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United Nations Department of Global Communications

2019 Holocaust Remembrance Calendar of Events

“Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights”

The theme of the Holocaust remembrance and education activities this year is “Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights”. This theme encourages youth to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust, act against discrimination and defend democratic values in their communities, at a time when the spread of Neo-Nazism and hate groups fuels the rising antisemitism and other forms of hatred around the world. The theme highlights the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.


Monday, 28 January 2019

  • United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony

    General Assembly Hall
    Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    Contact: HolocaustRemembrance@un.org

    The ceremony will be hosted by Ms. Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Jonathan R. Cohen, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Mission to the United Nations; Ambassador Sandro De Bernardin, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, will deliver remarks. Ms. Sara J. Bloomfield, Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will serve as the keynote speaker. Ms. Bloomfield has led the Museum for 18 years, working to build a global institution that raises Holocaust awareness, deepens understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust, confronts denial, and advances genocide prevention. Mr. Marian Turski, Chair of the Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Deputy Chair of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, journalist and recipient of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, will share his testimony as a survivor of the Holocaust. Ms. Inge Auerbacher will share her account as a child survivor of Terezín. Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky of the Park East Synagogue will recite the memorial prayers. The ceremony will include musical elements performed by the PS22 Chorus.

    Register to attend: https://bit.ly/2PlidG8 (Registration deadline is Monday, 21 January)

Monday, 28 January 2019

  • Exhibition Opening Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations

    Venue: United Nations Visitors Lobby           
    Time: 1:15 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.
    Contact: UNEvents@Newyork.mfa.gov.il

    This exhibition relates the unique stories of diplomats recognized by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, as Righteous Among the Nations. During the Holocaust, these diplomats recognized the danger and murder facing the Jews in the countries in which they served, at the hands of the Nazi Germans, with the help of their accomplices and allies. They chose to act according to their conscience, and tried to save as many Jewish men, women and children as possible, mainly by providing them with passports, visas and travel permits. The exhibition is sponsored by Permanent Missions of Israel, Peru and Portugal to the United Nations. The exhibition will be on view until 25 February 2019.

    Register to attend: https://bit.ly/2KOXwBL

Monday, 28 January 2019

  • India: A Distant Haven During the Holocaust

    Venue: Conference Room 2
    Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
    Contact: rsvpun@bnaibrith.org
    RSVP required by 18 January to rsvpUN@bnaibrith.org

    B'nai B'rith International and the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations host this presentation on a lesser-known chapter in the history of the Holocaust: the haven found in India by a number of Jewish refugees who fled from Europe. Author and expert on India's Jewish community Dr. Kenneth X. Robbins will discuss the Jews who were able to escape Nazism in India. Stephen Tauber, who was an Austrian Jewish refugee in India, will tell his family’s story.

  • Exhibition Opening Bracha. A Blessing. Back to Polish Shtetls

    Venue: United Nations Headquarters Conference Building – South Wall (by invitation only)
    Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Contact: poland.un@msz.gov.pl

    This photographic exhibition brings to us images of a world that survived the Holocaust, despite the attempts of the German Nazis and their accomplices to annihilate Jewish communities, peoples and culture. The photographs of Polish documentary producer and photographer Ms. Agnieszka Traczewska, document the journeys of the descendants of Jews who once lived in the Polish territories, to the remains of Jewish heritage in Poland: the synagogues, graveyards and the graves of Tzadikim. The event is organized by the Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Poland in New York. The exhibition will be on view until 1 February 2019.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

  • Meet the Author Event: Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom by Ariel Burger

    Venue: United Nations Bookshop, GA Building, Visitors’ Concourse
    Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Contact: teperino@un.org

    Ariel Burger is a writer, artist, teacher, and rabbi whose work combines spirituality, creativity, and strategies for social change. In his profoundly thought-provoking and inspiring book, Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, Burger gives us a front-row seat to Wiesel’s remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom, and chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over the decades as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant, to rabbi and, in time, teacher. Dr. Eva Fogelman, psychologist, filmmaker and author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book titled Conscience and Courage:  Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, will lead an interactive discussion with Mr. Burger at the event.

