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

 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Week 
Activities around the World

 

The United Nations and its global network of information centres (UNICs) held special events to mark the 2014 International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (27 January) under the theme “Journeys through the Holocaust”.

Events at UN Information Centres ranged from solemn ceremonies, to film screenings, text message campaigns and a tree planting to honour the victims of the Holocaust. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme (UNHOP) provided these field offices with educational material that included a set of 16 posters by the finalists of the 2013-2014 International Design Competition titled “Keeping the Memory Alive”, and two education DVDs titled Blinky and Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide.

The “Keeping the Memory Alive” Poster Competition was a joint project organized by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, Israel; The London Jewish Cultural Centre, United Kingdom; The European Shoah Legacy Institute, Czech Republic; and the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. UNICs encouraged students from around the world to participate in the contest, participated in the judging of the posters, and organized exhibitions of the top 16 entries, to mark the 27 January International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Among other activites, the UNICs organized several screenings of the two educational films. The first film, Blinky & Me, directed and produced by filmmaker Tomasz Magierski, is based on the life of Holocaust survivor Yoram Gross. The United Nations Office in Minsk subtitled Blinky and Me in Russian while the United Nations Office in Yerevan subtitled it in Armenian. The second film, The Path to Nazi Genocide, was produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The Programme worked with the USHMM to subtitle the film in all of the official languages of the United Nations and produce a timeline and introduction to the Holocaust in the UN official languages to accompany this DVD.

The Information Centres also placed an op-ed article by UN Secretary-General Ban about his November visit to the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945) and the importance of Holocaust remembrance and education.

UNIC Accra
– On 27 January, The United Nations Information Centre in Accra marked this year’s International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a screening of the film Blinky & Me, an exhibit of the top 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Contest and a public lecture. The film screening was organized with support from the Australian High Commission in Ghana and brought together about 80 students and faculty from three different senior high schools in Ghana: Labone SHS; Presbyterian Boys SHS; and Accra Girls SHS. Also in attendance were H.E. Ms. Joanna Adamson, Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr. Nana Yaw Boampong Sarpong, a lecturer at the Department of History at the University of Ghana, and representatives from the German and Israeli embassies.


Representatives of the International Community attend a youth forum organized to
mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust at UNIC Accra

Following the screening, Dr. Sarpong facilitated a very engaging discussion on the significance of commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day and viewed an exhibit of the posters from the International Design Student Poster Contest.  The students were very eager to ask questions and share their opinions. The discussion and exhibit took place at the Goethe Institute. Later that day, a public lecture was organized in partnership with the German and Israeli embassies at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre. Nannie Beekman-Braunstein of Yad Vashem’s Department of Righteous Among the Nations delivered the keynote address with the theme “Journeys through the Holocaust”. Members of the international community NGOs and the media attended the lecture.

UNO Almaty – The United Nations Office in Almaty organized a number of events in Almaty and Astana to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. In Almaty, the Office organized several screenings of UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day with the films Blinky & Me, which the UNIC subtitled in Kazakh, and The Path to Nazi Genocide. All of the screenings took place on 27 January 2014 at the Mitsva Cultural Centre of Kazakhstan, The UN House, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KaszNu) and KIMEP University (Almaty).

The screening at the Mitsva Cultural Centre began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, which was followed by remarks by the President of the Association and the DPI Representative in Almaty who presented the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day. The screening was followed by a discussion and a candle-lighting ceremony. The event was covered by National TV and was featured on the evening news that day. At KazNU and KIMEP universities, the screenings began with a minute of silence, followed by remarks by UN DPI Representative Vlastimil Samek, who introduced the Secretary-General’s video message, and academic staff members. The screenings were followed by discussions with the students which covered all aspects of the tragic history of the holocaust as well as the themes of persecution and genocide. At the UN House in Almaty, UN staff members gathered to view the film Blinky and Me, The screening began with a minute of silence and was followed by a lively discussion.

On 29 January, a memorial ceremony was organized in partnership with the Embassy of Israel at the Nazarbaev Centre in Astana. The ceremony included a screening of the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day and various short documentaries.

UNIC Antananarivo UNIC Antananarivo organized several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 27 January, the Centre opened an exhibition of the top 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Competition at the UNIC office. The exhibit was moved to Lycée Moderne Ampefiloha for an event on 5 February and returned to the Centre where it will remain open until the end of February.

Antananarivo
Students engage in a discussion about the film The Path to Nazi Genocide organized by UNIC Antananarivo.
Photo: UNIC Antananarivo

On 29 January, the Centre organized a screening and discussion of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide with students and teachers at the UNIC office. Teachers in attendance were given a copy of the The Path to Nazi Genocide to use in their classrooms. The Centre also organized several lectures at local high schools. On 5 February, a panel discussion on the Holocaust was organized at the Lycée Moderne Ampefiloha. UN National Information Officer Zoe Rasoaniaina welcomed the students and read UN Secretary-General Ban's message prepared for the Day. In a question-and -answer session that followed the screening, Ms. Rasoaniaina discussed her own experience of visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Additional screenings were held on 12 February and 19 February at Lycée Rasalama and Lycée Jules Ferry.

