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Department of Public Information Supports International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation’s “Partners of Hope” Concert at Carnegie Hall

“Honoring Bravery and Humanitarianism: Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust”

The Department of Public Information’s Holocaust and the United Nations outreach programme collaborated with the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation on the “Partners of Hope” concert at Carnegie Hall on 5 February 2007 at 8:00 p.m. This concert, held in connection with the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Week, recognized those who displayed extraordinary courage to save Jews from genocide during World War II. Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, read an excerpt from documentation that highlights the actions taken by the then National Assembly of Bulgaria to prevent the deportation of Bulgarian Jews.

In the darkness of the Holocaust, extraordinary acts of bravery and humanitarianism shed occasional rays of hope on the lives of European Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis. One of the most remarkable stories is the rescue of the entire Jewish population of Bulgaria. In 1943, as the Nazi reign of terror spread and Jews throughout Europe were subjected to deportation and murder in the camps, Bulgaria's Jews were to suffer the same fate. But by persistence and determination, 48,000 Bulgarian Jews were rescued from certain death. Bulgaria was the only country Hitler had controlled with more Jews living in it when the war ended than before the war had begun.

The Holocaust and the United Nations outreach programme, established under United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7, and the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation share a common mission to promote education and public awareness to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust – those both of tragedy and of heroism – are passed on to future generations.

Among many other notables taking part in the programme who read excerpts on rescuers is Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations who read biographical excerpts on the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.

The programme also featured the Westfield Symphony Orchestra conduced by David Wroe who presented the world premier of the poetry of Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962) which deals extensively with Jewish themes, antisemitism and humanism set to music by Robert Cohen. The evening’s repertoire also included Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K.550, excerpts from Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme Puccini and Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor sung by Bulgarian soprano Anna Veleva and selected songs by Israeli singer David Broza.


Photograph of the participants: Solomon Asser, Abigail Tenembaum, UN Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, Mrs. Janice Gillerman, Anna Veleva, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Sheila Abranches

International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation’s “Partners of Hope”
Concert at Carnegie Hall, on 5 February 2008
Participants: Solomon Asser, Abigail Tenembaum, UN Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, Mrs. Janice Gillerman, Anna Veleva, Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Sheila Abranches.


Holocaust survivors, middle and high school students were offered tickets free of charge. The full concert programme is available at: http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/especial/partnersofhope.htm.

For more information, please visit www.irwf.org, write to the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation at irwf@irwf.org, or call 212-737-3275.