Manu” Cultural Centre, Otopeni, 10:00-12:00

  1. First showing of the documentary film “In the name of the state. The Holocaust of the Roma”

The screening is followed by a debate on the topic.

Organizers: the National Roma Cultural Center – ROMANO KHER in co-operation of the `Elie Wiesel` National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania.

Venue: Cervantes Institute, Bucharest, 10:00

  1. Event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day @ Romanian MFA

The round table will be featured by the Romanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lazăr Comănescu, the Director of the National Archives in Romania, Mr. Ioan Drăgan, and by the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities, Mr. Aurel Vainer.

One of the topics discussed will be access to Holocaust documents that are in the Romanian archives.

Organizer: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Venue: Romanian MFA HQ, Bucharest, 14.00

Press release

Video

  1. Theatre performance inter@FAŢA, directed by Alexandru Berceanu

The theatral performance will be followed by the painting exhibition “Holocaust Memory”

Venue: Arts House Cultural Center, Third District, Bucharest, 18:00

Organizers: `Elie Wiesel` National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania in co-operation with Arts House Cultural Center, Third District, Bucharest. Read more.

V. Events organised by or in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania

V.1. Suceava

Books, arts and documents exhibition, film screening

Conference by Angela Furtună – heritage, witnesses and post-totalitarian testimonies, archives and the pedagogy of memory

Venue: Bucovina Library Arts Hall, Suceava, 13:00

Organisers: Suceava County Council, Bucovina Library “I. G. Sbiera”, “Mihai Eminescu” National College, “Samuil Isopescu” National College

V.2. Brașov

Commemoration

Venue: Beit Israel Synagogue, 12:30

Organisers: Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania

V.3. Iasi

Round table ‘Restitutio Benjamin Fondane”

Venue: Institut Français – Iasi branch, Fondane Gallery, 17:00

Organisers: Institut Français – Iasi branch in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania – Iasi branch

VI. Television – documentary screening

Memories from Hell, 12 episode-series, TVR 1, 20:30 (27th-29th January; from 3rd of February on, Wednesdays 20:30)

Unforgettable for eternity, TVR 2, 21:00

VII. Movies/Documentaries screenings

VII.1. Screening of the movies “Schindler’s List” and “The Pianist”

Venue: ‘Marasti” movie theatre, Cluj Napoca, 18.00

Organisers: UN Youth Association – Romania, Cluj Napoca branch

VII.2. Screening of the documentary ‘Auschwitz’ and the movie ‘La vita e bella’, followed by discussion with VIIth grade pupils from a highschool in Bistrita Nasaud

Venue: The Bistrita County Library ‘George Cosbuc’

Organizer: The Bistrita County Library ‘George Cosbuc’. Read more.

VIII. Guided tour for high-school pupils at the Holocaust Memorial Monument in Bucharest

The students from the Bucharest highschools participated in the tour. Together with the organization ‘Asociatia pentru Dialog Intercultural’ they participated in the programme statue-theatre – the Courage to Remember.

Venue: Holocaust Memorial Monument in Bucharest

Organisers: ‘Asociatia pentru Dialog Intercultural’ and `Elie Wiesel` National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania

Media highlights - regional.

IX. Opening of the artistic exhibition ‘Never Again’

Author: Leonder Vasile

Venue: Art Gallery ‘Theodor Pallady’

Organiser: Union of the Artists in Romania – Iasi branch

28th of January 2016

I. Events organised by or in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania

I.1. Iasi

Event: “Ethics and civic responsibility – a Dialogue with pupils”

Venue: Institut Français – Iasi branch, Fondane Gallery, 17:00

Organisers: Institut Français – Iasi branch in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania – Iasi branch

29th of January 2016

I. Events organised by or in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania

I.1. Iasi

Discussion with Adrian Cioflanca, member of Romanian delegation to IHRA

Venue: Institut Français – Iasi branch, ‘Carturesti’ bookstore, Palas Iasi, 18:00

Organisers: Institut Français – Iasi branch in partnership with the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania – Iasi branch