UNIC Asuncion – To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Asuncion organized a ceremony in partnership with the Consulate of Israel, on 27 January 2014 at the Congress Building. Speakers included, UN Resident Coordinator Cecilia Ugaz Estrada, President of Congress Arnoldo Wiens, Head of the Israel Council Alejandro Rubin Cymerman, and Ms. Ester Stul, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Over 150 people attended the event.

UNIC Asuncion
UNIC Asuncion hosts a memorial ceremony to mark the Inernational Day of Commemoration
of the victims of the Holocaust. Photo: UNIC Asuncion

UNO Baku – In observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNO Baku joined the Chabad Jewish Day School on 27 January 2014 in paying respect to the victims of the Holocaust with a poster exhibition titled “The Holocaust – Keeping the Memory Alive” and a screening and discussion of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide. Students at Chabad Jewish Day School performed a play that combined educational documentary footage and remorseful poems about the victims of the Holocaust. The play left the audience with a heavy heart and reminded them the terrible time of industrialized killings. The principle of the school, Mr. Smir Chalnrov emphasized in his opening speech that this day must be remembered and it must serve as a lesson for future generations.

UNO Baku
Students from Chabad Jewish Day School view posters by finalists of the International Design Student
Poster Competition 2013-2014 at Chabad Jewish Day School, Baku. Photo: UNO Baku

The poster exhibition featured the top 16 entries from the 2012-2013 International Design Student Poster Competition. One student commented, “While looking at the Holocaust posters, I felt happy that the United Nations in Baku feels the pain of my people and makes sure that the memory of the Holocaust lives on.” The event attracted members of the Jewish community including H.E. Mr. Rafael Harpaz, the Ambassador of Israel to Azerbaijan. The Office also organized a screening of the film Blinky & Me, subtitled in Russian, at “28 Cinema”, which was followed by a discussion with participants. The posters from the International Design Student Poster Competition were displayed at the cinema in a second exhibition. University students and members of youth-focused NGOs attended the screening. In addition, UNO Baku disseminated UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the day in Azerbaijani, English, and Russian to the media.

UNIC Bogota – On 10 February 2014, UNIC Bogota partnered with the local Jewish community to organize several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The day began with an olive tree-planting ceremony at The Centre of Peace, Memory and Reconciliation in Bogota with representatives of the Colombian Jewish community, the diplomatic corps and NGOs. A plaque designed for the occasion by UNIC was permanently placed inside the Centre. Later that day, the UN Information Centre held a memorial ceremony and an exhibition of the top 16 finalists of the International Design Student Poster Contest. The memorial ceremony was held under the theme “Women and the Holocaust” and featured remarks by UNIC Director Damian Cardona, who delivered UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day, Israeli Ambassador Yoed Magenand and representatives of the local Jewish community. The Bravot-Pacot family was honoured as “Righteous Among the Nations” by the local Jewish community for their efforts in assisting victims of the Holocaust.

UNIC Bogota
UNIC Bogota plants an olive tree to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the  victims of the Holocaust on 10 February 2014. Photo: UNIC Bogota

UNIC Brazzaville – UNIC Brazzaville marked the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a screening and discussion of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide, which featured remarks by guest speaker Joachim Goma Thethet. Over 100 students from the National School for Public Servants participated in the event which took place on 27 January at the UNIC premises. From 28 to 29 January, the Centre also organized an exhibition of posters and photos about the Holocaust, which was visited by 250 high school students. At the opening of the exhibit, students performed a play about the Holocaust. UNIC staff members interacted with the visitors who received a copy of UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day and the recent Africa Renewal Magazine published by the United Nations.

UNIC Brazzaville
Students view an exhibition on Holocaust remembrance at UNIC Brazzaville. Photo: UNIC Brazzaville

The UNIC organized additional screenings and discussions of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide at Université Libre du Congo, Ecole Africaine de Développement, Université Internationale de Brazzaville, and two high schools called Ecole Militaire Général Leclerc and Ecole Imma Ngankou. The UNIC also gave copies of the video to Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et d’Administration d'Entreprise, Institut de Gestion et de Développement, and Ecole Javoueh for future screenings.

UNRIC BrusselsAs part of a project called “7 Billion Others”, UNRIC Brussels, in partnership with the Good Planet Foundation, produced a video to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. This short video clip draws viewers in as they learn about Holocaust survivor Gilbert Schie’s personal experience during the Holocaust. The UNIC subtitled the video in eight different languages, shared it with other UN offices and posted it on Twitter and Facebook. A visionary idea from the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, “7 Billion Others” is an ongoing project that started in 2003, consisting of over 6,000 interviews filmed in 84 countries. The goal of the project is to create a portrait of humanity today and show everything that unites us, links us and differentiates us. The UNRIC also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in the To Vimpa on-line newspaper and La Stampa print newspaper.

UNIC Brussels
Poster created for the “7 billion Others” campaign, UNRIC Brussels.

