2010 Holocaust Remembrance Week

Calendar of Events Secretary-General's Message | Statements | Media Coverage | UNICs





Calendar of Events

Mon, 25 Jan Tue, 26 Jan Wed, 27 Jan | Thu, 28 Jan


"The Legacy of Survival"


The 2010 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust focused on a central theme "The Legacy of Survival", which emphasizes the universal lessons that the survivors will pass on to succeeding generations. With fewer survivors alive to tell their stories, it is of primary importance to share this legacy with people everywhere to encourage respect for diversity and human rights for generations to come.A series of events has taken place the week of 25 January 2010 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at United Nations Information Centres around the world. The week-long observance at United Nations Headquarters in New York included the following events:  


Monday, 25 January 2010

Exhibition “Generations: Survival and the Legacy of Hope”

This exhibition shows that Holocaust survivors have a clear message to leave to the benefit of future generations, as well as to others who may have experienced similar persecution. Their legacy is deeply personal and painful, but has a compelling universal lesson for humanity - that one can survive and thrive with the promise of future generations to follow, carrying the traditions, beliefs and wisdom. The exhibition was developed by the UK Holocaust Centre, Conscience Display and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Exhibition “Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints”

The aim of the exhibition is to emphasize that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration and extermination camp which became known worldwide as the insignia of human evil, was engineered for the destruction of European Jewry. The Auschwitz camp complex was the largest and most important extermination complex built by Nazi Germany. During the period of its operation between June 1940 and January 1945, the Germans murdered more than a million people on site, most of whom were Jews. The exhibition was curated and produced by Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority and sponsored by the American & International Societies for Yad Vashem.       


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony and Concert

With the theme “Holocaust remembrance: the Legacy of Survival”, the solemn ceremony and concert marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and underscored the universal lessons that survivors will pass on to future generations. The event, sponsored by the Government of Germany, was opened by United Nations Under-Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka, included a message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (the video of the Secretary-General message is also available on Youtube) and a message from the President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, delivered by H.E. Byrganym Aitimova, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, Acting President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly. The event also included remarks by H.E. Peter Wittig, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations and H.E. Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Minister of Information and Diaspora, Israel. Keynote remarks were made by Ms. Nechama Tec, Holocaust survivor, who was joined by her son, Mr. Roland Tec, co-producer of the film “Defiance”.


Panel Discussion: “Interreligious Responses to the Holocaust: 65 Years after  Liberation”

B’nai B’rith International, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, will organize a discussion on the Shoah and its lessons, between senior Christian faith leaders (H.E. Archbishop Demetrios, Primate, Greek Orthodox Church in America and Chairman, Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas; Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; Most Rev. Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, Rector/President, St. Joseph’s Seminary and Member, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Consultation with the National Council of Synagogues) and Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President, B’nai B’rith International


Thursday, 28 January 2010

UN DPI NGO Briefing: “The Legacy of the Jews in Morocco”

This briefing, which is part of the weekly DPI/NGO briefings, focused on the legacy of the Jewish community in Northern Africa, where there was a concentration of Sephardic Jews.  Mr. André Azoulay, Chief Adviser to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, will deliver a statement. 


Film Screening “Defiance”

The Department of Pubic Information organized a screening of the film "Defiance" co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations, to conclude the series of events held for the International Day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. "Defiance" is a feature film about Jewish partisans battling the Nazis in Belarus, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber. It is based on a true story that was detailed in the book with the same name written by Holocaust scholar and survivor Nechama Tec. Director Edward Zwick is well-known for his epic films such as Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. This screening has been made possible by Paramount Pictures.



Secretary-General's Message 

on The International Day of Commemoration 

in memory of the victims of The Holocaust







Opening Remarks UN Under-Secretary-General Kiyo Akasaka

Statement by President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, delivered by H.E. Byrganym Aitimova, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, Acting Vice President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly.

