International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemorated by Fellows

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Jan 27, 2016
by Patrick Wilson
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International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemorated by Fellows

A look at the events and actions of Fellows to commemorate the lives lost in the Holocaust on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland (Photo by James Ackerley)

Today marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate victims of the Nazi-led genocide which resulted in the estimated deaths of 6 million Jews, 2 million Romani, 250,000 of both mentally and physically handicapped people and 9,000 homosexual men. 

The commemoration marks the day in 1945 that the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.

In partnership with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Salzburg Global Seminar has hosted several sessions dedicated to Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. Fellows of Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Bordersthe most recent session in the multi-year series, will join with many other people across the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In Ecuador, Sol Paz de Hecht, coordinator of the Manuel Antonio Muñoz Borrero Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Human Rights and Recent Genocides (MAMB), will mark the day through an event hosted together with the Jewish community of Ecuador, the Israeli Embassy, the Albert Einstein School in Quito, the Universidad de Las Américas and the United Nations System in Ecuador. The event will be livestreamed today starting at 16:30 CET at this link: www.udla.edu.ec/eventoslive 

Fumiko Ishioka, director of the Tokyo Holocaust Education Resource Centre, and her team have been working on several events over the past weeks. In Tokyo, an event was hosted with 70 university students around the UN-led theme "The Holocaust and Human Dignity." They were joined by Holocaust survivor Janos Cegledy from Budapest, Hungary who has lived in Tokyo for 30 years. He had originally been contacted by the Centre in 1998 but didn’t wish to speak about his experiences, however after 18 years he finally agreed to join and share his experiences with the students.

Cegledy joined with the students for a viewing of the international award-winning Hungarian film Son of Saul. The 2015 film portrays a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz who works as a Sonderkommando member, the prisoners in charge of burning the dead, and his attempts to find a Rabbi to give the body of a young boy a clandestine burial. You can view pictures and read more about the event at this link: npokokoro.wix.com/auschwitz71#!2015/c1mp6

Ishioka also travelled to the US for several events. The Centre's educational program Hana’s Suitcase had its stage production premiere in Seattle. The production, written by Emil Sher, documents the history and discovery by Ishioka of the historical relic. She will also be giving a talk at the University of Washington where she is to receive a Distinguished Service Award for her work on Holocaust education. In Seattle, Ishioka was joined by an Auschwitz survivor and Hana's brother, George Brady, for a live Google Hangout session. The whole stream of the conversation can be viewed here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoPR-IIdEIQ

Further to these events in the US and Japan, Ishioka is leading a study group tour to Europe, spending 11 days visiting Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz, Prague, Vienna, and Amsterdam. Ishioka hopes to share some of the experiences and knowledge acquired from past Salzburg Global sessions with the group when they arrive in Austria.

In South Africa, Salzburg Global Fellow Tali Nates, director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre, the Cape Town Holocaust Center and the Ditsong National Museum of Military History, will host a presentation by Professor Dina Porat on The Individual in Historic Turning Points: Abba Kovner and Lithuanian Jewry as a Test Case on January 27 in Johannesburg. Ahead of this event, the Johannesburg Centre also held a special education event this morning for 250 Grade 9 learners from underprivileged schools, also around the year's theme of "The Holocaust and Human Dignity."

In addition to her work in commemorating the Holocaust, Nates also contributed a chapter to “God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes in The Holocaust in History and Memory” last year.


You can view information and interviews from our past Session on Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/535 Further information on the multi-year series is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org