United Nations to Hold Briefing at Headquarters on Rescue of Jews in Albania during Holocaust, 31 January

Note No. 6521
30 January 2019

United Nations to Hold Briefing at Headquarters on Rescue of Jews in Albania during Holocaust, 31 January

The United Nations Department of Global Communications will hold a multimedia briefing for civil society at the United Nations on Albania’s response to the plight of Jewish people during the Holocaust.  The briefing will take place on Thursday, 31 January, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Conference Room 1.  It is organized in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Albania to the United Nations and the World Jewish Congress in observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

Hiding Jewish people saved them from deportation, and an almost‑certain death during the Second World War.  Rescuers in Albania made the brave choice to help in full knowledge of the grave consequences they, their families and community would face should they have been found helping Jewish people.  The local Albanian population continued to give sanctuary to their fellow Jewish citizens and Jewish refugees after the occupation of Albania by the Nazis in 1943.

Recognizing Albania’s response as an example of moral courage is an important aspect of Holocaust education and commemoration.  The Albanian response embodies the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that “every human being has the inalienable right to be treated with dignity and afforded the right to a life that is peaceful and just”.

Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, will moderate the multimedia briefing.  Speakers will include Besiana Kadare, Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations; Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress; Majlinda Myrto, Executive Director of the Eye Contact Foundation, and whose family members were recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” for their role in rescuing Jews in Albania; and David Estrin, Founder of the youth organization “Together We Remember”.  Anna Kohen, a Holocaust survivor, will recount her family’s experience in Albania during the Second World War.  Robert Singer, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, will introduce the #WeRemember social media campaign.  Clips from the film The Albanian Code directed by Yael Katzir will also be screened.

This briefing is one of eight events being organized this week at United Nations Headquarters in New York to mark the annual Holocaust remembrance observance and one in a series of briefings organized weekly by the United Nations Department of Global Communications Civil Society Unit.  It will be webcast live at http://webtv.un.org.

Managed by the Education Outreach Section, the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 to further education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to 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 contacts:  Catherine Smith, at tel.:  +1 212 963 3748, email:  smith2@un.org; or Hawa Diallo, at tel.:  +1 917 367 9380, email:  diallo9@un.org.

For media accreditation, please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit at www.un.org/en/media/accreditation.

For information media. Not an official record.