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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2017

​The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day ceremony is held in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, together with the general public.

​The central state ceremony marking the start of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day in Israel will be held at Yad Vashem on Sunday night, April 23rd 2017. The ceremony is held in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, together with the general public.

Yad Vashem:

Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony from Yad Vashem 2017


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PM Netanyahu addresses the 'Unto Every Person There is a Name' ceremony at the Knesset

​Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintained his annual tradition of reading a poem written by his father-in-law Shmuel Ben-Artzi in 1941, after losing touch with his family in Europe but before he knew of their fate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day today, at the Knesset, made the following remarks at the 'Unto Every Person There is a Name' ceremony:

"My beloved late father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, who won the Ka-Tzenik Prize for Holocaust Literature, was the only member of his family who survived the Holocaust. He was saved because in 1933, at the age of 18, he came here despite the pleadings of his father Moshe. He had studied at the Novardok Yeshiva, was a Hebrew pioneer who worked in orchards and built up the land. He was in both the Etzel and the Haganah. He was also a great Hebrew educator, major Tanakh scholar, an author and a poet.

He wrote a moving, heartfelt poem about the Holocaust, 'To the Land of Moriah' in 1941, two years after he lost contact with his family but before he knew what happened to them.

'To the Land of Moriah

My father –
I did not know what had befallen him.
Was he still alive? In what place
there did he wander, pursued and threatened?

I am here alone going up Mt. Moriah.

Many generations are laid upon my back:
Broken pieces of burnt wood dripping anguish,
And in my eyes lightning-fire of thousands of ovens,
Into which thousands of murderers were not thrown;
a blade dripping blood and anguish in my heart.

G-d, give me a sign!

Do not send an angel and ram,
let no shofar sound my name!
The binding of thousands has not assuaged your wrath,
Even my coming up is for naught –
G-d, give me a sign!'

The sign never came.

I will now read the names of some of the relatives of my father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi from Bilgoraj, Poland, who perished in the Holocaust:

The father to whom he wrote the poem, my wife's grandfather, Moshe Hahn, his father's wife Ita, his twin sister Yehudit, who was 24.

His brothers Meir Hahn .(18), Shimon Tzvi (16) and Aryeh Leib (13), and his little sister Feizele (10).

His uncle Avraham Tauber, his wife and their son and daughter.

His aunt Rachel Tauber .and her three sons – Avraham, Yaakov and Shlomo, and their wives and children.
His aunt Hinda and her husband Yehezkel.

His aunt Hendel, her husband and their children.

His aunt Paula and her two daughters.

His aunt Ma'tel Koenigstein, her son Hillel and her eldest daughter.

His uncle Mendel Hahn, his wife and their two children.

May their memories be blessed."
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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day - Information for Visitors at Yad Vashem

On the eve of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be open to visitors until 12:00 noon. At 17:30 the site will re-open to those invited to the State Opening Ceremony.

Entrance to the State Opening Ceremony of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day is by invitation only.

On Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, Thursday, 5 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be open 08:00-20:00. The Holocaust History Museum will open at 9:00. The Visual Center and Children’s Memorial will open at 11:00. The Archives and Library will be open 8:30-17:00

On Remembrance Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, the Holocaust History Museum will be open 9:00-17:00. The Archives and Library will be closed.

On Independence Day, Thursday, 12 May 2016, Yad Vashem will be closed.

General Information
Hours
Sunday to Wednesday: ‬09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00*
Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬09:00-14:00
Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

Archives and Library Services
Sunday-Thursday 8:30 - 17:00
(Books and documents can be ordered until 15:00)
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum and all other sites is free
Groups of 6 or more people are required to schedule their visit in advance. Reservation Center
All guiding in the Holocaust History Museum must be conducted with earphones, which can be hired in the Visitor's Center.
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is not permitted for children under the age of 10. Babies in strollers or carriers will not be permitted to enter.
Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is permitted until one hour before closing.
Address
Yad Vashem
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Har Hazikaron
P.O.B. 3477
Jerusalem 9103401 Israel
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US Liberators, Holocaust Survivors and Israeli Soldiers Get Last Chance to Unite at Auschwitz

FIDF ‘From Holocaust to Independence’ Delegation to Poland and Israel departs May 5

NEW YORK, Next month, 50 Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) supporters from across the U.S. will embark on an unprecedented mission to Poland and Israel with Holocaust survivors, G.I. liberators, and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

Led by FIDF National President Peter Weintraub and FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, the eight-day “From Holocaust to Independence” mission will span Jewish history, from the darkest moments to the most inspiring. The American and Israeli soldiers and survivors will accompany the FIDF supporters on a trip across Poland, beginning at Tarnow, once home to thousands of Jews, and tracing their steps, from Krakow’s Jewish ghetto to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps. The delegation will then fly on an Israeli Air Force (IAF) transport jet from Poland to Israel, where they will commemorate Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, and celebrate Israel’s 68th Independence Day.

