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International Day of Commemoration
in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

2012 Holocaust Remembrance 
Activities around the world

The United Nations held Holocaust Remembrance events around the world, through its global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), United Nations Information Service (UNIS) and United Nations Offices (UNO). Activities were organised around the theme of children and the Holocaust and ranged from film screenings to solemn memorial ceremonies to educational programmes and exhibitions.

Accra, Ghana: UNIC Accra marked the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, followed by an engaging discussion about the Holocaust. Students from schools in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions of Ghana, members of the Jewish community, various religious groups and representatives of the international community attended the event.


Students gather at a schoolin Accra for the 12 International Day of Commemoration
in memory of victims of the Holocaust. Photo Credit: UNIC Accra

Ankara, Turkey: UNIC Ankara participated in a ceremony at Neve Salom Synagogue to commemorate Holocaust victims. Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and Ambassador Ertan Tezgor delivered remarks to open the ceremony, which featured a candle lighting ceremony.


Turkish Ambassador Ertan Tezgor speaks at 2012 Holocaust
remembrnace ceremony at Neve Salom Synagogue. Photo Credit: UNIC Ankara

Antananarivo, Madagascar: UNIC Antananarivo organized several events to commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 1 February, a remembrance ceremony was held at the ESCA Antanimena Antananarivo Catholic School, which featured a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, followed by an interactive discussion. The UNIC also organized an exhibition on children and the Holocaust, held from 27 January until the end of February. During the month of February, the UNIC Office held weekly workshops on the Holocaust for local students.

Baku, Azerbaijan: The UNO in Azerbaijan organized a commemoration event on 27 January at the Baku Museum Centre.  Guests included Ambassador Michael Lotem-Lavon of Israel, representatives from the Jewish community and students from local schools.  The ceremony featured a screening of the film The Last Flight of Peter Ginz.  Winning entries from the 2012 student poster contest, The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive, were also showcased.

The UNO in Azerbaijan (Baku) organised a commemorative event on 27 January at the Baku Museum Centre. Guests included Ambassador Michael Lotem-Lavon of Israel, representatives from the Jewish community and students from local schools. The ceremony featured a screening of the film The Last Flight of Peter Ginz. Winning entries from the 2012 student poster contest, The Holocaust - Keeping the Memory Alive, were also showcased.


2012 Holocaust commemoration ceremony held at
Baku Museum Centre. Photo Credit UNO Baku.

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo: UNIC Brazzaville organized an event on 27 January with 240 secondary students from L’Ecole AD Plus and Lycée le Bambino and 10 students from Marien Ngouabi University. The event featured a screening of the film Into the Arms of Strangers.

Brussels, Belgium: UNRIC Brussels organised a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, for which it produced sutitles in French, to mark the international day. Over 300 people attended the event including Holocaust survivors, representatives from the Jewish community, Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and European Union institutions. The screening was followed by an interactive panel discussion with Petr Ginz expert Pavel Černoch, Head of the UNESCO Office in Brussels Marie-Paule Roudil and Regina Sluszny, a child survivor.


UNRIC Brussels Acting Director Janos Tisovsky and child  
survivor Regina Sluszny at 2012 Holocaust remembrance ceremony.


Bucharest
, Romania: UNIC Bucharest partnered with Dante Alighieri High school for a screening of the documentary The Last Flight of Petr Ginz. The screening was followed by a debate that touched on issues such as human rights, communism and the Holocaust in Romania, highlighting the need for explaining the history of the Holocaust.

Bujumbura, Burundi: To commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week, UNIC Bujumbura organized a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz as well as an exhibit on the Holocaust in Europe. Children from local schools attended the events, which were held at the UNIC office.

Canberra, Australia: UNIC Canberra partnered with the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants and the Jewish Museum in Sydney in organizing a commemorative event which featured The Last Flight of Petr Ginz.  Guest speakers included Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence and Mrs. Litzi Lemberg, a child survivor of the Theresienstadt camp, who spoke about the similarities between her and Petr’s life. Following the screening, Alan Rosenthal, an internationally renowned film director, spoke about the role of Adolf Eichmann in the Holocaust.

