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"The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is thus a day on which we must reassert our commitment to human rights. [...]

We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history. We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world. And we must do our utmost so that all peoples must enjoy the protections and rights for which the United Nations stands."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Programme of Events

Observance at United Nations Headquarters on 29 January 2007

2007 Memorial Ceremony International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) held the second annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a ceremony on 29 January from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters.

Watch the video [in English, 1 hour and 54 minutes]

Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, introduced a programme that began with a video message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Statements were made by Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, President of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, and Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations.

 

Simone Veil, keynote speaker
Simone Veil, keynote speaker
The keynote "Remembrance and Beyond" address was given by Madame Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor, President of the Fondation Pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, and a member of the Constitutional Council of France.

 

 

 

The 29 January observance, which was webcast live at www.un.org/webcast, was organized by DPI’s "Holocaust and the United Nations" outreach programme, which was established under General Assembly resolution 60/7 in order to promote Holocaust remembrance and education to help prevent future acts of genocide.

Marie Noel
In keeping with the theme of "Remembrance and Beyond", the observance focused on the importance of infusing today’s youth with the lessons of the Holocaust so that future generations may work to prevent hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice. Marie Noel, a student at the College of Saint Elizabeth, shared her experiences visiting former concentration camps in Poland.

 

Thomas Schindlmayr
The memorial ceremony also focused on the disabled community as one of the many victim groups of the Nazi regime. Thomas Schindlmayr, of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, highlighted the importance of education in promoting tolerance and ending discrimination against all minorities, particularly in light of the adoption by the General Assembly on 13 December 2006 of the landmark Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

A musical performance was given by HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Chamber Choir, a project of the Zamir Choral Foundation, founded and directed by Matthew Lazar. Netanel Hershtik, cantor of the New York Synagogue, recited the Kaddish.

Hazamir
HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Chamber Choir, a project of the Zamir Choral Foundation

Electronic Notes for Speakers
During the observance, DPI also launched a new website and resource for United Nations Member States, educators and non-governmental organizations titled, "Electronic Notes for Speakers". The product was developed for the "Holocaust and the United Nations” outreach programme by Yad Vashem —- the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education and the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. The Electronic Notes provide survivor testimony and information materials that will equip speakers with the tools needed to conduct briefings on the Holocaust and lessons to be learned from it. The pages in French have been developed by the Mémorial de la Shoah.

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn
The same day, Daniel Mendelsohn, discussed and signed copies of his latest book, The Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million, at 1 p.m. at the United Nations Bookshop located on the concourse level of the General Assembly building. The United Nations Bookstore also made available 10 volumes of autobiographical accounts of Holocaust survivors published jointly by the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project and Yad Vashem -- the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority. An initiative of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project has, to date, collected over 900 manuscripts. Its mission is to provide both the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust with the dignity of a permanent historical presence, not as impersonal statistics but as individuals with names, voices and emotions.

 

Observance at United Nations Office in Geneva

Observance at United Nations Office in Geneva
The ceremony took place at the Palais des Nations on Monday, 29 January, in the Salle des Assembleés from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Please visit the observance website here.

 

 

 

Holocaust Remembrance Week

DPI also marks Holocaust Remembrance Week with two exhibits in the United Nations Visitors’ lobby.
The first, titled "The Holocaust against the Sinti and Roma and Present Day Racism in Europe", focuses on the experience of the Roma and Sinti during the Holocaust. The second exhibit features artwork, created by Holocaust survivors, exploring the meaning and experience of the Holocaust. For more information, please contact wichmann@un.org.

Romani Rose (left), Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, speaks at the photo exhibit in observance of the holocaust remembrance entitled, "The Holocaust Against the Roma and Sinti and Present Day Racism in Europe"
Romani Rose (left), Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, speaks at the photo exhibit in observance of the holocaust remembrance entitled, "The Holocaust Against the Roma and Sinti and Present Day Racism in Europe"

On 31 January, there was a special screening of Volevo solo Vivere (I Only Wanted to Live), directed by Mimmo Calopresti. The film tells the moving story of nine Italian survivors of Auschwitz. The following day, 1 February, Nazvy svoie im'ia (Spell Your Name), directed by Serhiy Bukovsky, was screened. The film, about the Holocaust in Ukraine, tells the story of local people who escaped brutal execution and those who rescued friends and neighbours during the Holocaust. Both films, produced by USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, were shown at 6 p.m. in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium. Seating is limited for these private screenings and tickets can be obtained by writing to sura@un.org.

On 2 February, the third discussion paper in the Holocaust and Genocide series, titled “Hitler, Pol Pot and Hutu Power: Distinguishing Themes of Genocidal Ideology”, authored by Professor Ben Kiernan, Director of the Genocide Studies Programme at Yale University, was published.

 

Concert

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. Click here to learn more.

 


For more information, please contact: Advocacy Unit, Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Public Information, email: holocaustremembrance@un.org and fax: 212 963 0536.

Based on Press Release Note No. 6059, dated of 23 January 2007