2015 Calendar of Holocaust Remembrance Events
“Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”
Inspired by the theme “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”, the 2015 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust coincides with the two milestone events: the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end and the founding of the United Nations. The Organization’s establishment seven decades ago in 1945 reflects how deeply it was shaped by the experience of the Holocaust. Both the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrine the principles of human rights for all peoples around the world. This year’s events include the annual ceremony, exhibits, a film screening, discussions and a special exhibit that recognizes the work of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme since its creation 10 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly.
New Information Products
The Holocaust and the United Nations 10th Anniversary video
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, in cooperation with the News and Media Division, has produced a seven-minute film that illustrates how the Programme has been carrying out its mandate for Holocaust education and remembrance to help prevent genocide over the past decade. The film includes a special message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and footage from the many Holocaust memorial ceremonies, panel discussions and educational events that have been held at New York Headquarters, as well as in the field in cooperation with the global network of United Nations information centres. Last year, there were more than 140 activities in 42 countries. The film also outlines the various educational products that have been produced in partnership with Holocaust institutions, educators and experts in Holocaust and genocide studies. It is available upon demand in all six United Nations official languages.
Testimony: the Liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration Camp (1940-1945)
In observance of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and the end of the Second World War, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme has produced an exhibition on Auschwitz Birkenau, the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp that provides background on the camp along with testimony from the archive of USC Shoah Foundation -- The Institute for Visual History and Education. This 15-minute film tells the story of six individuals, who were either imprisoned in the camp or were soldiers in the Red Army that liberated the camp on 27 January 1945. The film has been subtitled in all six United Nations official languages and will be featured in exhibits mounted at New York Headquarters and at a number of locations around the world, in cooperation with the United Nations Information Centres.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
- Panel Discussion “Why Have We Failed in Preventing Genocides and How to Change That?"
Venue: ECOSOC Chamber
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The list of speakers includes, among others, high-ranking UN officials, the Permanent Representatives as well as representatives of civil society. The event is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations.
- Exhibit Opening “Forbidden Art”
Venue: Visitors' Lobby
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The “Forbidden Art” exhibition presents the story of twenty works of arts made illegally and at great risk by prisoners of the German Nazi concentration camp. Each of the photographs shown in the exhibition is accompanied by an historical commentary and excerpts from archival accounts. The artwork is built around two themes. The first theme lays out the reality of life in the camp: scenes depicting the functioning of the camp and portraits of prisoners. The second theme focuses on the types of escape created by the camp prisoners: caricatures, albums containing greetings and fairy tales prisoners wrote for their children. Partners include The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, The Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations and The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
- United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
Venue: General Assembly Hall
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau and seven decades after the end of the Second World War, this year’s solemn ceremony is centered on the theme “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”. The ceremony included remarks from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel; H.E. Mr. Denis G. Antoine, Vice-President of the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, delivered on behalf of H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, the President of the General Assembly; H. E. Mr. David Pressman, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs of the United States to the United Nations; Holocaust survivor Mrs. Jona Laks; and Soviet Army veteran Mr. Boris Feldman. Mr. Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, delivered video message. Grammy-award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari performed. Cantor Shimmy Miller (from the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Englewood, N.J.) accompanied by keyboardist Mr. Daniel Gildar, recited the memorial prayers. The memorial ceremony also recognized the 10th Anniversary of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme.
- Exhibit Opening “Shoah - How Was It Humanly Possible?”
Venue: Visitors' Lobby
Time: 2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
The exhibition, Yad Vashem’s first traveling exhibition recounting the comprehensive story of the Shoah, deals with major historical aspects of the Holocaust, beginning with Jewish life in pre-Holocaust Europe and ending with the 1945 liberation of Nazi concentration and death camps across the continent.
The exhibition opened at United Nations Headquarters on 26 January, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau and the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Partners include Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority; the American Society for Yad Vashem; and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations .
- Exhibit Opening “Tenth Anniversary of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme”
Venue: Visitors’ Lobby
Time: 2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
The exhibition commemorates the Holocaust Programme’s 10th Anniversary, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation by Soviet forces of the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945) and the founding of the United Nations. It features an exhibition on the liberation of the camp, with testimony provided by the USC Shoah Foundation ---- The Institute for Visual History and Education. Since the United Nations General Assembly in November 2005 unanimously called for its establishment, the Holocaust Programme has developed a wide-reaching initiative, with events and educational materials to encourage Holocaust remembrance and help prevent genocide. Visitors will have the opportunity to view a short film on the work of the Programme with highlights on the educational activities of the United Nations Information Centres around the world.
- Meet the Author “Toscanini: A Conductor Stands Up for Justice”
Venue: Conference Room 3
Time: 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-557-0019
- This event has been postponed.
The Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was nearly 90 years old when he died in January 1957 in New York City. During this event, conductor and author Cesare Civetta uses a multimedia presentation to discuss Toscanini’s musical style and philosophy, including his opposition to Hitler, defiance of Mussolini and his role in developing the orchestra now known as the Israel Philharmonic. Civetta is the author of "The Real Toscanini: Musicians Reveal the Maestro". This event is organized by B’nai B’rith International and The Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations.
Opening Reception of a month long project Shoah in Us
Exhibition Know from where you came and where are you going... (Mishna)
Film Screening Eugenic minds
Venue: Czech Center New York
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
This documentary film by Pavel Stingl focuses on the controversial and pseudo-scientific discipline of eugenics. The film uses footage from archives and animated sequences to consider the extent to which science and education could be abused by totalitarian ideologies. Inserted into the archive footage, the animation designed by artists Xenia Hoffmeisterova and Jaroslav Rona is inspired by artworks created by the mentally disabled, who also were murdered by the Nazis. The event is organized by The Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations.
- Exhibit Opening "Last Folio"
Venue: Curved Wall, Conference Building
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (by invitation only)
This exhibition of pictures by international photographer Yuri Dojc are from a Jewish school in eastern Slovakia that was abandoned in 1942 when its students were taken away to the camps. Mr. Dojc treats these decaying books as individual survivors in this traveling exhibit, which was first seen in the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava. In 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Bikenau, it will be seen at the United Nations, along with venues in Latvia, Germany and Moscow. The exhibit is produced by Katya Krausova and organized by The Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations.
- Film Screening and Discussion “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald”
Venue: Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
This documentary film by director Rob Cohen focuses on the lives of four men, who were imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, and return to commemorate the sixty-fifth anniversary of their liberation in April 1945. The film lays out the story of the creation of the children’s block - block 66 - by the camp’s Communist-led underground. They worked to help protect the Jewish teenage boys who were arriving in large numbers in 1944 at the end of the Second World War. H.E. Mr. Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, Mr. Maher Nasser, Acting Head, Department of Public Information, and the film’s executive producer, Mr. Steve Moskovic, spoke before the screening. A discussion with Mr. Rob Cohen, the film’s writer and director, and Holocaust survivor Mr. Alex Moskovic followed the documentary and was moderated by Ms. Kimberly Mann, Manager of The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
- United Nations Department of Public Information NGO Briefing
“The Holocaust, Homosexuals and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Today”
Venue: Conference Room 2
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
During this briefing, participants learnt how homosexuals were persecuted during the Holocaust and the contemporary status of rights for the lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender community. Erik Jensen, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Charles Radcliffe, Chief, Global Issues, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke. The discussion was moderated by Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events.