UNRIC Brussels Desk for Cyrpus and Greece – UNRIC Brussels Desk for Cyprus and Greece marked the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust by creating a webpage, which featured UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day and links to The Path to Nazi Genocide filmand the “7 Billion Others” video clip. The Centre also promoted the International Day on their Facebook page.

UNIC Greece
Poster created by UNRIC Brussels, Desk for Cyrpus and Greece, to promote the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

UNIC Buenos Aires To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the Centre partnered with the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires to organize a memorial ceremony and an exhibition of the 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Competition. Held at the museum, the ceremony featured remarks by Museum President Claudio Avruj, Museum Director Gabriela Scheyer, UNIC Director David Smith, Holocaust survivor Lea Zajac and Mr. Mauricio Wainrot, Director of the San Martin Theatre Ballet. Ms. Zajac shared her personal story of surviving the Holocaust and vowed to keep its memory alive by speaking about it every day. Mr. Wainrot shared his parents’ experience of fleeing Poland to Bolivia and then Argentina, where he was born and schooled. Despite his family’s financial hardship, Mr. Wainrot’s parents recognized his love for ballet and found a way to send him to the Argentine National Ballet School. More than 120 people attended the 29 January ceremony. The poster exhibition was also mounted at the Moises Ville Museum, in the Santa Fé province.

UNIC BujumburaOver six hundred students from three main secondary schools of Bujumbura participated in a series of educational activities organized by UNIC Bujumbura to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The activities took place from 27 to 29 January 2014 and included a memorial ceremony, a photo exhibition titled “The Shoah in Europe” and a screening and discussion of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide.


Students from Bujumbura attend a memorial ceremony organized by UNIC Bujumbura
Photo: UNIC Bujumbura

Students were guided through the exhibit by their History teachers who escorted them to the UNIC, and then viewed the film. National Information Officer Beatrice Nibogora introduced the film and also led the students in a lively discussion following the screening. Taking into account the regional context with the Rwanda Genocide, the discussions focused on the role of the youth in preventing conflicts and combatting propaganda that promotes hatred and prejudice.

UNIC Canberra – On 27 January 2014, more than 200 people gathered at historic St Kilda Town Hall, Melbourne, to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Holocaust survivors and their descendants attended the commemoration, which included a candle-lighting ceremony and an audio-visual presentation. UNIC Canberra Director Christopher Woodthorpe delivered the keynote address and read UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day. Mr. Woodthorpe spoke about the UN’s commitment to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. "We realise that no one person or organisation has all the answers but it is only through working together that we can confront the Holocaust and keep the memory alive," he said.

UNIC Colombo – To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Colombo organized a memorial ceremony on 27 January 2014 that began at the Centre and finished at the home of acclaimed Poet and Holocaust survivor Anne Ranasinghe. Over 45 international students and teachers gathered at the UNIC where they viewed UN Secretary-General Ban’s video message prepared for the Day and the film Blinky & Me.


Students visit home of Holocaust survivor Anne Ranasinghe, Colombo
Photo: UNIC Colombo

After a question-and-answer session that included an introduction to the Holocaust, participants departed for the residence of Holocaust survivor Anne Ranasinghe to participate in a poetry recital and candle-lighting ceremony. After listening to poems delivered by Ms. Ranasinghe and other guests in attendance, Ms. Ranasinghe engaged the students in a lively discussion while reminding them to be “watchful, attentive, and to stand up for themselves to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy”. On 3 February, a screening of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide was held at Elizabeth Moir School.

UNIC Dakar – To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Dakar, in partnership with the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) and the embassies of Israel and Germany, organized a remembrance ceremony and a photo exhibition that took place at the University. High-level officials attending the event included Professor Oumar Sock, Director General of Education, Ambassador Eli Ben-Tura of Israel and Ambassador Bernhart Kampmann of Germany. Dr. Ruth Ginio of L’Université israélienne Ben Gourion and Dr. Deme of L’Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar addressed the audience and spoke about the discriminatory laws imposed by the Vichy regime in Senegal, a French colony at the time. About 100 members of the Jewish community were deported along with other sénégalais.


The students from Maurice Delafosse High School, Dakar, sang a Hymn called “Hymne de la paix”. Photo: UNIC Dakar

Students from four local schools including Lamine GUEYE, Maurice Delafosse, Cours Sainte Marie de Hann and private school Groupe Scolaire Halwar also participated in the ceremony. The students from Lamine Gueye High School performed a mock trial of Hitler and found him guilty of genocide against the Jews. The students from Maurice Delafosse High School sang a Hymn called “Hymne de la paix”, while the Groupe Scolarie Halwar led an inter-religious dialogue which featured representatives of the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish faiths. The performances were closed by students from the Cours Sainte Marie de Hann.  The ceremony also included a screening of the video Les Cieux s’ouvriront pour toi and an exhibition of the top 16 posters from the International Design Student Poster Contest. The ceremony was covered by various press agencies including le Soleil, RTS, Groupr Futurs Medias, Télévision Futurs Medias, Radio Futurs Medias, Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, La Tribune, le Quotidien Enquête, Direct Info, Sud FM, Sud Quotidien, Zik Fm. UNIC Dakar also organized a screening of The Path to Nazi Genocide at Parcelles Assainies High School on 17 February 2014, and arranged additional exhibitions of the posters at Lycée des parcelles assainies, Lycée Galandou Diouf, Lycée Seydou Nourou Tall, Senegales American Bilingual School, Collège de la Cathédrale and Cours Sainte Marie de Hann.

