The 2012 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust will focus on the theme „Children and the Holocaust”. One-and-a-half million Jewish children perished in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. Some children managed to survive in hiding, others fled to safe havens before it was too late, while many others suffered medical experiments or were sent to the gas chambers immediately upon arriving at the death camps.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning (22 January 2012) reviewed a special exhibition of posters for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Art by Isabel Hahn
The exhibition – „The Holocaust – Keeping the Memory Alive” – is part of an international project to encourage design students from around the world to express their views on the issue of remembering the Holocaust. The exhibition, which will open at the UN building in New York on Thursday, 26 January 2012 (the posters will be on display at the UN, at all 73 UN Information Centers around the world, and in many other locations), is an initiative of the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies and the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, and is based on the well-known and successful model – Israel’s official poster design competition for Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day.
Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, Yad Vashem Directorate Chairman Avner Shalev and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky attended the meeting, which began with a discussion of the issue.
At the beginning of the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that, „Seventy years ago, the Jewish people were helpless. It had no ability – neither political, nor military nor diplomatic – to organize its defense, and one-third of our people were annihilated. The difference between 1942 and 2012 is not the absence of enemies, that same desire to destroy the Jewish people and the state that has arisen, this desire exists and has not changed. The difference is our ability to defend ourselves and to do so with determination. The Jewish people and the government of Israel have the obligation and the right to prevent another annihilation of the Jewish people or attack on its state.”
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Yad Vashem – Events Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January 2012, Yad Vashem is opening new exhibitions and traveling exhibitions and holding events around the world:
At Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
• January 23, 2012: A new exhibition, „Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity” will open at Yad Vashem’s Exhibitions Pavilion at 12:30 in the presence of the diplomatic corps and Holocaust survivors. The exhibition presents some 200 portraits of Jews drawn by Jewish artists during the Holocaust. The depictions were undertaken in ghettos, concentration camps, and during slave labor.
• January 23, 2012: An international symposium in the presence of diplomats, historians and the general public will take place in the Yad Vashem Auditorium. The Symposium, „70 years since the Wannsee Conference: The Organization of the Mass Murder of the Jews and Its Significance” will take place in Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation. Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, HE Mr Henri Etoundi Essomba, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem, and Prof. Omer Bartov, of Brown University, will be among the speakers.
• January 27, 2012: „I Honor Wall” – Online virtual event on Yad Vashem’s Facebook page, invites people to honor the Righteous Among the Nations. When you agree to attend the online event, your name and Facebook profile picture will be automatically connected to the name and story of a Righteous Among the Nations.
At the United Nations, New York
• January 26, 2012: „A Monument of Good Deeds: Dreams and Hopes of Children During the Holocaust” – new Yad Vashem traveling exhibition to open at the United Nations in New York. The exhibition chronicles stories of children during the Holocaust. After being displayed at the UN the exhibition will travel to children’s museums throughout the United States.
• January 26, 2012: „Keeping Memory Alive” – an international poster design project, carried out under the auspices of the Task Force on International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) led by Yad Vashem, in partnership with Le Memorial de la Shoah (France) and the European Shoah Legacy Institute (Czech Republic). The posters will be on display at the United Nations and at all 73 UN Information Centers around the world, as well as many other locations across the globe.
Yad Vashem Traveling Exhibitions
• January 25, 2012: The photographic exhibition „BESA: A Code of Honor: Albanian Muslims Who Rescued Jews in the Holocaust” (photographer Norman Gershman) will open in Lichtenstein.
• January 27, 2012: „No Childs Play” exhibition will open in the municipality of Madrid, Spain. The exhibition features toys, games, artwork and poetry that allow the visitor to glimpse into the lives of children who experienced the Holocaust.
• January 30, 2012: „With me here are 6 million accusers” exhibition to open in Linz, Austria. The exhibition marks 50 years since the Eichmann Trial.