31st January 2016

I. Events organised by the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania

Zalău, Sălaj county

Ceremonial prayer in the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, rabbi Rafael Shaffer and Dan Has, president of Federation of the Jewish Communities of Romania – Sălaj

Painting exhibition by Eva Heyman, Tikvah Association Oradea

Bucharest Klezmer Band

Venue: Transilvania Hall, 12:00

II. Astra Film Festival on Tour at The Romanian Peasant Museum

Film screening “The seven dwarfs of Auschwitz”, 19:00

Serbia

Belgrade - Serbian President, Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, led the central state commemorative ceremony of honoring the occasion of marking the January 27 – The International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The ceremony took place on January 27, 2016 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. On that occasion, 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 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, the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the City of Belgrade, a large number of representatives of the diplomatic corps, associations and citizens. After the State ceremony the artistic program adapted to suit the occasion was performed. The President’s speech can be found here.

Slovakia

On the site of the former labour and concentration camp in Sered, and under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Mr. Robert Fico, the official opening of a Permanent Exhibition of the Holocaust Museum will take place on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 26 January 2016. The official invitation can be found here.

Apart from the opening of the Holocaust Museum in Sered, many other ceremonies, programs and discussions take place all over Slovakia on local levesl in communities, schools, organizations, libraries, cinemas.

In addition, the Slovak NGO "In Minorita“ and its project "Ma bisteren!“ dedicated to the genocide of the Roma will present the new publication by authors Zuzana Kumanova and Arne B. Mann. The official invitation can be found here.

Slovenia

To commemorate International Holocaust Remembarance Day in Slovenia numerous events within the project "SHOAH -LET US REMEMBER 2016" are being organized during the month of January 2016. The  honorary patron of the project is Dr. Milan Brglez, President of the National Assembly  of the Republic of Slovenia.  The project is coordinated by the Centre of Jewish Cultural Heritage - Synagogue Maribor with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, some Embassies and many  Slovenian partners.

The programme includes the events on the 2. Festival of Tolerance, lectures ad school lessons, commemorations and  candle-light ceremonies, exhibitions,  numerous activities in schools and museums,  book presentations,  scientific meetings  and film projections, including on the national TV. Most of the events are  free of charge and open to the public.

Sweden

The Living History Forum is explicitly tasked by the Swedish government to spread awareness of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Forum has since 2003 consistently and purposefully worked to inform people about January 27 and to support the commemoration of this day of remembrance. 

Every year the Forum produces material on a specific theme connected to the memory of the Holocaust. This year, 2016, the theme is the T4 program and its connection with the Holocaust. It deals with the politics in Nazi Germany concerning individuals viewed as biological threats to the nation’s “health”. The exhibition is printable, available from the Living History Forum website and marketed towards Swedish public libraries and schools. 

All over Sweden different kind of ceremonies and programs are taking place in communities, schools, organizations and in churches. The Living History Forum compiles a digital calendar where people can find out where and how they can participate in the commemoration events.

In Stockholm the Forum is in charge of a ceremony held at Raoul Wallenberg’s Square in the city center of Stockholm (click here for a report of the commemoration event in 2015). There will be  addresses by Holocaust survivors Ms. and Mr. Dina and Jovan Rajs as well as Executive Director of the Living History Forum, Dr. Ingrid Lomfors. There will also be a musical performance before the public is encouraged to light candles.

Switzerland

On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Minister of Economy Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, delivers a written message.

On 27 January 2016, Christa Markwalder, President of the National Council, and Walter Thurnherr, Federal Chancellor, will attend and contribute speeches on the occasion of a memorial ceremony during which a Holocaust survivor, Eduard Kornfeld, will speak as well (program attached). The ceremony takes place in the Yehudi Menuhin Forum in Berne and is under the patronage of distinguished personalities from the diplomatic corps, the Government, religious denominations, culture and universities.