“This one-of-a-kind delegation will span the modern history of the Jewish people by uniting Holocaust survivors, American liberators of concentration camps, and IDF officers,” said Gen. Klifi-Amir. “It will tell the story of our near-extinction in Europe, the creation of a Jewish homeland, and the new generation of a Jewish army that watches over our legacy today, making sure that ‘never again’ and ‘never forget’ are not just phrases, but rather promises. Marching with our brave IDF soldiers into the Auschwitz-Birkenau dreadful camps sends a message to the world that we remember, and that the Holocaust cannot, and will not, ever happen again.”

Joining the delegation will be Holocaust survivors from Israel Martha Weiss, who was interned at Auschwitz shortly after her tenth birthday, and Giselle Cycowicz, who survived five months in Birkenau. Alongside them will be three former American soldiers who liberated concentration camps during WWII – Sid Shafner, 94, of Colorado, who was one of the first U.S. soldiers to enter Dachau with the 42nd Infantry Division and was awarded two bronze stars for heroism; Cranston Rogers, 91, of Massachusetts, who liberated Dachau with the 45th Infantry Division on April 29, 1945 and retired as a colonel; and William Bryant Phelps, 90, of Texas, who liberated Mauthausen-Gusen with the 11th Armored Division.

Shafner and Dachau survivor Marcel Levy, who now lives in Israel, will be reunited at an Israeli Air Force base. After Levy escaped Dachau, he travelled with Shafner’s unit, working as a cook. Shafner and Levy became good friends and have stayed in touch since 1945, and last saw each other 21 years ago at Shafner’s granddaughter’s bat mitzvah in Jerusalem.

Also joining the delegation will be former Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. and current Member of the Knesset Michael Oren.

“This mission is one of the last opportunities for survivors and liberators to share their stories together,” said Weintraub. “It promises an incomparable emotional experience for everyone involved – I can’t imagine a more bittersweet moment than walking through the gates of Poland’s most notorious death camp surrounded by those who suffered within its walls, those who helped set them free, and those who must make sure they are not forgotten.”

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016 - “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”


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.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“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.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“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.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

R.S.V.P.: http://bit.ly/DPINGO2016

Thursday, 28 January 2016
Film Screening "Woman in Gold"

Venue: Trusteeship Council
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.


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'History will not repeat itself', Obama vows on 70th anniversary of liberation of Dachau

WJC, US President Barack Obama commemorated the more than 40,000 people who were killed at the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich, which was liberated by American forces on 29 April 1945.

Obama said in a statement: "On this day, we remember when American forces liberated Dachau 70 years ago, dismantling the first concentration camp established by the Nazi regime. Dachau is a lesson in the evolution of darkness, how unchecked intolerance and hatred spiral out of control.

"From its sinister inception in 1933, Dachau held political prisoners – opponents of the Third Reich. It became the prototype for Nazi concentration camps and the training ground for SS camp guards. As the seed of Nazi evil grew, the camp swelled with thousands of others across Europe targeted by the Nazis, including Jews, other religious sects, Sinti, Roma, LGBT persons, the disabled, and those deemed asocial.

"Our hearts are heavy in remembrance of the more than 40,000 individuals from every walk of life who died, and the more than 200,000 who suffered at Dachau. As we reflect on the anniversary of Dachau’s liberation, we draw inspiration from, and recall with gratitude, the sacrifices of so many Americans – in particular our brave soldiers – to win victory over oppression. Drawing from the words of Captain Timothy Brennan, who wrote to his wife and child after liberating the camp: 'You cannot imagine that such things exist in a civilized world', we fervently vow that such atrocities will never happen again. History will not repeat itself."

The Nazis set up the camp in Dachau only weeks after Adolf Hitler took power in 1933. More than 200,000 people had been detained there by the time US troops liberated it.
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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2015

The Anguish of Liberation and the Return to Life: Seventy Years Since the End of WWII

Yom Hashoah is a It is a solemn day, beginning at sunset on the 26th of the month of Nisan (April 15, 2015) and ending the following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom. Places of entertainment are closed and memorial ceremonies are held throughout the country.

