International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 26, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Despite the temporary closure of the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem as a result of the ongoing global health crisis, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, is actively marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust through a range of online events and activities.

The “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Auschwitz with the bitter irony of the German words: “Work Will Set You Free.” Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

January 27, chosen by the United Nations in 2005 to serve as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. “Seventy-six years later, the history and stories from the Holocaust are more relevant than ever,” remarks Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. “Today, as the world continues to battle expressions of hatred, antisemitism and xenophobia, the significance and meanings of the Holocaust are particularly relevant.”

Shalev will participate in Yad Vashem’s annual symposium for the International Diplomatic Corps serving in Israel, this year to be held online due to the current lockdown in Israel. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Ambassador Gil Haskel, Chief of State Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs will address the participants.  Yad Vashem Senior Historian Dr David Silberklang will also present a lecture, entitled “The Path from Mass Shootings to the Final Solution,” relating to the central theme of the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day to be observed in Israel on April 8, 2021

Yad Vashem has created a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources the public can view, share and engage in, including online exhibitions, educational resources and the unique IRemember Wall .

Yad Vashem will be hosting for the first time ever an online virtual guided tour of the permanent exhibition “Shoah”located in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The virtual tour will take visitors through the Jewish Pavilion known as Block 27 in Auschwitz I, exploring the central themes of the Holocaust, offering insights into the rich Jewish life that existed prior to 1939 and the world of children during the Shoah, and showcasing the monumental Book of Names.

In addition to the virtual tour, Yad Vashem has curated and uploaded “My Lost Childhood,” a new online exhibition featuring seven children’s homes established after the end of WWII. Through the voices of survivor testimony, as well as artifacts, photographs and documents from Yad Vashem’s unrivalled collections, this moving exhibition brings to life the terrifying ordeals of the children brought to the homes, and how they were gently assisted – often by survivors themselves – to re-enter normative society.

In Australia, a national coalition of Holocaust organisations will join forces to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January 2021 at 7pm, AEST.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre Melbourne, Sydney Jewish Museum, Adelaide Holocaust Museum, Queensland Holocaust Museum, Holocaust Institute of WA and Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants have joined forces to deliver a nationwide virtual event to commemorate this global day of remembrance.

Prime Minister the Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer  Josh Frydenberg MP; Senator Penny Wong, Justice Michael Kirby, Holocaust Survivor Olga Horak,  John Gandel, ambassador for Holocaust education and Gideon Reisner CEO, of Stand UP will deliver inspiring messages which focus on remembrance of the Holocaust with a view to the current human rights landscape and hope for the future.

In New Zealand,  Governor-General Patsy Reddy and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff will address an event at the Auckland War Memorial Museum attended by the president of Federation of Islamic Associations and former presidents. Further commemorations will be held in Wellington, Napier and Christchurch



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