Several activities and ceremonies are also organized in some cantons and schools, such as:

In Geneva, « Sur les Traces des Témoins – Autour de Primo Levi et de Zysman Wenig” is the topic of the 13th «Journée de la Mémoire de l’Holocauste et de la prévention des crimes contre l’Humanité» organised by the canton (see program).  Specific Educational materials have been provided by the cantonal department of Education. A memorial plaque will be unveiled in a school of the city of Geneva. During the war this building was a place where the fate of refugees was decided – some were admitted, some others were sent back across the boarder.

In Lucerne, the University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland will present its first Lernwerkstatt in 2016 on the topic “Schools in National-Socialism”. Classes and their teachers will be given the possibility of seeing artefacts and documents showing classrooms at the time of National-Socialism. A part of this Lernwerkstatt is the IHRA-Concluding Conference of the Educational Research Project which will take place at the university on 15 to 17 February 2016.

In Aarau, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW organizes a conference on „Zwangsmassnahmen an Minderjährigen in der demokratischen Schweiz des 20. Jahrhunderts” in the context of Holocaust Memorial Day (see program).

In Zurich, a prize named after a late Holocaust survivor, Kurt Bigler-Bergheimer will be awarded to Heinz Bachmann, Franz Dängeli and Stefan Mächler. The award has been presented to associations or individuals for their outstanding contribution to Holocaust education in Switzerland since 2008 (see program).

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 2016 is Don’t stand by, calling on us all to consider our responsibilities not to stand by in the face of discrimination, persecution and, in the worst excesses, genocide. More detail about the theme can be found by reading the theme vision for HMD 2016.

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. The national commemoration is a formal ceremony, providing a national focus for HMD, and will be held in central London. For the second year running the ceremony will be televised on BBC Two. 2015’s broadcast reached an audience of 1.3 million people. On behalf of the IHRA Chair, State Secretary Szabolcs Takács, and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK, Mr. Péter Szabadhegy, Mrs. Mária Vass-Salazar, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Hungary in London, will attend the ceremony.

The Scotland National Commemorative Event will be held in Falkirk, the Wales National Commemorative Event will be held in Cardiff, and the Northern Ireland Commemorative Event will be held in Lisburn.

HMDT has a map with an overview of commemorative events taking place all over the UK. In 2015 over 3,600 events and activities took place across the UK for HMD, the largest number ever.

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 around the country include classroom activities, exhibitions, civic ceremonies, speaker events, readings, performing arts, tree plantings and film screenings.

HMDT produces an online film each year designed to enable people who aren’t able to attend a commemorative event to commemorate HMD. The short film will be based on the theme of Don’t stand by and will be released in the second week of January.

12 community arts groups from each nation and region of the UK have been commissioned by HMDT to create artwork in a variety of forms for new project, ‘Flames for humanity's heroes’. The artworks will all honour different people who didn't stand by to prejudice, hatred and persecution during the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and subsequent genocides; as well as those who don't stand by in society today. People honoured include Nicholas Winton – who saved 669 children from Czechoslovakia in 1939, Miep Gies – the woman who helped Anne Frank and her family to stay hidden, and Carl Wilkens – a US citizen who stayed in Rwanda during the genocide to try to help. Each artwork will be inspired by a commemorative flame of remembrance.

On 27 January 2016 renowned ceramicist Clare Twomey will be completing the major arts project she began on Holocaust Memorial Day 2015. Clare met Nisad ‘Šiško’ Jakupović, who survived the notorious Omarska concentration camp during the Bosnian War. Nisad experienced the pain of communities turning on one another, as school friends became oppressors. The pair discussed Nisad’s experience of the concentration camps, and how human solidarity can triumph even in horrific circumstances. Clare’s ‘Humanity is in our Hands’ project is a response to meeting Nisad.

The UK has a range of organisations working in the fields of Holocaust and genocide commemoration and education. HMDT organises and chairs a Collaborative Group for HMD to assist all originations in coordinating and maximising their HMD events.

The Association of Jewish Refugees organises a Memorial Day Service on Tuesday 26 January at 2 pm at the Belsize Square Synagogue (51 Belsize Square, London, NW3 4HX).