The central ceremonies, in the evening and the following morning, are held at Yad Vashem and are broadcast on the television. Marking the start of the day - in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, gather together with the general public to take part in the memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in which six torches, representing the six million murdered Jews, are lit.

The following morning, the ceremony at Yad Vashem begins with the sounding of a siren for two minutes throughout the entire country. For the duration of the sounding, work is halted, people walking in the streets stop, cars pull off to the side of the road and everybody stands at silent attention in reverence to the victims of the Holocaust. Afterward, the focus of the ceremony at Yad Vashem is the laying of wreaths at the foot of the six torches, by dignitaries and the representatives of survivor groups and institutions. Other sites of remembrance in Israel, such as the Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also host memorial ceremonies, as do schools, military bases, municipalities and places of work.


The central theme for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2014 is The Anguish of Liberation and the Return to Life: Seventy Years Since the End of WWII:

On 9 May 1945, when the defeated Germans finally capitulated to the Allied Forces, great joy spread throughout the world. Yet one nation did not take part in the general euphoria - the Jews of Europe. For them, victory had come too late.

At the war's end, in the early spring of 1945, it became apparent that some six million Jews had been murdered - about one-third of world Jewry. Those who had survived were scattered throughout Europe: tens of thousands of survivors of the camps and death marches, liberated by the Allied armies on German soil and in other countries, were in a severely deteriorated physical condition and in a state of emotional shock. Others emerged for the first time from various places of hiding and shed the false identities they had assumed, or surfaced from partisan units with whom they had cast their lot and in whose ranks they had fought for the liberation of Europe. In the wake of international agreements signed at the end of the war, some 200,000 additional Jews began to make their way back West from the Soviet Union, where they had fled and managed to survive the war years.

With the advent of liberation, piercing questions arose in the minds of the survivors: How would they be able to go back to living a normal life, to build homes and families? And having survived, what obligation did they bear towards those who had not was it their duty to preserve and commemorate their legacy? Were the survivors to avenge them, as they demanded before their death? The overwhelming majority of survivors took no revenge on the Germans, but set out on a path of rehabilitation, rebuilding and creativity, while commemorating the world that was no more.

Prof. Dina Porat - Chief Historian of Yad Vashem

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"Unto Every Person There is a Name"

Six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, were murdered in the Shoah while the world remained silent. The worldwide Holocaust memorial project "Unto Every Person There is a Name" is a unique project designed to perpetuate their memory as individuals and restore their identity and dignity, through the public recitation of their names on Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. By personalizing the individual tragedies of the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, this project counters persistent efforts by enemies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to deny the reality of the Holocaust and cast it as history’s seminal hoax.


"Everyone has a name" - Poem by Zelda
[translated from Hebrew]

Everyone has a name
given to him by God
and given to him by his parents.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his stature
and the way he smiles.
and given to him by his clothing
Everyone has a name
given to him by the mountains
and given to him by the walls.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the stars
and given to him by his neighbors.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his sins and given to him by his longing.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his enemies
and given to him by his love.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his holidays
and given to him by his work.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the seasons
and given to him by his blindness.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the sea and
given to him
by his death.


"Unto Every Person There is a Name" is conducted around the world in hundreds of Jewish communities through the efforts of four major Jewish organizations: B'nai B'rith International, Nativ, the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization. The project is coordinated by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in consultation with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and enjoys the official auspices of the President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. In Israel, "Unto Every Person There is a Name" has become an integral part of the official Yom Hashoah commemoration ceremonies, with the central events held at the Knesset and at Yad Vashem with the participation of elected officials, as well as events throughout the country.

Lists of names
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WJC President Lauder addresses March of the Living in Budapest, denounces far-right Jobbik party

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder strongly denounced anti-Semitism and criticized Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party in his keynote address in front of thousands at this year’s ‘March of the Living’ in Budapest in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust.

“The March of the Living reminds us what happens when the world is silent,” said Lauder. “We will never be silent again. And when it comes to anti-Semitism, the Hungarian government must never be silent.”

“Today, when the world looks at Hungary, it does not see its great culture. It does not see its beautiful cities. It does not remember its great and glorious past,” continued Lauder, adding: “Today, the world sees Hungary, and it sees Jobbik. It sees an extremist party that promotes hate.”