    Register to attend: http://bit.ly/2GM4bhA

  • Exhibition opening Lives Cut Short- Seeking Refuge During the Holocaust: The Short Life of Ruth Maier 

    Venue: United Nations Visitors Lobby
    (by invitation only)          
    Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.

    Through photographs and diary extracts, this exhibition tells the story of Ruth Maier. Born in Vienna in 1920, Ruth began keeping a diary when she turned 13. She recorded her everyday life, and the increasing persecution of Jews after the “Anschluss” of 1938. Ruth witnessed the violent antisemitism of the November Pogrom, 1938. Forced to flee Austria, Ruth found refuge in Norway. In Norway she completed her schooling and revealed her talents in drawing, painting and writing.  She shared her thoughts about life in occupied Norway, her love and poetry in her diaries but now she wrote in her new language, Norwegian. However, she could not escape antisemitism or the reach of the Nazis. In 1942 Ruth was arrested in front of her friends and deported from Nazi-occupied Norway to Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945). The Nazis murdered Ruth on 1 December 1942. Since 2014 Ruth Maier’s diaries have been part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, secured at The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies. The exhibition is jointly sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Austria and Norway to the United Nations. The exhibition will be on view until 26 February 2019.

    Photo: Ruth Maier‘s diaries from September 1937 to December 1937, and January 1942 to November 1942.​
    Credit: The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, Oslo

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

  • Film Screening Who Will Write Our History

    Venue: Conference Room 4
    Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Contact: HolocaustRemembrance@un.org

    In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 350,000 Jewish men, women and children in the Warsaw Ghetto, historian Emanuel Ringelblum began to develop a secret archive of the ordeal facing those imprisoned by the Nazis in the Ghetto and the new arrivals, who shared their stories of deportation and murder. The core group of archivists was comprised of journalists, scholars and community leaders and was known by the code name Oyneg Shabes. The group buried the archive, most of which was discovered after the Second World War. The archive remains a powerful example of resistance and a heroic attempt to safeguard Jewish heritage and culture. This film integrates the writings of the contributors to the archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and dramatizations to show the risk the group was willing to take to preserve their history. The event is organized with support from American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. Invited speakers include Ms. Nancy Spielberg, Executive Producer; Ms. Roberta Grossman, writer, film director and producer; Professor Samuel Kassow, historian and author of the book Who will write our history?; and Ms. Felice Gaer, Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, American Jewish Committee. Following the screening, Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, will moderate a discussion with Ms. Nancy Spielberg, Ms. Roberta Grossman, and Professor Samuel Kassow.

    Register to attend: https://bit.ly/2SscQXA

Thursday, 31 January 2019

  • United Nations Civil Society Briefing A Matter of Humanity: The Rescue of Jews in Albania during the Holocaust

    Venue: Conference Room 1
    Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Contact: undpingo@un.org

    Albania’s response to the plight of Jewish people during the Second World War remains a powerful example of compassion in the face of Nazi brutality during the Holocaust. The Department of Global Communications, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations, will organize a multi-media programme to build awareness and appreciation of the acts of rescue by Albanians of Jewish people during the Second World War. Invited speakers include Representative of the Foreign Ministry of Albania; Ambassador Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress; Professor Shaban Sinani, historian and author of the book Albanians and Jews: The Protection and Salvation; Dr. Anna Kohen, whose family was rescued in Albania during the Holocaust and Mr. David Estrin, Founder of the youth organization “Together We Remember”.

    Register to attend: https://bit.ly/2FVcOWH

    Photo: A Jewish mother and child in hiding in Albania sit on a wooden ledge together with their rescuer and her family, Circa 1941-1942.
    Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Johanna Neumann