The author and BBC Radio 4 presenter Edward Stourton will be in conversation with AJR member and child Holocaust survivor Joan Salter. The event, which will reflect the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, ‘Don’t Stand By’, will draw on Edward’s book, 'Cruel Crossing', in which he describes the escape of thousands of desperate people, including Joan, across the Pyrenees from Nazi-controlled Europe. The JCoss school choir will be singing.

Sir Eric Pickles MP, the UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and Head of the UK IHRA delegation, has confirmed his attendance and will give the concluding remarks.

United States

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC is holding two special events on 27 January at the Museum (and both of them will be streamed live at 11am and 2pm Washington time) on the Museum's web site at http://www.ushmm.org/watch ). In addition, the Museum's special exhibition, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda is being hosted at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and the Museum's director Sara Bloomfield will be participating in the UNESCO-organized round table discussion that day. Other experts from the Museum will also participate in the round-table discussions.

The morning program at USHMM in Washington is a commemoration directed at the diplomatic community, US Government officials and Holocaust survivors. The German Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig and Johanna Neumann, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Germany but found refuge with a Muslim family in Albania, will speak.

The afternoon program consist of a panel discussion with three European ambassadors (EU, France and Germany). The program description can be accessed here.

On January 27, 2016, the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, a unique ceremony honoring Righteous among the Nations will be held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama will participate in the event. The event, jointly hosted by the Israeli Embassy, Yad Vashem and the American Society for Yad Vashem, marks the first time that a ceremony presenting medals and certificates of honor to American Righteous among the Nations will be held in the United States. Read the full press release here.


Observer Countries

Albania

MFA organizes International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony

Under the auspices of Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati, in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the UN Office in Albania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the annual ceremony of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Present at this event were representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Tirana, MPs, representatives of religious communities and civil society, Holocaust surviving family members as well as a large number of teachers, pupils and students from various Albanian high schools and universities.

In his speech during the ceremony, Minister Bushati underlined the importance of commemorating the Holocaust as a sign not only of sublime respect to those who lost their lives, but also of gratitude to our forefathers, who demonstrated their commitment towards the highest human values.

During the panel discussion, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth Blendi Klosi put the emphasis on the value of religious coexistence in our society, as an inspiring example of tolerance in the world, as well as on the importance of educating the younger generation to reflect upon this dark past in human history.

The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management, Edmond Panariti, who was also part of this panel, talked about his own family’s story of saving Jews in Albania.

UN Resident Coordinator in Tirana Brian Williams commended the Albanian example of saving Jews and of religious tolerance, especially nowadays, when the world is threatened by radicalism and violent extremism.

"After the German invasion in 1943, the Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with the occupier’s orders to hand in Jews who lived within its territory, thus becoming a holy place for Jewish refugees who had arrived in Albania. The extraordinary shelter given to the Jews was based on Besa, a code of honor, which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country" Israeli Ambassador Boaz Rodkin stated.

Furthermore, the Israeli Ambassador, on behalf of the State of Israel, awarded to Rexhep Hoxha a medal of honor for his family’s contribution in saving Jews in Albania.

The Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, which has become a tradition, was preceded by a workshop in the premises of the "Ismail Qemali" High School, in Tirana. Present at the event were representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Council of Europe, teachers and many students, who discussed the approach and education of younger generations on the Holocaust, as one of the most important events experienced by human society during World War II. Through postcards and video footage prepared for this workshop, which reflected and portrayed victims, their dreams, personal belongings and moments directly related to the Holocaust period, pupils focused on the impact of this event on single individuals and society as a whole, and on the lessons to be drawn, so that events of this magnitude and with such devastating consequences never occur again.

In this context, they were also introduced to the role and valuable contribution of the Albanian people in sheltering and saving Jews in our country during this period, thus, playing a key role in the embodiment and promotion of high values ​​and tolerance.

Australia

Melbourne

In 2016, the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne will hold a commemoration event on 27 January, commencing at 7:00pm at the Glen Eira Town Hall, Caulfield North. The event is co-sponsored by the umbrella body of the state’s Jewish communal organisations and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. His Excellency, Dr Helmut Böck, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria, will deliver the keynote address, the theme of which will focus on The Holocaust and Human Dignity.

