On November 1, 2005, the United Nations adopted a resolution which set January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust. This year's theme: "The Holocaust and Human Dignity".
In November 2005, the United Nations passed a resolution to mark January 27 as an international day of commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust, and urged member states to develop educational programs to impart the memory of this tragedy to future generations. More than 100 states have officially noted the date January 27 as an annual Holocaust Memorial Day, and Holocaust remembrance ceremonies will be organized on the international, national, regional and local levels, including in universities and schools.
The Holocaust was a turning point in history, which prompted the world to say "never again". The significance of resolution A/RES/60/7 is that it calls for a remembrance of past crimes with an eye towards preventing them in the future.
"Art from the Holocaust": This year, for the first time, the German Historical Museum is exhibiting 100 works of art from Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. The exhibition, which was initiated by the German national daily BILD and is being held in collaboration with the Bonn-based Foundation for Art and Culture, represents the culmination of events marking 50 years since the establishment of German-Israeli diplomatic relations. This is "hitherto the largest presentation of artworks from the Yad Vashem collection outside Israel, and should be cherished as an invaluable symbol of friendship," said President of the German Historical Museum, Alexander Koch.
"Art from the Holocaust" will be inaugurated by the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 25, 2016 in the German Historical Museum, in the presence of Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. It will be on display until April 3, 2016.
The 100 works originate from the Jewish inmates of various concentration camps, labor camps and ghettos. "In these works that survived the Holocaust, we discern the power of art in revealing the personal perspectives of the Jewish victims," explains Avner Shalev. "This exhibition allows for a rare encounter, specifically in Berlin, between contemporary spectators and those that lived through the events of the Shoah. Each work of art from our unique collection constitutes a living testimony from the Holocaust, as well as a declaration of the indomitable human spirit that refuses to surrender." Of the 50 artists featured, 24 were murdered by the Nazis. Alongside the largely unknown names, acclaimed artists such as Felix Nussbaum and Ludwig Meidner are also represented.
"The Anguish of Liberation as Reflected in Art, 1945-1947" - The Knesset will display a Yad Vashem special traveling exhibition, entitled "The Anguish of Liberation as Reflected in Art, 1945-1947." For most of these survivor-artists, the ability to paint again signified freedom and renewed independence. The choice of their art's subject and the grip on the pencil or brush symbolically restored a feeling of control, after years of helplessness. The act of painting represented a process of psychological rehabilitation through which they could synthesize the trauma.
Righteous Among the Nations to be honored in US: On January 27, 2016 a unique ceremony honoring Righteous Among the Nations will be held at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. The event, hosted by the Israeli Embassy, Yad Vashem and the American Society for Yad Vashem, will mark the first time that a ceremony presenting the medal and certificate of honor to Righteous Among the Nations will be held in the United States. The Righteous Among the Nations to be honored include two Americans, Master Sargent Roddie Edmonds and Lois Gunden, and Polish citizens Walery and Maryla Zbijewski, all of whom have been recognized posthumously by Yad Vashem for risking their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. The medals and certificates will be accepted on their behalf by their next of kin. President Barak Obama will deliver the keynote address at the event. Remarks will be offered by Israel’s Ambassador to the US, H.E. Ron Dermer; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council and Holocaust survivor who was rescued by Righteous Among the Nations; Lenny Wilf, Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem and Holocaust survivors.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme
The theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2016, including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, is “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”. The theme links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Holocaust, which resulted in the destruction of nearly two thirds of European Jewry, remains one of the most painful reminders of the international community’s failure to protect them.
Events at the United Nations in New York include two exhibitions:
Monday, 25 January 2016
Exhibit Opening "Holocaust by Bullets” (Private reception by invitation only)
Venue: Visitors’ Lobby, General Assembly Building
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The exhibition "Holocaust by Bullets" presents the results of hundreds of days of fieldwork that enabled Yahad-In Unum to collect evidence of massacres during the Second World War in order to in order to return memory and dignity to Jewish victims. It also underscores the "Holocaust by Bullets" as a precursor and model for mass crimes today. The exhibit is organized by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations. Special guest at the exhibit opening: Father Patrick Desbois, President of Yahad-In Unum. The exhibition will be on view through 9 February 2016.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Exhibit Opening “Life after Survival” (by invitation only)
Venue: Visitors’ Lobby, General Assembly Building
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
“Life after Survival” opening of an exhibit on child Holocaust survivors cared for by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration at Kloster Indersdorf, in the American Zone in Germany. Sponsored by Concentration Camp Memorial Site Flossenbürg, Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, and Heimatverein Indersdorf and Lagergemeinschaft Dachau. Special guests at the exhibit opening: several Holocaust survivors who appear in the historical photos and Anna Andlauer, exhibition curator. The exhibition will be on view through 9 February 2016.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
Venue: General Assembly Hall
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The event will be hosted by Ms. Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. Invited speakers include United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; H. E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the seventieth session of the General Assembly; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and H.E. Mr. Felix Klein, Special Representative for relations with Jewish Organizations, issues relating to Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance. In addition, Mr. Szabolcs Takács, the Chair of the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance will make a statement. Ms. Barbara Winton will open a video tribute to her father, Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from the Holocaust on the Czech Kindertransport.