UNIC Dar es Salaam – The United Nations Information Centre in Dar es Salaam organized two film screenings and two exhibitions of the 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Contest to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Dar es Salaam
Students participate in a film screening and discussion organized by UNIC Dar es Salaam.
Photo: UNIC Dar es Salaam.

The first event took place on 27 January 2014 at the British Council where students screened the film Blinky & Me and engaged in a discussion about the Holocaust. Following the film screening, the students were invited to view the posters from the International Design Student Poster Competition. On 30 January 2014, a second exhibition of posters from the International Design Student Poster Contest and a screening of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide was held at the Diamond Primary School Assembly Hall. At both screenings, Mr. Holger Pfingsten, First Secretary and Head of Administration with the Federal German Embassy, delivered the keynote address and Ms. Usia Nkhoma-Ledama, the UN National Information Officer, read UN Secretary-General Ban’s message, which had been translated into Kiswahili by the Centre. Over 500 students attended the events. The UNIC also placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed on the Holocaust in The Citizen newspaper.

UNIS Geneva and UNOGThe United Nations Information Service and the United Nations Office at Geneva together organized several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Geneva
Opening of the exhibition “The Girls of Room 28 – In Remembrance of the Children of the Theresienstadt Ghetto” was opened in the Salle des Pas Perdus at the Palais des Nations.

On 27 January 2014, the exhibition “The Girls of Room 28 – In Remembrance of the Children of the Theresienstadt Ghetto” was opened in the Salle des Pas Perdus at the Palais des Nations. The exhibition was organized by the UNOG Cultural Activities Programme in partnership with the Permanent Delegation of the European Union and the Permanent Missions of Israel and the Czech Republic. In attendance were Holocaust survivor Helga Pollak-Kinsky, whose diary inspired this project, and Ms. Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick, the curator of the exhibit. The exhibition was on display until 11 February 2014.

On Tuesday, 28 January 2014, UNIS organized a memorial ceremony which featured UN Secretary-General Ban’s video message, and remarks by Ms. Helga Pollak-Kinsky, Acting Director-General Michael Møller, the Ambassadors of Israel and the European Union, and Dr. Mario Silva, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Musical pieces were performed by The German Radio Orchestra, the Bayreuth Zamir Choir, the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir and the Tivon Chamber Choir. More than 600 people, including representatives of the permanent missions, local authorities, NGOs and the general public attended the ceremony.


Keynote address at the Holocaust memorial ceremony by Holocaust survivor Ms. Helga Pollak-Kinsky, UNIS Geneva.

On Wednesday, 29 January, UNIS organized a film screening of The Last Flight of Petr Ginz with over 200 students in attendance from local schools. Holocaust survivor Helga Pollak-Kinsky engaged the students in an interactive discussion following the screening.

On Friday, 31 January, 20 primary school children and teachers from the Geneva English School spent the morning at the Palais des Nations and took part in the programme "Holocaust through the Arts", organized by UNIS Geneva. The participants produced creative art and writing based on Petr Ginz’s life experiences during the Holocaust.  The children also had the opportunity to view the exhibition "The Girls of Room 28". On 6 February, the Office organized a second screening of Petr Ginz with over 80 students in attendance. Participants were invited to create a poster for the film afterwards.

UNIC KathmanduUNIC Kathmandu organized three events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 27 January, the Centre, in partnership with the United Nations Association of Nepal, organized a screening and discussion of The Path to Nazi Genocide and an exhibit of posters related to the Holocaust at the UNIC Office. Over 100 students attended the event. The same day, the Centre invited staff members to view the video at the UN House.


Students view a display of posters related to the Holocaust at the UNIC Kathmandu
Photo: UNIC Kathmandu

On 3 January, a third screening and discussion of the video was organized for 25 high school students at the UNIC Office. In this discussion, led by National Information Officer Ram Babu Shah, students discussed the lessons of the Holocaust in the context of the socio-political situation in Nepal. In addition, the UNIC screened the UN Secretary-General Ban’s video message at all of the events and placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed on the Holocaust in The Republic on-line newspaper.

UNIC Lagos – The United Nations Information Centre in Lagos organized several activities on 27 January 2014 to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Events included an awareness road walk, a poster exhibition of the top 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Competition 2013-2014 and a film screening and discussion of The Path to Nazi Genocide.


Holocaust Remembrance March, Lagos. Photo: UNIC Lagos

The activities started in the morning with a road walk that was livened up with solidarity songs and culminated in the film screening. Over 300 people participated in the events. The UNIC also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in The Guardian print and on-line newspapers.

UNIC Lima - On 28 January, National Information Officer Christian Sanchez participated in a commemoration at the Peruvian National Congress, where she delivered UN Secretary-General Ban's message prepared for the day.