Dakar, Senegal: UNIC Dakar organized a series of exhibitions and discussions that ran from 31 January until 12 March. The exhibitions took place at 4 local schools including College Hyacinthe Thiandoum, West African College of the Atlantic, Cours Sainte Marie de Hann, and Université du Sahel, and were viewed by over 6,000 visitors.


A student takes notes at Holocaust commemoration exhibit
organized by UNIC Dakar. Photo credit: UNIC Dakar.

Dhaka, Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, UNIC Dhaka organized a number of events for Holocaust Remembrance Week, including a poster exhibition, a screening of the film The Absence and a candle lighting ceremony. Participants also viewed the Secretary-General’s video message, which was translated into the local language of Bangla. The events were held in cooperation with the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh and Dhaka University Model UN Association.

Geneva, Switzerland: In Geneva dignitaries, young people, musicians and staff members for a remembrance ceremony on 31 January. The key note address was delivered by Agnes Hirschi, the daughter of Carl Lutz, who worked as the Swiss Vice-Consul in Budapest during the war, and risked his life by fabricating false identification documents to save thousands of Hungarian Jews. Ms. Hirschi spoke of night time calls to avert mass killings, sheltering in basements with no light or provisions and of the thousands of people who found shelter in Budapest’s Glass House - a factory in disrepair which benefited from diplomatic immunity. On 1 February, the UNIS office organized a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz for students from local schools aged 13 to 15.

Kiev
, Ukraine: UNO Kyiv marked the International Day with a round-table discussion about the historic memory of the Holocaust in the Ukraine and challenges in Holocaust education. Representatives of government ministries, the diplomatic community, non government organizations, educators and students attended the event. In addition, a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz was organized in three schools in Kyiv, with more than 300 students in attendance.

Lome, Togo: UNIC Lome organized an event for students from three local high schools, which featured a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz followed by an interactive discussion about the Holocaust. Students visiting the UNIC also office had an opportunity to view an exhibition of posters and photos of the Holocaust and the Auschwitz camp.


 Students reflect upon posters at Holocaust commemoration exhibition organized by UNIC Lome.
Photo Credit: UNIC Lome.

Lusaka, Zambia: UNIC Lusaka marked the Commemoration of the International Day with a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, followed by a panel discussion. Students from the University of Zambia, local high school students, and members from the Messianic Association of Zambia and The Federation of World Peace attended the event.


Students from Lusaka attend 2012 Holocaust commemoration event
organized by UNIC Zambia.

Mexico City, Mexico: UNIC Mexico organized several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 26 January, the Information Centre organized a screening of two films titled “The Absence” and “The Last Flight of Petr Ginz”, the latter which had been subtitled in Spanish by UNIC Mexico. More than 200 students attended the screening and participated in a discussion that followed after hearing remarks by the UNIC Director, the Ambassador of Israel and the Director of Yad Vashem Mexico. In addition to the screening, UNIC Mexico mounted an exhibit “Manteniendo viva la memoria” at the United Nations Office, which remained on display until June 2012.

UNIC Mexico
Students visit an exhibit of posters titled “Manteniendo viva la memoria” at UNIC Mexico.
Photo credit: UNIC Mexico

Minsk, Belarus: UNO Minsk organized several events including an exhibition of student artwork on the Holocaust, and a discussion and screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz. The Office produced subtitles in Russian for the film. Guest speakers included Mr. Vladimir Rubezhin, a former Minsk ghetto prisoner and resistance fighter, and Mr. Leonid Levin, the Chairman of the Union of Belarusian Jewish NGOs and Communities.

Moscow, Russia: UNIC Moscow staff participated in several events in Moscow to mark the International Day of Commemoration. On 24 January, UNIC Director Alexandre Gorelik attended a commemorative event at the Central House of Cinema.  On 26 January, the UNIC Director attended an international conference by the Council of Europe titled “Never Again: Holocaust Remembrance and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity”, at which he delivered a welcome message by Under-Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka. The UNIC office organized a design student poster contest as part of the International Design Student Poster Competition sponsored by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. In April, the top16 entries were unveiled at a candle-lighting and exhibit opening held at the Jewish Cultural Centre in Moscow. UNIC Moscow also produced a Russian version of the Petr Ginz study guide for students and teachers.