The program will include, inter alia, a ten-minute video, with Melbourne-based Holocaust survivor testimonies relating to the theme, a March of the Living segment, a musical item, and a candle-lighting ceremony.

Dignitaries to be invited include ambassadors, consuls-general, state and federal politicians, senior civil servants, leading communal identities, academics and others. A brief Holocaust survivor presentation, delivered by a survivor who volunteers at the Jewish Holocaust Centre, will be included in the program.

Sydney

The Australian Assosiation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants together with the Sydney Jewish Museum will hold a commemoration event, beginning at 6:00 pm on 27 January. The keynote speech on the topic of "The Holocaust and Human Dignity" will be delivered by His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (ret'd), Governor of New South Wales. The event is taking place a at the premises of the Jewish Museum, 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst 2010, NSW Australia.

the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

A commemorative ceremony will be held at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, starting at 10:30 am on 27 January. The opening remarks will be given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Nikola Poposki. Among the speakers and guest are dignitaries from the Jewish community as well as local and foreign ambassadors. At 11:30 am, the exhibition 'Anne Frank - History for Today' will be opened in the VIP Entrance Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more here.

An overview of events is available here.

Portugal

The official communication of the Republic of Portugal regarding the International Holocaust Remembrance Day can be found here (Portuguese).

Portuguese Parliament

Wednesday, 27 January, after the session:

  • Opening of the exhibition concerning the holocaust memory.
  • Formal inaugural sitting:

Statement by Dr. Jaime Gama (former Ministry of Foreign Affairs) on the Nuremberg Trials

  • Movie: The Labyrinth of Lies

Friday, 29 January

Minute of silence in the House

Lisbon University :

Wednesday, 27 January

Exhibition:

"Hermann Pflüger, a refugee in Lisbon. Memory of a legacy in the FLUL Library". Read more.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wednesday, 27 January

Exhibition

Documents from the Diplomatic Archive concerning the capture of 3 portuguese diplomats in WW II (Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Sampaio Garrido and Teixeira Branquinho).

Turkey

Regarding the “Holocaust Remembrance Day” events in Turkey, other than the events organized by the civil society, there will be an official commemoration ceremony in Ankara, on January 27, 2016. The event is to be hosted by Ankara University (State University) with the participation of the Minister for EU Affairs of Turkey.

In the event, the Minister for EU Affairs of Turkey, the Rector of Ankara University, the Head of Tukish Delegation to IHRA and the Chief Rabbi of Turkey will deliver speeches. The high school students who have visited Auschwitz- Birkenau Camp will also share their experiences during the programme.

After the speeches a concert will follow, and a photograph exhibition regarding the Holocaust will take place. High level state officials, corps diplomatique in Ankara, academicians and students and the members of Turkish Jewish Community are expected to participate. The invitation is available here.

Permanent International Partners

 

Council of Europe

The programme of events organised by the Council of Europe is available here.

The United Nations

In order to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United Nations will hold a series of events at UN Head Quarters and the Hungarian Embassy to the UN in New York. More details about the events, which will run from 25 to 28 January can be found here.

Additionally, the global network of UN information centres will display a 12 poster exhibit on the Holocaust in English, French, Russian and Spanish. The first poster (in French) is available here.

UNESCO

The UNESCO will commemorate the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at its headquarters in Paris on 27 January. Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, will give the keynote address at the central ceremony at 7:30 pm. Further events will take place during the course of the day, including panel discussions and roundtables. Further information can be found here.

This year will center on the theme Anti-Semitic Propaganda and the Holocaust: From Words to Genocide’, and will look at the dangers of hate speech and the expression of extremist ideologies, which we consider particularly relevant in the current climate of violent extremism. The events are organized in cooperation with the Shoah Memorial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and France Culture with the support of the World Jewish Congress, the Permanent Delegation of Germany to UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of Latvia to UNESCO.