On its website, Jobbik calls for fighting “Zionist Israel’s quest for world domination." In the past, some of its leaders questioned whether the Holocaust took place and called for drawing up a list of Jewish lawmakers who may pose a “national security risk.” In 2013, the party held a protest rally against the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly in Budapest.

Later on Sunday, Jobbik party scored a narrow victory in a by-election, marking a breakthrough in its challenge to the Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. With more than 99 per cent of ballots counted, Lajos Rig, Jobbik’s candidate, topped the poll in the district of Tapolca, with 35.3 per cent of the vote.

In his speech, Lauder also condemned acts of anti-Semitism. “There are statues of shoes along the Danube. They are there as a memorial to the Jewish people who were murdered there. No-one has the right to spit in those shoes. No-one. In this great city we send one clear message to the entire world: The Hungarian Jewish community is alive and well. And the Hungarian Jewish community is not going anywhere. We march today to say: We are here. We are alive. And here we will remain.”

About 560,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, most of them in 1944. Today, Hungary’s Jewish community numbers around 100,000 and it is still the largest in Central Europe.

Lauder highlighted the contribution of Hungarian Jews to their country. “Jews helped make this country great. When Jews are part of a society, any society, countries prosper. Jews win Nobel prizes. Jews create jobs and they cure diseases. Jews build -- they don’t tear down! Anti-Semites tear down, they destroy, they create nothing, they save no-one. And when Jews are forced to leave, they take their success with them,” he told the crowd in central Budapest.

The ‘March of the Living’ in Hungary is organized every year by the March of the Living Foundation, with the support of the MAZSIHISZ, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary. Thousands participated in today’s event.



Transcript of the speech by Ronald S. Lauder at the March of the Living, Budapest, 12 April 2015


I stand here today as a proud Jew. Proud of my ancient heritage. Proud of my people. Proud of what we have created. I am also proud of my Hungarian heritage. But I know that if my grandparents had not left Hungary, if I had born here in 1944, I would have been one of the tens-of-thousands of Jewish children gassed at Auschwitz.

That is why we are here today. That is why we march together. Not just because of what happened 70 years ago, but because of what is happening here today.

70 years after Hitler and Auschwitz and the Arrow-Cross Jews are targeted once again. 70 years later, we see the same signs that we saw before. I stand here today to tell you that no one, no political party, no thugs in the night, No-one has the right to threaten our people. No-one has the right to deface our synagogues. No-one has the right to hurt our children.

There are statues of shoes along the Danube. They are there as a memorial to the Jewish people who were murdered there. No-one has the right to spit in those shoes. No-one.

In this great city we send one clear message to the entire world: The Hungarian Jewish community is alive and well. And the Hungarian Jewish community is not going anywhere. We march today to say: We are here. We are alive. And here we will remain. The March of the Living also reminds us of what happens when the world is silent.

Silence allows the lowest forces of mankind out in the open. We Jews learned this lesson the hard way. We know what happens when the world is silent. And the price we paid was too high. For that reason, we will never be silent again. I will never be silent. I will not be silent when Jews are the target. I will not be silent when Christians are the target. When any group is singled out by hate, I will not be silent. And when someone spits in those shoes along the Danube and the Hungarian government does not condemn that, it looks like the government agrees. When someone stands up in Parliament and wants to put Jews on lists, the government must not be silent. When it comes to anti-Semitism, the Hungarian government must never be silent.

Sometimes people forget the important role Jews played in Hungary. Jews helped make this country great. When Jews are part of a society, any society, countries prosper. Jews win Nobel prizes. Jews create jobs and they cure diseases. Jews build they don’t tear down! Anti-Semites tear down, they destroy, they create nothing, they save no one. And when Jews are forced to leave, they take their success with them.

Jobbik may think they are true Hungarians trying to save Hungary. But Jobbik hurts Hungary. In the eyes of the rest of the world, people see Jobbik, they see an extremist party that promotes hate. Jobbik does not even realize that they hurt Hungary’s future. Today, when the world looks at Hungary, it does not see its great culture. It does not see its beautiful cities. It does not remember its great and glorious past. Today, the world sees Hungary and they see Jobbik.

And when businessmen want to invest in Hungary, they also see Jobbik and they are afraid to come. Jobbik hurts Hungary. Do not allow a small percentage of the population to destroy Hungary. The people of Hungary are too good for that. This march is being covered by hundreds of news organizations.