Statement by H.E. Mr. Peter Wittig, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations

Statement by H.E. Mr. Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Minister of Information and Diaspora, Israel

Remarks by Mr. Andrzej Mirga, Senior Adviser on Roma Sinti Issues, ODIHR/OSCE 

Remarks by Professor Nechama Tec, Holocaust Survivor and Scholar, Keynote Speaker

Remarks by Mr. Roland Tec, co-producer of the film “Defiance”

Remarks by H.E. Alejandro Wolff, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Screening of the film "Defiance" cosponsored by the United States Mission to the United Nations, 28 January 2010

Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust




Media Coverage


UN Survivors Play Vital Role in Keeping Lessons of Holocaust Alive for Future Generations, Secretary-General Says at Exhibition Commemorating Victims

Holocaust Survivors ‘Living Testament That Tyranny, Though it May Rise, Will Surely Not Prevail’, Says Secretary-General in International Day Message

United Nations to Honour Legacy of Holocaust Survivors at New York Headquarters Memorial Ceremony, 27 January

‘Generations’ Video Exhibition Opens at United Nations Headquarters

Yad Vashem to Open Exhibit on Auschwitz Blueprints

In music and in words, UN gives voice to the legacy of Holocaust survivors

Stories of Holocaust survival must be shared and preserved – UN officials

Moroccan Jews the focus of UN event marking legacy of Holocaust survivors

Día Internacional en Memoria de las víctimas Holocausto (Spanish Radio)

Rádio ONU: É crucial preservar o legado dos sobreviventes do Holocausto (Portuguese Radio)

Rádio ONU: Preservar as histórias dos sobreviventes do Holocausto é fundamental, diz Ban (Portuguese Radio)

Stamford Plus: Professor to Keynote U.N. Holocaust Remembrance

Examiner.com: Liberation of Auschwitz - United Nations holocaust remembrance events

The Jerusalem Post: UN Holocaust commemoration stresses fewer survivors

NÜRNBERGER ZEITUNG: Ein kleines Lied mit großer Wirkung

Europa Newswire: UN Honors Holocaust Legacy with Week of Awareness Events


2010 Holocaust Remembrance Activities Around The World


Africa | Asia and Pacific | Americas | Europe


The global network of United Nations information centres (UNICs), United Nations Information Service (UNIS) and United Nations Offices (UNO) observed the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in 2009 in partnership with civil society groups and Government representatives.




Brazzaville, Republic of Congo 

UNIC Brazzaville held a remembrance ceremony and a three-day exhibition, which ran from 27-29 January 2010. The Minister of Education opened the ceremony, which featured a screening of the film “Footprints”. The UN Resident Coordinator delivered the Secretary-General’s message for the day. Heads of UN Agencies, a representative from the South Africa Embassy and the media attended the event.

Bujumbura, Burundi 

UNIC Bujumbura broadcasted a story about the Holocaust to mark the day. The story stressed the importance of sharing survivor stories encourage respect for diversity and human rights. UNIC also arranged for the publication of the Secretary-General’s message in "Le Renouveau du Burundi”, a major daily newspaper and a broadcast by three local radio stations.


Dakar, Senegal

UNIC Dakar organized a month-long photo and poster exhibition to raise awareness about the Holocaust. 

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

UNIC Dar es Salaam organised an educational programme at the UNIC library for local primary and secondary schools. The programme included poem recitals and film screenings about Holocaust survivors. Over 80 students attended the event.

Lagos, Nigeria

UNIC Lagos organised a film screening for 64 students and teachers from local secondary schools in Lagos. In opening remarks, the UNIC Officer-in-Charge delivered the Secretary-General’s message and spoke about the history of the Holocaust. Two films about the Holocaust were screened: The Holocaust and the United Nations, and Hana’s Suitcase. The screenings were followed by an interactive discussion.

