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

Note No. 6241
20 January 2010

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

20 January 2010
Press Release
Note No. 6241
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

United Nations to Honour Legacy of Holocaust Survivors at New York

Headquarters Memorial Ceremony, 27 January


Under the auspices of the Department of Public Information, the United Nations will observe the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on 27 January 2010, with a ceremony and concert from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall at Headquarters in New York.

The performance by the Nürnberg Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Bayreuth Zamir Choir and the Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir under the direction of Maestro Issak Tavior, will be held in partnership with the Government of Germany.

This year’s observance will focus on a central theme, “Holocaust Remembrance:  the Legacy of Survival”, which emphasizes the universal lessons that the survivors are passing 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.

“Holocaust survivors will not be with us forever -- but the legacy of their survival must live on.  We must preserve their stories through memorials, through education, most of all through robust efforts to prevent genocide and other grave crimes," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The keynote speaker at the United Nations memorial ceremony this year will be Nechama Tec, Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, in Stamford.  A Holocaust scholar and survivor, her publications have focused on the intricate relationships between self-preservation, compassion, altruism, rescue, resistance, cooperation and gender.  She is the author of Defiance:  The Bielski Partisans, which became a feature film produced by Paramount Pictures.  Ms. Tec will be joined by her son, Roland Tec, co-producer of Defiance.

Also featuring in the memorial ceremony will be Andrzej Mirga, Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  He will discuss the experience of the Roma and Sinti, who were also targeted for extermination under the Nazi regime.

Other events taking place during the week at United Nations Headquarters include two exhibitions, the first titled Generations:  Survival and the Legacy of Hope” (see Note No. 6240 of 20 January).  It was developed by the United Kingdom Holocaust Centre and the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education.

To mark the sixty-fifth anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration and death camp, Secretary-General Ban will open a second exhibition titledArchitecture of Murder:  The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints.  Curated by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, it will be held in cooperation with the American & International Societies for Yad Vashem.

The Department of Public Information’s weekly non-governmental organization briefing will highlight the legacy of Jews in Morocco, and the film Defiance will be screened to close the week’s activities.

Among the events taking place around the world will be a screening of the Hilary Helstein-directed film As Seen Through Their Eyes by the Regional United Nations Information Centre in Brussels, the United Nations Information Service in Vienna, the United Nations Office in Minsk as well as the United Nations information centres in Bucharest, Yangon and Windhoek.

UNIC Windhoek, in partnership with the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, will also organize briefings for 24 schools and screen the Holocaust Programme’s film Footprints:  Discovering the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts, which was developed in partnership with the Institute of Education at the University of London and the United Kingdom Holocaust Centre.

All guests must pre-register to take part in the events at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  Photo identification will be required and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please see www.un.org/holocaustremembrance for a complete description and details on registration for these events.

The multifaceted Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme of the Outreach Division, Department of Public Information, was established under General Assembly resolution 60/7 to encourage Holocaust education and remembrance in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.

For more information, please contact holocaustremembrance@un.org, or visit www.un.org/holocaustremembrance.  Kimberly Mann, Manager, can be reached by e-mail at mann@un.org.

For media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/media/accreditation or contact Isabelle Broyer, Acting Chief, Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: +1 212 963 6937; e-mail: broyer@un.org

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.