UNIC Lima
UNIC Lima organizes a screening of Blinky & Me to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Photo: UNIC Lima

On 29 January, the Centre organized a screening of Blinky & Me and an exhibition of the top 16 posters from the Design Student Poster Contest, which were held at the British Cultural Centre. Mr. Sanchez spoke about the importance of Holocaust remembrance and delivered UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the day. The events were promoted with flyers and using digital media. The Centre will organize screenings of Blinky & Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide in the coming months. UNIC Lima also placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed on the Holocaust in El Peruano on-line newspaper.

UNIC Lisbon UNIC Lisbon placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in
The Publico on-line newspaper.

UNIC Lomé UNIC Lomé marked the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a film screening, an exhibit and a radio programme.

UNIC Lome
Students from College Notre Dame des Apôtres de Lomé attend
a film screening of The Path to Nazi Genocide, UNIC Lomé

On 27 January, National Information Officer Olabiire Da Cruz and History Professor Michel Goeh-Akué of the Université de Lomé participated in radio broadcast programmes about the Holocaust on Nana FM and Radio Nationale. The following day, the Centre hosted a screening of The Path to Nazi Genocide with over 200 students from College Notre Dame des Apôtres de Lomé. In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Da Cruz said, “It is import for young people to learn about genocides such as the Holocaust, and films such as this one provide an opportunity to learn about history and events from the Second World War”. Following the screening, Professor Goeh-Akué engaged the students in a discussion about the Holocaust before they viewed an exhibit of posters and photos related to the Holocaust. Students received two handouts produced by the USHMM including “An Introduction to the Holocaust” and “A Timeline” to the Holocaust.

UNIC Lusaka - UNIC Lusaka joined the rest of the international community in commemorating the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a memorial ceremony on 27 January 2014. The event featured a keynote address by Reverend Faerber, remembrance prayers led by Rabbi Yalenga, a screening and discussion of the USHMM film The Path to Nazi Genocide and an exhibit of the 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster competition.

UNIC Lusaka
UNIC Lusaka displays the top sixteen entries from the International
Design Student Poster Competition. Photo: UNIC Lusaka

Over 250 people attended the events held at the University of Zambia Chapel. Following the ceremony, the 16 posters were moved to the UNIC Luska Office, where they were exhibited for two days. UNIC Lusaka also facilitated the airing of The Path to Nazi Genocide on two television stations - Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and Prime TV with a total viewership of 8 million people. The Centre promoted Holocaust remembrance using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter and a bulk SMS campaign that reached 13,000 people.

UNIC Manila To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Manila organized an exhibit of photos and several film screenings.

UNIC Manila
Guests attending the Blinky and Me film screening at UNIC Manila received a souvenir harmonica

The exhibit, comprised of photos provided by the “Mémorial de la Shoah”, Paris, took place from 25-29 January at the main lobby of the building where the UN House is located (RCBC Plaza, Makati City). On 4 March, several screenings of Blinky & Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide were organized at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. Participants received a souvenir harmonica, symbolic of the perseverance of Holocaust survivor Yoram Gross, who is featured in the film Blinky & Me. On more than one occasion, his harmonica helped to save his life. The harmonicas were donated to the UNIC by an NGO in the Philippines.

UNIC MaseruOn 29 January, to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Maseru organized a briefing and film screening of The Path to Nazi Genocide at Machabeng College.

UNIC Maseru
Students of Machabeng College attend a screening and discussion
on the Holocaust held at the college in Maser. Photo: UNIC Maseru

UN National Information Officer Mamosa Moteetee introduced the 72 students in attendance to the history of the Holocaust, beginning with a timeline of events that transpired during this period. Following the screening, Ms. Moteetee read UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day and then engaged the students in a discussion about the film. Students then had an opportunity to visit a display of material on the Holocaust. Prior to her visit to the school, Ms. Moteetee provided an introductory lesson to the professors of the college, including an exercise from Cyber School bus titled “Positive Steps against Racial Discrimination”.

UNIC MexicoTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Mexico organized several events. On 27 January 2014, UNIC organized a round-table discussion at the UN House with representatives from the National Commission of Human Rights, The National Council to Prevent Discrimination, UNESCO, Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyr’s and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, and the International Jewish Film Festival. Participating in the discussion were  Nuria Sanz, Representative of UNESCO in Mexico; Raul Plascencia, President of the National Commission for Human Rights; Ricardo Bucio Mújica, President of the National Council to Prevent Discrimination; Jaime Braverman, Director of the Yad Vashem Association in México; Mark Liwerant, President of the Leadership Council of the International Jewish Film Festival and Juan Miguel Diez, Officer-in-Charge of UNIC Mexico; and Aron Gilbert, who gave a testimonial as the son of a Holocaust survivor.  


Panel discussion organized by UNIC Mexico to mark the International Day

The webcast dialogue raised awareness about the importance of Holocaust remembrance and the preservation of culture – films, music, and world heritage sites — in the prevention of genocide. The discussion was designed to build bridges between generations, from holocaust survivors to younger generations that did not directly experience the Second World War. Following the discussion, participants were invited to view an exhibit of the top 16 posters from the International Design Student Poster Competition. The posters will be rotated to thirty schools over the course of the coming year. Later that day, UNIC organized a screening of films on the Holocaust which included The Path to Nazi Genocide, Blinky and Me, Shoes and Here I learned how to love.

