As the United Nations marks the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on Wednesday, 27 January, a memorial ceremony will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall at New York Headquarters.
The theme for this year’s observance, “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”, links Holocaust remembrance with the founding of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person, as highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, will host the memorial ceremony, and speakers will include: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General; Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly; Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States; and Felix Klein, Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organizations of the Federal Government of Germany. In addition, Szabolcs Takács, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, will make a statement. Barbara Winton will open a video tribute to her father, Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from the Holocaust on the Czech Kindertransport.
Beate Klarsfeld, co-founder of the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, will deliver the keynote speech. Having spent many years documenting the Holocaust to enable the prosecution of war criminals, she has dedicated her life to the cause. Ms. Klarsfeld and her husband, Serge, are largely credited with facilitating the arrest of Nazi Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon”.
Those attending the event will hear personal testimony delivered by: Martha Wise, a survivor of the Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945); Haim Roet, another survivor; and Zoni Weisz, a Sinto survivor of the Holocaust.
Holocaust memorial prayers will be recited by cantor Gideon Zelermyer, accompanied by the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir of Montreal, Canada. Antal Kopar and Bela Horvath will perform traditional songs on guitar and violin. The event will conclude with a performance by the United States Military Academy Jewish Chapel Choir from West Point.
Other events to be held at United Nations Headquarters during the week include a briefing for non-governmental organizations on “The Future of Holocaust Education”, which will include remarks by Mr. Takács; the opening of the exhibition “Holocaust by Bullets”, organized by the Permanent Mission of France and curated by Yahad-In Unum; the opening of the exhibition “Life after Survival”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Germany and curated by the Concentration Camp Memorial Site Flossenbürg with researcher Anna Andlauer, in cooperation with the non-governmental organizations Heimatverein Indersdorf and Lagergemeinschaft Dachau; and the screening of Woman in Gold, in partnership with the Weinstein Company and the World Jewish Congress. With guidance and support from the Holocaust Programme, the global network of United Nations information centres will organize 115 Holocaust memorial and educational events in 34 countries for the observance.
Guests may register to attend events at http://www.un.org/holocaustremembrance. Photo identification is required to pass through United Nations security screening at the First Avenue entrance at 46th Street.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2006 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust and thereby help prevent future acts of genocide. Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January.
Media contact: Kimberly Mann, Chief, Education Outreach Section, United Nations Department of Public Information; +1 212 963 6835, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Aaron J. Buckley, Public Information Officer, +1 212 963 4632, e-mail: email@example.com.
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