Lome, Togo

UNIC Lome organized a screening of the film La Shoah, an exhibition of Auschwitz and a discussion session at local schools. The NIO moderated the discussion series which took place at two secondary schools: CEG Tokoin Solidarité and Lycee de Nyékonakpoén which were followed by a screening of the film La Shoah. The lecture was followed by the film La Shoah. The Secretary-General’s message was disseminated to journalists in the country.

Lusaka, Zambia

UNIC Lusaka, in partnership with the Youth United Nations Association of Zambia (YUNA) and the University of Zambia YUNA chapter, organised a remembrance ceremony for students around the country. Russian Ambassador Boris Malakov delivered the keynote address which followed by remarks by family members of Holocaust survivors. The ceremony featured a video screening of Hanna's Suitcase, followed by an interactive discussion period.


Nairobi, Kenya

UNIC Nairobi, in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy, organized an event on 27 January 2010 to honour the Victims of the Holocaust. Guest speakers included Mr. Ezra Pakter, a Holocaust survivor; Israeli Ambassador Jacob Keida; German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette; and Dr. David Silverstein, who represented the Jewish community. UNON Executive Director General Achim Steiner delivered the Secretary-General’s message for the day. Over 500 people attended the ceremony, including members of the diplomatic corps, and students from the Kenya Model United Nations (KMUN), Riara Primary School, Nairobi Primary School, Laiser Hill Secondary school, and Strathmore University. Each of the 500 guests lit a candle in memory of the victims.

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

UNIC Ouagadougou, in partnership with the University of Ouagadougou, organized an exhibit of posters, photos, films and brochures, which took place on 27 January. The exhibit, held at the University of Ouagadougou, received 5,282 visitors. Among the guests were government officials, researchers, students, members of international and regional organizations, NGOs and journalists.


Pretoria, South Africa

UNIC Pretoria commemorated the International Day with a screening of the film The Short Life of Anne Frank and an exhibition. The UNIC Director delivered opening remarks and the message of the Secretary-General prepared for the day. Information packages were disseminated to the students and teachers who attended the event.

Windhoek, Namibia 

UNIC Windhoek organized a country’s first observance of the International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in partnership with the South African Holocaust Foundation and the National Archives of Namibia. Held at the State Archives the observance included two exhibitions, a screening of the film The Holocaust: Lessons of Humanity  and workshops for students from local schools. 

Yaoundé, Cameroon

UNIC Yaounde disseminated the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day to the media, schools, universities and Government officials. 


Asia and Pacific 

Ankara, Turkey

UNIC Ankara translated the Secretary-General's message for the International Day of Commemoration into Turkish and distributed it to the Turkish media.

Asmara, Eritrea 

UNO Eritrea, in cooperation with Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare, distributed the Secretary-General’s message for the International Day.

Colombo, Sri Lanka 

The National Information Officer of UNIC Colombo was interviewed in a live half-hour TV programme about the International Day of Commemoration and its significance. The Centre issued a backgrounder and translated the Secretary-General’s message into the local languages of Sinhala and Tamil. 

Kathmandu, Nepal 

UNIC Kathmandu organized an inter-college roundtable discussion under the theme “Social Harmony in Nepal”. Thirty students from the “Young Debaters of Nepal” participated in the event. Following the debate, the students participated in a screening of the DVD Footprints. In addition, a screening of the film Defiance was organised for UN staff, the media and the general public.


Tokyo, Japan

UNIC Tokyo translated the Secretary-General’s message into Japanese and featured the observance on its “E-news”.


Yangon, Myanmar 

UNIC Yangon together with the Israeli and German Embassies organised the country’s first observance which was held at the Strand Hotel in Yangon. The event featured a panel discussion around the theme "Holocaust Remembrance: the Legacy of Survival".






Asuncion, Paraguya

UNIC Asuncion: The Paraguayan Congress, in partnership with the Israeli Consulate and the Office of the United Nations Resident Programme, hosted an event to mark the International Day of Commemoration. Guest speakers included the President of the Congress, two senators, the Ambassador of Israel, the Minister of Education, the UN Resident Coordinator and Holocaust survivors and the UN Resident Coordinator who delivered the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day. Representatives of the diplomatic corps, religious groups, and non-governmental organizations attended the event.