UNO MinskTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the United Nations Office (UNO) in Minsk held several events in partnership with the Italian Embassy in Belarus. On 27 January 2013, the UNO organized a screening of the film Blinky and Me at the Pobeda Cinema. Prior to viewing the film, participants listened to remarks by Holocaust survivor Leonid Rubinshtein and several high-level officials including Mr. Victor Radivinovski, DPI Officer-in-Charge, Ambassador Yosef Shagal of Israel, and Mr. Boris Gernshtein, First Deputy Chairman of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Non-governmental Organizations and Communities. In advance of the film screening, the UNO subtitled the film in Russian and made it available to other UNICs on the FTP server. Additional screenings of the film will take place in April to mark the International Day of Fascist Concentration Camps Prisoners Liberation. 

Minsk
Holocaust survivor Leonid Rubinstein delivers remarks at a film screening
held at Pobeda Cinema in Minsk on 27 January 2014.

On 27 January 2014, a play was organized in partnership with the Italian Embassy in Minsk at the Center for Children’s and Youth Creativity.  Titled “Voices of the Shoah”, the production was staged by Italian Theatre Director Claudio Fachinelli and performed by faculty members of the Belarusian Statue University. The event opened with remarks by UN Resident Coordinator Sanaka Samarasinha. UNO Minsk will work with UNESCO clubs to organize screenings of Blinky and Me and of The Path to Nazi Genocide during the year.

UNIC Moscowto mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Moscow organized several events that took place on 27 January 2014.

In the morning, the Centre organized a solemn candle-lighting ceremony at the Memorial Hall of the Jewish Museum and Centre of Tolerance with representatives of the diplomatic community and international organizations. UNIC Director Alexandre Gorelik read out UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day.

In the evening, a traditional commemorative meeting-requiem was organized at the Grand Hall of the Central House of Writers. This year, the event was mainly dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and the siege of Leningrad, lifted exactly one year before the liberation of Auschwitz. As in the past, the meeting was organized by the Holocaust Foundation and the Research and Scientific Centre in partnership with Moscow City Hall, the Israeli Embassy in Russia, the Russian Jewish Congress and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. The president of the Holocaust Foundation, Ms. Alla Gerber, hosted the event. Two exhibits were on display at the foyer of the House of Writers: one featuring Holocaust-related posters produced by Russian art and design students and the other included drawings by former Nazi camp prisoner Josef Bau. His daughter, who currently resides in Israel, addressed the guests. Mr. Ivan Martynushkin, a veteran of the Second World War, provided an eye-witness account of the liberation of Auschwitz. Ambassador Dorit Golender of Israel presented awards to a family of the Righteous Among the Nations, who saved Jews during the Holocaust. During the event, the winners of the 12th Annual International Essay Contest of School Children, Teachers and University Students, titled “Lessons of the Holocaust – On the Road to Tolerance”, received awards presented by “The Holocaust Foundation”, the organizer of the competition. The UNIC contributed to the event by providing information support. The UNIC also facilitated the placement of the Secretary-General’s op-ed article titled "A Visit to Auschwitz," in "Novye Izvestija" - a major Russian daily.


A poster exhibit of Holocaust-related posters produced by Russian art and design students
at the Moscow State Pedagogical University

On 28 February, UNIC Moscow organized an exhibit of posters by students of the Moscow State Pedagogical University who participated in the International Design Student Poster Contest. Excerpts of the film Blinky & Me were shown at this event, which took place at the Moscow State Pedagogical University, organized in partnership with Museum of Jewish Legacy and the Russian Jewish Congress.

UNIC Nairobi - UNIC Nairobi, in partnership with the Embassy of Israel, organized a memorial ceremony on 27 January 2014 to mark the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. After welcoming remarks, Director-General Sahle-Work Zewde introduced UN Secretary-General Ban’s video message. Speakers included Dr. Fred Matiang’I, Kenya Government Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology, who delivered the keynote address, and the ambassadors of Israel, Germany and Slovakia. Students from the Technical University of Kenya and the Green Gardens Schools recited the poems titled “The Ebb” and “The Holocaust”.


Students from Green Gardens School perform at the memorial ceremony at UNIC Nairobi
Photo: UNIC Nairobi

As part of the ceremony, the Centre screened the films Blinky & Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide and mounted an exhibition of the 16 top entries from the International Design Student Poster Contest. Visitors shared their impression of the exhibit in a guest book. The UNIC also distributed 1,000 bookmarks with the Holocaust remembrance banner to visitors at these events and placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed on the Holocaust in The People print newspaper.