Nairobi, Kenya: The United Nations Information Center in Nairobi organized a remembrance ceremony at the Green Garden School in Kikuyu, with over 500 guests in attendance. In her remarks to the event, Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boete of Germany said the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust could have made a difference in the world. She underscored that the atrocities committed by Germans would remain part and parcel of their lives, and she called on the children of the victims and perpetrators to join together for a better future. Other guest speakers included Ambassador Solomon Maina of Kenya and Mr. Albert Atias, who represented the Jewish congregation of Nairobi. A special exhibit in memory of the Holocaust and a film screening were also organized.

New Delhi, India: UNIC New Delhi and Alliance Francaise de Delhi, in partnership with the embassies of Israel and France, organized a day long commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, which took place on 16 February 2012. The first half of the day of commemoration was devoted to sensitizing young children to the narrative and lessons of the Holocaust through different activities. The evening function included a remembrance ceremony and screening of the film The Heavens Will Open For You: The Story of Malka Rosenthal. The Centre also mounted an outdoor exhibition of the winners of the International Design Student Poster Competition. Dignitaries in attendance included Member of Parliament Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Ambassador Alon Ushpiz of Israel and Director of the Alliance Francaise de Delhi Jean-Philippe Bottin.

  Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: UNIC Port of Spain held a number of events to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Week. On 27 January, the UNIC held a ceremony to launch a month-long photo and video exhibit on the Holocaust. The event featured a reading from The Diary of Anne Frank by a local student, a presentation given by a Holocaust survivor, and a screening of the trailer for the new film The Last flight of Petr Ginz.


Holocaust survivor Hans Stetcher speaks at 2012 Holocaust
Remembrance ceremony organized by UNIC Port of Spain.

Pretoria, South Africa: UNIC South Africa partnered with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the JHGA to host an educational outreach programme to mark the international day of Holocaust remembrance.  Elly Gotz, a Holocaust survivor, spoke to a diverse group of students from schools in Johannesburg about the experience of children during the Holocaust and his own experience as a teenager in the Dachau camp. The UNIC also provided the film “The Last Flight of Petr Ginz” to the Durban Holocaust Centre, and the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: On January 27, the United Nations Information Office in close cooperation with the Embassy of Israel in Tashkent and the Israeli Cultural Centre organized a special event to observe the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The event featured presentations by guests, a performance by students of the Jewish School in Tashkent and the screening of the documentary The Last Flight of Petr Ginz. The event was open to students, representatives of the diplomatic community, the general public and UNIC staff members. Over 100 people attended the event.

Vienna, Austria:  In Vienna, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) organized several events in cooperation with Yad Layeled France and Yad Layeled Austria. The exhibit Following the Path of a Picture opened at the Vienna International Centre on 23 January 2012. Guest speakers included the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Alternate Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Vienna, and the Chairman of the Ethnic Group Council for Romanies. In addition to the exhibition, UNIS Vienna held a screening of three films.

Washington D.C., USA:  Marie Okabe, Deputy Director of UNIC Washington, represented the United Nations at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Commemoration of International Remembrance Day. Ms. Okabe honoured the legacy of Holocaust victims and survivors by lighting a candle at the museum.

Yangon, Myanmar: UNIC Yangon, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Embassies of Israel and Germany, organized a seminar for university students, and a photo exhibition titled To Bear Witness, which featured photographs from the Yad Vashem archives. The UNIC also organized a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, with over 400 people in attendance.

Yaoundé, Cameroon: UNIC Yaoundé organized two events in Bamenda, located in the Northwest region of Cameroon, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Week. The first event featured a media briefing for over 20 journalists who met to learn more about the history of the Holocaust. Some of the questions that arose during the briefing were: “What is the relevance of the Holocaust to high school students in Cameroon?” and “Can we compare the Holocaust to our frequent ethnic clashes and tribal wars in the Northwest region?” The second event featured a screening of the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz followed by an interactive discussion about the power of Petr’s imagination and the importance of overcoming hatred. Over 800 students attended the event.