Bogotá, Colombia

UNIC Bogota, in partnership with the Israeli Embassy, the Ministry of Education, the Aviatur Foundation and the Jewish community organised a special event titled “Cartas para Ana Frank – Letters to Anne Frank”. Students from across the country were invited to write a letter to Anne Frank about human rights. Distinguished guests included Vice President Francisco Santos, Former President  Cecilia María Vélez , Minister of Education Cecilia María Vélez, Belisario Betancourt, Ambassador Meron Reuben of Israel and UN Resident Coordinator Bruno Moro. Students and Holocaust survivors attended the event.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

UNIC Buenos Aires, in collaboration with the Buenos Aires Shoah Museum (Museo del Holocaust Buenos Aires), carried out a joint information campaign to mark the International Day of Commemoration. Online and print educational materials produced by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was disseminated to NGOs and educational institutions. A web page with links educational resources  was also created to mark the day with links to the Secretary-Generals message for the day.


La Paz, Bolivia

UNIC La Paz disseminated the Secretary-General’s message the day of Commemoration to journalists in the country.

Mexico City, Mexico

UNIC Mexico City disseminated the Secretary-General’s message for the International Day to participants at various events including events organised by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and the Mexico City Human Rights Commission. 


Panama City, Panama

UNIC Panama City, in close collaboration with Jewish Panamanian Congress, Amigos de Yad Vashem Panamá and the Regional Union of Jewish Congregation, organised a screening of the film A Bisele Mazel to mark the international day. The Israeli Ambassador delivered remarks. The National Information Officer also spoke and delivered the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day. The screening was followed by a question and answer session.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 

UNIC Port of Spain disseminated the Secretary-General’s message for the day to the media and UNIC partners.




Baku, Azerbaijan

UNO Azerbaijan organized a screening of the film “One Survivor Remembers” and conducted an interactive discussion at Zarifa Aliyeva School to promote a broader understanding of the Holocaust among the Azeri youth. The event was covered by Trend.az; Olaylar.az; AzTV; Azeraijan-news.az; Azertag.az; Assa-Irada News Bulletin and Azerbaijan Newspaper.  

Bucharest, Romania

UNIC Bucharest in partnership with the Elie Wiesel Institute organised the exhibition titled “How was it possible?” Vasile Timis, the Secretary of State from the Ministry of Culture, opened the exhibition and commended UNIC for commemorating for the third consecutive International Day of Commemoration. Almost 200 people attended the event. UNIC Bucharest also organised a screening of the film As Seen Through These Eyes (directed by Hilary Helstein), which was promoted on Facebook.

Brussels, Belgium

UNRIC Brussels organised a film screening as part of the 21st edition of CINE-ONU to raise awareness of the International Day of Commemoration. The film As Seen Through These Eyes was screened, followed by an interactive discussion moderated by film director Hilary Helstein. Over 200 people from NGOs, the European Union, academic institutions and the general public attended the event. The Secretary-General's message for the International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust, was translated in Nordic languages, disseminated and posted on the UNRIC Nordic-language websites.


Kyiv, Ukraine

UNO Ukraine supported the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies in organising the annual roundtable meeting “Ukrainian Society and Holocaust Commemoration: Educational Perspective”. A Communication Officer from UNO spoke at the event and delivered the Secretary-General’s message prepared for the day.


Tbilisi, Georgia

UNO Georgia organized a screening of a Holocaust-related documentary which took place at a local public school. The Secretary-General’s message was also translated into the local language and disseminated.


Vienna, Austria

UNIS Vienna organized an event which featured a screening of the film As Seen Through These Eyes, followed by a discussion period. The Secretary-General’s message was translated into German, Hungarian, Slovak and Slovene.