Holocaust Centre of New Zealand’s founding director named as a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards

September 1, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Holocaust survivor, former refugee, business-woman and community volunteer, Inge Woolf has been named a finalist in the prestigious New Zealand Women of Influence of Awards in the Community Hero category.

Inge Woolf Photo: RNZ Sara Vui-Talitu

Inge Woolf’s selection acknowledges her inspiring work as the Founding Director of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.  It is also a nod to her other volunteer work, leading Arthritis New Zealand, Zonta and many other community organisations.

In 2004 a Jewish prayer house was burnt down and nearly 100 Jewish graves desecrated in Makara, Wellington.  This sparked Inge into action.

With a group of committed volunteers, refugees, Holocaust survivors and descendants among them, she was determined to combat racism and antisemitism, to teach tolerance and understanding. She says, “I knew I could use my experience as a Holocaust survivor for good.”

The Wellington Holocaust Research and Education Centre was  formed, which quickly became the national organisation, the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand. Inge Woolf was the Founding Director and also held the role of Chair during its early years*.

Inge Woolf says, “The Centre continues the work we started; with educational programmes, commemorative events, a Human Rights Speaker Series, an anti-bullying ‘Upstander’ campaign, assisting in the publication of the translation of the Anne Frank Diary into te reo Māori, and developed the travelling Children’s Holocaust Memorial, which, with the Anne Frank exhibition, has attracted thousands of visitors.”

“Today the lessons of the Holocaust are poignant to combat increasing intolerance and racism, to teach the value of human rights and the celebration of diversity.”

“I am proud to have been a pivotal part of a team which has made a difference in the lives of many young New Zealanders.”

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