Lalitpur, January 27
In 2022, the theme guiding the United Nations Holocaust remembrance and education is “Memory, Dignity and Justice”.
Holocaust commemoration and education is a global imperative in the third decade of the 21st century. The writing of history and the act of remembering brings dignity and justice to those whom the perpetrators of the Holocaust intended to obliterate. Safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, challenging the distortion of history often expressed in contemporary antisemitism, are critical aspects of claiming justice after atrocity crimes. The theme encompasses these concerns.
Holocaust commemorative and educational activities will draw attention to the actions taken by Holocaust survivors in the immediate years following the devastation and brutality of the Holocaust, to reclaim their rights, their history, their cultural heritage and traditions, and their dignity. The role played by institutions and individuals in supporting survivors, the long-reaching impact of the Holocaust on survivors’ families, and the impact of the Holocaust on the shaping of human rights policy and interventions will be explored. The theme encourages action to challenge hatred, strengthen solidarity and champion compassion. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme is an expression of the unwavering commitment of the United Nations to promoting human rights, to countering antisemitism and racism, and to preventing future genocide.
20 January – 20 February 2022
Exhibition “After the End of the World: Displaced Persons and Displaced Persons Camps”
Europe emerged from the Second World War utterly broken, with millions of refugees scattered across many countries. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was created to resettle those displaced by the mayhem of the war and the Holocaust. The fragments from the past illuminate the work of UNRRA administrators, and chart how, in the aftermath of catastrophic loss, Holocaust survivors navigated their new lives in displaced persons camps. The exhibition is sourced with artefacts and documents from the United Nations Archives and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Archives, and draws upon the expertise of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at the Graduate Center—CUNY. The exhibition was created by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, together with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Archives, and the United Nations Archives, and with generous support of Stockton University.
Monday, 24 January 2022
“Holocaust Remembrance: Responsibilities for All Society”
For its annual United Nations event in conjunction with International Holocaust Remembrance Day – this month marking 17 years of observance by the world body – B’nai B’rith International presented a global virtual programme entitled, “Holocaust Remembrance: Responsibilities for All Society”. The event included keynote remarks by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and messages from U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas. Best practices were highlighted by an array of diverse, distinguished speakers including Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem; Irwin Cotler, Canadian Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism; Ellen German, United States Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues; Tracey Petersen, Manager of The United Nations and the Holocaust Outreach Programme; Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life; Fernando Lottenberg, the Organization of American States Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antsemitism; Kathrin Meyer, Executive Secretary, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA); Daniel Lörcher, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Borussia Dortmund; Tibi Galiş, Executive Director, Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide; and Omar Al Busaidy, USA CEO, Sharaka. Daniel S. Mariaschin, the CEO of B’nai B’rith International, delivered opening remarks and B’nai B’rith President Seth Riklin gave closing remarks. The event was moderated by David Michaels, B’nai B’rith Director of UN and Intercommunal Affairs, and Alina Bricman, Director of European Union Affairs. The event was organized by B’nai B’rith International.
Park East Synagogue hosted a virtual Holocaust Commemoration Service marking the 77th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Rabbi Arthur Schneier delivered remarks. The event included the participation of the diplomatic corps, Holocaust Survivors’ families, Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School students and music by Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky and the Park East Synagogue Choir, led by Conductor Maestro Russell Ger.
United Nations Chamber Music Society Virtual Concert
The United Nations Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council will perform a virtual concert in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The classical music programme will feature Jewish composers, to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again. It will also feature special performances from musicians from Maestro Daniel Barenboim’s West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. In addition, the concert will feature artwork by Roy Nachum. Founded in 2016, the United Nations Chamber Music Society carries out the United Nations’ mission of peace, understanding and cooperation, through the universal language of music.
Virtual seminar “Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance”
A virtual seminar “Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance” is presented by Hedy S. Wald, PhD, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Sabine Hildebrandt, MD, Harvard Medical School. Both Drs. Wald and Hildebrandt are Commissioners of the Lancet Commission on Medicine and the Holocaust, and Dr. Hildebrandt serves as co-chair. The Lancet Commission on Medicine and the Holocaust, has urged the development of “educational approaches using this history to promote ethical conduct, compassionate identity formation, and moral development.” This seminar will catalyze critical thinking on the relevance of the Holocaust for contemporary medicine and help health care trainees and professionals reflect on their core values in the service of humanistic and ethically responsible patient care.
United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
Ms. Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications will host the ceremony. Invited speakers include United Nations Secretary-General; the President of the 76th session of the General Assembly; the Permanent Representatives of Israel and the United States; Dr. Petra Gelbart, granddaughter of Romani Holocaust survivors Helena “Margita” Nová and Antonín “Ruda” Hránek, and Mr. Elisha Wiesel, son of Holocaust survivors Marion and Elie Wiesel. Professor John K. Roth will deliver the keynote address. The ceremony will include testimonies from Holocaust survivors from Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States. Mr. Pinchas Zukerman and Mr. Shai Wosner will perform a musical piece. Cantor Daniel Mendelson, Congregation Kol Ami, New York will recite memorial prayers.
Lest We Forget: Combating Holocaust Denial and Distortion
The United Nations General Assembly will soon adopt a historic resolution calling for action to combat Holocaust denial and distortion as antisemitism continues to surge globally. What further measures can the UN, governments, and social media companies take to combat Holocaust denial and distortion? How can they promote more effective Holocaust education and ensure that victims are never forgotten? On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, join Irwin Cotler, an acclaimed scholar, human rights advocate, and Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, in conversation with Felice Gaer, Director of AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, to answer these questions and more. This briefing is organized by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
Thursday, 3 February 2022
Civil Society Briefing “The Future of Memory: Holocaust Remembrance, History and New Media”
The virtual briefing will examine how memories of the Holocaust are kept and discussed through new media, and the implications for Holocaust history. Panellists will consider the role of new media as an increasingly important tool for educating the public, especially youth, about the Holocaust, as well as combating Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, and other identity-based hatreds.