Mrs. Beate Klarsfeld (Germany) will be keynote speaker. Personal testimony will be delivered by Jewish Holocaust survivors Mrs. Marta Wise and Mr. Haim Roet, and by Mr. Zoni Weisz, a Sinto survivor. The Holocaust memorial prayers will be recited by cantor Gideon Zelermyer. He will be accompanied by Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir from Montreal (Canada). Roma musicians Antal Kopar (guitar) and Bela Horvath (violin) will play during the ceremony. The event will conclude with a performance by the United States Military Academy at West Point Jewish Chapel Choir.
Registration for the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony is now closed.
Concert and Lecture (by invitation only)
“In Memoriam: Hungarian Composers – Victims of the Holocaust”
Venue: Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
“In Memoriam: Hungarian Composers – Victims of the Holocaust” will introduce the work of Hungarian composers of Jewish origin who were murdered during the Holocaust. The stories of these composers remain largely unknown. All of them died young, before being able to fulfill their potential. In spite of the adverse circumstances, they had produced work of value. The event will feature a concert by the professors of the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music: Vilmos Szabadi (violin), Mariann Marczi (piano) and Eszter Karasszon (cello), who will perform pieces by Hungarian composers Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, Lajos Delej, György Justus and Imre Sárossi. The program will include a lecture by Agnes Kory, founder of the Béla Bartók Centre for Musicianship in London. The event is part of the commemorative events dedicated to Hungary’s Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
Thursday, 28 January 2016
United Nations Department of Public Information NGO Briefing
“The Future of Holocaust Education”
Venue: Conference Room 4
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
This briefing brings together experts from academic institutions and international organizations, researchers, educators and authors who will examine current trends in Holocaust research and education. Key questions to be addressed include how to expand teacher training and Holocaust education around the world; how to adapt to a changing environment with the rise of multicultural classroom settings and fewer and fewer eye witnesses to testify to the Holocaust and what role international organizations have to play in the field.
The panellists will include Szabolcs Takács, Chair of IHRA, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University; Professor Zehavit Gros, Chairholder, UNESCO/Burg Chair in Education for Human Values, Tolerance and Peace, Bar-llan University; Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies and Jane Jacobs-Kimmelman, Director of the International Relations Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. The discussion will be moderated by Kimberly Mann, the Chief of the Education Outreach Section in the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
Film Screening "Woman in Gold"
Venue: Trusteeship Council
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, in partnership with the World Jewish Congress and the Weinstein Company, will organize the film screening and discussion that will shed light on the loss of personal property and humiliation that Jewish families endured in Nazi-occupied Europe, and how difficult it has been for them to attain justice. Participants will gain insight into the desperate situation faced by the victims of the Holocaust under a reign of terror and the complete breakdown of fair legal practice. For many families, the plunder of art and personal assets remains one of many unsolved transgressions committed by the Nazis.
Directed by Simon Curtis, Woman in Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during the Second World War, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis,among them Klimt's famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle that takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the United States Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.
Participants at the New York event will include Ms. Cristina Gallach, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Mr. Simon Curtis, Director, Woman in Gold, Ms. Evelyn Sommer, Chair, World Jewish Congress, North America, Ms. Monica Dugot, International Director of Restitution, Christie’s, and Mr. Simon Wesley A. Fisher, Director of Research, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. and Head of Claims Conference-WJRO Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative.
The exhibition "Holocaust by Bullets" presents evidence of massacres during the Second World War in order to return memory and dignity to Jewish victims, and as a precursor and model for mass crimes today. The exhibit is organized by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations.
“Life after Survival” is an exhibit on child Holocaust survivors cared for by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration at Kloster Indersdorf, in the American Zone in Germany. Sponsored by Concentration Camp Memorial Site Flossenbürg, Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, and Heimatverein Indersdorf and Lagergemeinschaft Dachau.