|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
United Nations, University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute
to Debut Online Resource as Part of Holocaust Victims’ Commemoration
IWitness to Showcase Video Testimonies of Eyewitnesses at Headquarters, 23 January
More than 350 New York metropolitan area high school students will gather at United Nations Headquarters on 23 January 2012 to discuss their experiences with IWitness, the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute’s new online educational resource that gives teachers and students access to the video testimonies of more than 1,000 Holocaust eyewitnesses from the Institute’s archive of nearly 52,000 testimonies.
Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information in partnership with the University’s Shoah Foundation Institute, the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Conference Room 2 of the North Lawn Temporary Conference Building. The students will relate the lessons learned from interacting with the videos and have the opportunity to personally interview Holocaust survivor Roman Kent, whose testimony they have studied as part of IWitness.
“As students learn more about the Holocaust and the significance of this history today, they will soon discover its connection to their own lives and communities,” said Kiyo Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
The event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations, and held in observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. “Children and the Holocaust” is the theme of the week of events to be held at the United Nations.
“Through IWitness, survivors will continue to teach students about the Holocaust, inspire them to oppose intolerance and empower them to develop the literacies needed for the twenty-first century,” said Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director of the Shoah Foundation Institute. “We are grateful to the nearly 52,000 witnesses who have entrusted their memories to the Institute as a guiding light for all humanity.”
Established by Steven Spielberg in 1994 to collect and preserve testimonies of survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust, the Shoah Foundation Institute maintains one of the world’s largest video digital libraries — nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages from 56 countries.
Part of the University of Southern California’s Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works within the University and with partners worldwide to advance scholarship and research, provide resources for educators and disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes. In addition to preserving the testimonies in its archive, the Institute works with partner organizations to expand the archive with accounts of survivors and witnesses to other genocides. For more information, visit dornsife.usc.edu/vhi.
With resolution 60/7, the General Assembly established the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme in 2006 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust so as to help prevent future genocides. Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, a film series and the worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration, held every 27 January. The programme works closely with survivors to help ensure that their stories are heard and heeded as a warning of the consequences of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination.
For more information about the Programme, please visit www.un.org/holocaustremembrance. For media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/media/accreditation, call tel.: +1 212 963 6937 or write to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contacts: Kimberly Mann, Manager, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, tel.: +1 212 963 6835, e-mail: email@example.com; and Anne Marie Stein, Communications, USC Shoah Foundation Institute, tel.: +1 510 893 3271 ext.109, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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