UNIC New Delhi - Nearly 100 high school students and 80 university attended a special event to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January 2014 at the UNIC Office.  The event featured screenings of the films Blinky & Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide. Afterwards, Deputy Ambassador Yahel Vilan and Counselor Liron Zaslansky of the Embassy of Israel led participants in a discussion about the Holocaust. “Why did the world do nothing when the killings were going on?” asked one young viewer. “How did the victims manage to rebuild their lives?” asked another. Participants were also invited to view an exhibition of the top sixteen finalists from the International Design Student Competition, and leave personal messages on an installation made of barbed wire. In the evening, a second commemorative event was held with participants from the diplomatic community. Speakers included India’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Law and Justice Kapil Sibal., Ambassador of Israel Alon Ushpiz, Deputy Head of the Embassy of France Jean-Marc Sere-Charlet; and Delegate-General of the Alliance Française Jean-Philippe Bottin. The UNIC also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op ed in The Hindu on-line newspaper.

UNIC PanamaTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Panama organized a number of roundtable discussions that focused on different aspects of the Holocaust. The first roundtable titled "Educating to Remember" took place at the Universidad Interamericana de Panama (ULACIT) , on Monday, 24 February from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., with more than 200 University students in attendance. Among the participants were Dr. Stanley Muschett , Rector of the University, Dr. Constantino Riquelme, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Law,  and Mr. Yubelly Quiñones, Representative of the Embassy of Peace Activists. Ms. Jiesselinde González, UN National Information Officer, welcomed participants and gave a brief introduction of the work of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme before introducing UN Secretary-General Ban’s video message prepared for the day. Holocaust survivor Simon Burstein spoke about his personal experience during the Holocaust. On 26 March, the UNIC organized a second round table discussion and screening of the film Blinky and Me at the Latina University.

UNIC Port of SpainUNIC Port of Spain organized several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The Centre organized a remembrance ceremony which featured a keynote address by Holocaust survivor Hans Stetcher, a candle-lighting ceremony and a screening of the video The Path to Nazi Genocide.


UNIC Port of Spain created lanterns to mark the International Day of  
Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

During the month of February, the Centre will invite members of the general public to screen their collection of videos on the Holocaust at the Centre, including The Path to Nazi Genocide, Blinky and Me and Bent. In addition, the Centre organized exhibits at Chaguanas Public Library and Tabaquite Secondary School.

UNIC PragueTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Prague organized several events with students and the diplomatic community. In partnership with the Polish Institute in Prague, the Centre organized four screenings of the film Blinky & Me. Over 100 students participated in three of the screenings, which were followed by a discussion with a Holocaust survivor. All participants received background information on the Holocaust that had been translated by the Centre into Czech.


Students gather to present flowers to a Holocaust survivor following a screening of Blinky & Me
organized by UNIC Prague. Photo: UNIC Prague

A fourth screening and reception was organized for the diplomatic community and featured remarks by the Deputy-Ambassador of Poland, the Honorary Consul of Australia and UNIC Officer-in-Charge Michal Broza, who quoted from UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day. About 30 guests attended the event, including the Vice-President of the International Auschwitz Committee. In addition to these events, UNIC Prague translated the Secretary-General’s message into Czech, and disseminated it using social media tools and the Centre’s website. The UNIC also produced the Czech subtitles for the USHMM film The Path to Nazi Genocide and companion educational materials.

UNIC Pretoria - To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Pretoria, in partnership with the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and the Ditsong National Museum of Military History, hosted a special event with Holocaust survivors and their families, and members of the diplomatic community. UNIC Director Helene Hoedl delivered remarks about the importance of the Day before introducing keynote speaker Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries and author of several publications. Participants also viewed UN Secretary-General Ban’s message prepared for the Day.


Learners from Bergvliet High School viewing the permanent exhibition
at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. Photo: UNIC Petoria

UNIC Pretoria, in partnership with the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and the NGO Educational Africa, organized an educational session, which took place on 30 January 2014 at Tsepana Primary School, located 40 kilometres south of Johannesburg. The UNIC Director spoke to the students about the importance of the Day before introducing the Secretary-General’s message. An interactive session with the students drew comparisons between the Holocaust and apartheid, xenophobia and discrimination. Over 200 students from seven different schools attended the event. UNIC Pretoria also supported two additional commemorative events at the Cape Town Centre on 27 January 2014 and the Durban Holocaust Centre on 28 January 2014. Various educational materials were disseminated to the Holocaust Centres, including a set of  the top 16 entries form the International Design Student Poster Contest, a second set of posters titled “ Remembrance and Beyond” and two documentary films titled Blinky & Me and The Path to Nazi Genocide. UNIC Pretoria utilized its social media platforms as well as its website to promote the International Day and special events. The UNIC also placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed in The Daily News, the Cape Argus and The South Africa Jewish Report.

UNIC Rio de JaneiroTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Rio de Janeiro subtitled the film The Path to Nazi Genocide and made it available to TV Brasil for airing on 26 January. An estimated 600,000 viewers watched the documentary. The UNIC also subtitled the film The Last Flight of Petr Ginz in Portuguese and placed UN Secretary-General Ban's op-ed ed in Brazil's on-line leading newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. UNIC Rio de Janeiro also created a webpage to promote the Day and used Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness of the Holocaust.

