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Note No. 6500
25 April 2017

New York Students to Learn About Holocaust through Personal Story of Refugee, Musical Prodigy Lisa Jura’s Childhood Escape from Nazi Germany

The Department of Public Information, in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Facing History and Ourselves, and the New York City Department of Education, will hold a multimedia presentation titled The Children of Willesden Lane from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 26 April, in the Economic and Social Council Chamber Chamber at New York Headquarters.

Mona Golabek will share her mother Lisa Jura’s experience as a Jewish child refugee and musical prodigy who escaped the Nazis on the Kindertransport to the United Kingdom just before the Second World War.  The event will also mark Yom HaShoah, which is Holocaust Memorial Day on the Hebrew calendar.

Through visuals, music and voice, Ms. Golabek will recount Lisa’s journey as one of 9,000 to 10,000 children from Nazi Germany and German-occupied territory rescued by the British Government on the Kinderstransport.  After the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 — a campaign of violence organized by the Nazi Government against Jewish people in Germany and its annexed territories — the British Government responded to the public outcry and allowed for an unspecified number of children to enter Great Britain as unaccompanied refugees on temporary travel visas.  The Kindertransport was considered a temporary measure and the children were expected to return to their families once the “crisis” was over.  Most of them were Jewish and would never again see their parents or families, who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust.

Music was a refuge for Lisa, a connection back to the family and life she had left behind in Vienna.  Her music remains a bridge between the past and the present.  More than 400 middle and high school students and their teachers will attend the presentation at the United Nations.  The event will also feature welcoming remarks by Kimberly Mann, Chief of Education Outreach, on behalf of the Department of Public Information, and Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria.

The event at the United Nations will be the culmination of a year-long project entailing teacher workshops that have prepared educators to use the book The Children of Willesden Lane, written by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, as a learning tool.  The Hold on to Your Music Foundation distributed 13,000 copies to New York City schools leading up to the event.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme of the Education Outreach Section was established in 2006 to further Holocaust education and remembrance in order to help prevent genocide.

The event is open to journalists.  For accreditation, please visit the United Nations Media Liaison and Accreditation Unit website at www.un.org/en/media/accreditation/accreditation.shtml.

For information about the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, please contact Tracey Petersen at e-mail:  petersen3@un.org.

For information media. Not an official record.