In this world of instant pictures and the Internet, news is flashed around the globe in an instant. And when there is an act of hate against anyone that is the news that people see outside of Hungary. Everything good that Hungary did in 1956 and its push for capitalism, all of that is forgotten. In the end, you must decide the image you want to send to the world.

Look around you. Today, there are thousands of Hungarians, Jews and Christians, marching together against hate. You march together for a better future. That is the image you want people to see. You want people to know that Jobbik is not Hungary.

Hungary has a bright future. Hungary and the Jewish people are tied together. Thank you for standing with us. I believe strongly this is our only choice. We stand together and we say enough! Enough anti-Semitism. Enough hatred. Enough death and destruction. Today we turn an important corner and we start building together.

To everyone here I say: Thank you for standing against anti-Semitism and hate. Thank you for standing with the Jewish people. Thank you for remembering. And I say again: Jobbik is not Hungary. Hungary is the thousands of Christians who are here today to support the Jewish community.

Today we honor life, not death. This is the March of the LIVING! We will work together to make our world a better place. We look forward not backward. But we will not be silent.
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100 Auschwitz Survivors to Attend 70th Anniversary Ceremony of Camp's Liberation

NEW YORK, More than 100 Auschwitz survivors from at least 17 countries will travel to Poland to participate in the observance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz on 27 January 2015, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The official event will be organized by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. The World Jewish Congress and the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education will be among the organizations supporting this commemorative event.

The main commemoration will take place in front of the infamous Death Gate at Birkenau. The ceremony will be under the high patronage of Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski and begin at 15:30 local time. Countries from around the world will be sending official delegations, some of which will include Auschwitz survivors.

“This anniversary is crucial because it may be the last major one marked by survivors. We are truly honored that so many of them, despite their age, have agreed to make this trip,” said Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress. “Few moments in the drama that was World War II are more etched in our collective memory then the day Red Army troops came upon, perhaps, the greatest evil of our time,” he said.

“We have to say it clearly: It is the last big anniversary that we can commemorate with a significant group of survivors,” said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. “Until now, it has been them who taught us how to look at the tragedy of the victims of the Third Reich and the total destruction of the world of European Jews. Their voices became the most important warning against the human capacity for extreme humiliation, contempt and genocide.”

“On this special day we want to show the survivors and the whole world that we, the post-war generation, have matured to our own responsibility for remembrance,” Marek Zając, secretary of the International Auschwitz Council, declared.

Ronald Lauder praised the efforts to preserve the site where at least 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered within less than five years. “Twenty-five years ago, when I saw the stunning truth of Auschwitz for the first time, every part of the former camp was disintegrating. Now, after a monumental effort, it has been preserved for future generations, and that is important in an age of Holocaust deniers.”

Twenty years ago, Ronald Lauder, along with Kalman Sultanik and Ernie Michel, raised $40 million from 19 countries in order to ensure that what remained in Auschwitz-Birkenau forever be preserved and bear witness for future generations. Lauder also financed the creation of the conservation laboratory at the Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves every shoe, every document, and every building that remained at the site.

The financing of the long-term preservation is continued by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. It was created in 2009 to collect €120 million ($151 million) for the Perpetual Capital which will finance conservation work and preservation of all authentic remains of the former Auschwitz camp. To date, 32 countries have contributed over €102 million ($128 million). The Foundation has started the ’18 Pillars of Memory’ campaign to raise the remaining €18 million and it hopes to be able to announce the completion of the project on the day of the 70th anniversary of liberation.

Ahead of the event, the World Jewish Congress has located Auschwitz survivors from at least 17 countries who are willing to travel to Poland, especially from countries from which Jews were deported to Auschwitz during the war and from countries where significant numbers of survivors settled after the Shoah.

With the help of archivists from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, USC Shoah Foundation has identified the children from the historic photo (left) taken by Red Army photographer Alexander Vorontsov who in 1945 documented the liberation of the death camp. The surviving children are now between the ages of 81 and 86 and have been also invited to participate in the official commemoration.

“Faced as we are with the loss of living witnesses,” said Stephen Smith, USC Shoah Foundation executive director, “it is imperative we honor them and take their stories with us into the future so those who come after us will have no excuse to let such atrocities happen again. Survivors speak not only for themselves, but for the millions whose voices were violently silenced.”
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