The Holocaust and Human Dignity

Holocaust Remembrance Day logoThe theme for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2016, including the Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, is “The Holocaust and Human Dignity”. The theme links Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Holocaust, which resulted in the destruction of nearly two thirds of European Jewry, remains one of the most painful reminders of the international community’s failure to protect them.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

Venue: General Assembly Hall
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
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The event will be hosted by Ms. Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. Speakers include United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; H. E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the seventieth session of the General Assembly; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and H.E. Mr. Felix Klein, Special Representative for relations with Jewish Organizations, issues relating to Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance (Germany). In addition, Mr. Szabolcs Takács, the Chair of the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance will make a statement. Ms. Barbara Winton will open a video tribute to her father, Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued 669 children from the Holocaust on the Czech Kindertransport. Mrs. Beate Klarsfeld (Germany) will be keynote speaker. Personal testimony will be delivered by Jewish survivor Mr. Haim Roet and by Mr. Zoni Weisz, a Sinto survivor. The Holocaust memorial prayers will be recited by cantor Gideon Zelermyer. He will perform with Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir from Montreal (Canada). The event will conclude with a performance by the United States Military Academy at West Point Jewish Chapel Choir.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

United Nations Department of Public Information NGO Briefing
“The Future of Holocaust Education”

Venue: Conference Room 4
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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This briefing brings together experts from academic institutions and international organizations, researchers, educators and authors who will examine current trends in Holocaust research and education. Key questions to be addressed include how to expand teacher training and Holocaust education around the world; how to adapt to a changing environment with the rise of multicultural classroom settings and fewer and fewer eye witnesses to testify to the Holocaust and what role international organizations have to play in the field.

The panellists will include Szabolcs Takács, Chair of IHRA, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor and Holocaust History, Founding Director of Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University; Professor Zehavit Gross, Chairholder, UNESCO/Burg Chair in Education for Human Values, Tolerance and Peace, Bar-llan University; Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies and Jane Jacobs, Director of the International Relations Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. The discussion will be moderated by Kimberly Mann, the Chief of the Education Outreach Section in the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information.

Film Screening and Discussion “Woman in Gold”

Venue: Trusteeship Council
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
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The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, in partnership with the World Jewish Congress and the Weinstein Company, will organize the film screening and discussion that will shed light on the loss of personal property and humiliation that Jewish families endured in Nazi-occupied Europe, and how difficult it has been for them to attain justice. Directed by Simon Curtis, “Woman in Gold” is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during the Second World War, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle that takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the United States Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.

The following exhibits are on view through 9 February 2016.

“Life after Survival” is an exhibit on child Holocaust survivors cared for by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration at Kloster Indersdorf, in the American Zone in Germany. Sponsored by Concentration Camp Memorial Site Flossenbürg, Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations, and Heimatverein Indersdorf and Lagergemeinschaft Dachau.

The exhibition “Holocaust by Bullets” presents the results of hundreds of days of fieldwork that enabled Yahad-In Unum to collect evidence of massacres during the Second World War in order to give back to these murdered Jewish victims their memory and their dignity. It also underscores the “Holocaust by Bullets” as a precursor and model for mass crimes today. The exhibit is organized by Yahad-In Unum and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations.

For a complete list of events during 2016 Holocaust Remembrance Week, please visit The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme website or email

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