UNO TbilisiUNO Tbilisi organized a number of events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 4 February 2014, the office organized a screening of the film Blinky & Me in partnership with the European Law Students’ Association of Georgia at Amirani Cinema. The same day, the UN Office in partnership with the E. Akhvlediani Children’s Art Gallery organized an art exhibit for children.


UNO Tbilisi organizes a children’s art exhibit to mark the International
Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

UN Resident Coordinator Niels Scott and Israeli Ambassador Yuval Fuchs opened the events with representatives of the international community, international organizations, media, educational institutions, and the Jewish community in attendance. The UNO also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed in the Georgia Today on-line newspaper.

UNIC TehranThe UNIC placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in several on-line newspapers including Moj News Agency, Asr-e Iran and Tadbir Online.

UNIC TokyoTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Tokyo, in partnership with the USHMM, subtitled the video The Path to Nazi Genocide in Japanese, and posted the link to the video on their website. The UNIC also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in The Japan Times print and on-line newspapers.

UNIS ViennaUNIS Vienna held several events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 27 January 2014, UNIS partnered with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the London Jewish Cultural Centre (United Kingdom) in the opening of the exhibit of the top 16 finalists from the International Design Student Poster Competition. Speakers included: Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna; Ambassador Zvi Heifetz, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in Vienna; Ms. Jennifer Townson, Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Vienna; Ambassador Balázs Csuday, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN in Vienna; Dr. Mario Silva, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA); Ms. Jane Jacobs, Director of International Relations, International School of Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority; and UNIS Director Janos Tisovszky. Also in attendance were the top three finalists from the poster competition: Ms. Caitlin McGinn, Canada; Ms. Carling Hind, Canada; Mr. James Alonso, UK. Later in the day, UNIS Vienna organized a screening of Six Million and One at the Topkino cinema. The film was followed by a panel discussion with Ms. Jane Jacobs, Mr. Sieglinde Witzany-Durde, Member of the KZ Gusen Memorial Committee and Journalist Itamar Treves-Tchelet. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Janos Tisovszky. UNIS promoted their activities using social media and a webpage created for the Day. The UNIS also placed UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed on the Holocaust in several newspapers including Der Standard, Népszabadság,Dnevnik and Jetotak.

UNIC WindhoekTo mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, UNIC Windhoek organized a screening of The Path to Nazi Genocide on 11 February 2014 at Jan Mohr Secondary School.


Students from Jan Mohr Secondary School attend a screening
of The Path to Nazi Genocide, UNIC Windhoek. Photo: UNIC Windhoek

Prior to the screening, Mr. Kloppers, principal of the school and historian, guided the students through the history of the Holocaust. Following the screening, one student said, “Reading and seeing are two different experiences. Seeing this DVD has truly touched me.” UNIC Windhoek will organize additional screenings of the film in the coming months.

UNIC Yangon – To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the Centre organized a memorial ceremony on 17 February at Yangon University. Two screenings of the film Blinky & Me were heldon 27 January 2014 at the French Institute and on 5 February 2014 at the British Council with students and members of the international community. The Centre also organized a screening of the film The Path to Nazi Genocide and helped place UN Secretary-General Ban’s op-ed in the Myanmar Freedom Daily (23 January) and the Myanmar Times (27 January). An exhibit of the 16 finalists from the International Design Poster Competition was organized at the British Council.

UNO Yerevan – About 100 youth from universities and high-schools participated in a special event on 27 February 2014 to mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.  The event, held at the UNO House, featured a screening and discussion of the films The Path to Nazi Genocide and Blinky and Me, and an exhibit of the top 16 posters from the International Design Student Poster Competition.


Deputy Special Coordinator James W Rawley laying a wreath in the Yad Vashem Hall of Remembrance
Photo: Jorge Novominsky, Yad Vashem

The UNO subtitled the film Blinky and Me in Armenian, and gave the students handouts titled “An Introduction to the Holocaust” and “Time line of the Second World War”, which facilitated a discussion led by UN DPI Representative Maria Dotsenko. UNO Yerevan also translated the Secretary-General’s message and op-ed article and posted them on the UNO Yerevan.

UNSCO To mark the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, The Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process James W. Rawley visited Yad Vashem, together with Heads of UN Agencies and UN staff. Mr. Rawley laid a wreath on behalf of the United Nations at the “Yizkor” memorial. The UN delegation then visited the exhibition "My Brother's Keeper, 50 years of Honoring Righteous Among The Nations" and a memorial for children killed in the Holocaust. In his remarks, Mr. Rawley said “More than six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, only because they were Jewish. The Righteous among the Nations remind us that it is possible, and indeed a duty, to remain a human being even in the darkest hours.” Mr. Rawley added that it was the obligation of the United Nations and the international community to never forget the gruesome crimes of the Holocaust, and remember and teach its lessons. “The Secretary-General visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in November and was overwhelmed by the enormity of what happened there to millions of Jews and other groups. He called on all to prevent such horror from happening again anywhere, to anyone, or any group. Today we are here, as one United Nations family, to show our rejection of anti-Semitism – indeed all. UNSCO also placed the Secretary-General’s op-ed in the Yediot Akhrono print newspaper.