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Newsletter No. 31,  December  2013

What's New | Spotlight on the Web | Recent Events | New Publications | News Highlights | With Your Support

What's New

Yad Vashem Commemorative Coin Released

Yad Vashem Commemorative Coin

A special commemorative coin issued by the Bank of Israel to mark the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of Yad Vashem, was presented on Hanukkah to Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, at a ceremony held at Yad Vashem in the presence of the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Dr. Karnit Flug. Designed by artist Yossi Lemel, the coin depicts a striped shirt with yellow Star of David, that Jews were forced to wear. A Star of David rising in the background symbolizes the continuity and rebirth of the Jewish people in the modern State of Israel. Around the border is the inscription "Yad Vashem – 60 Years".

First-ever Joint Seminar in Turkey on Holocaust Education

Turkish Holocaust Education Seminar

In October, Yad Vashem held its first-ever Holocaust education seminar in Turkey. Some 20 academics who teach in universities in Turkey gathered at Galatasaray University in Istanbul, where they participated in the program organized by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem and the Aladdin Project with the cooperation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The seminar is the first phase of a five-part educational initiative for Turkish academics. During the year, the program participants will take part in an online study course and will visit Jerusalem for a weeklong seminar at Yad Vashem's International School.  The program will culminate with a video-conference bringing together the entire group of educators to assess the outcome of the long-term project. 

Save the Date:

The 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education:

July 7-10, 2014, entitled "Through our Own Lens: Reflecting on the Holocaust from Generation to Generation."  For details contact:

Spotlight on the Web

New Online Exhibition ג€“ The Story of the Jewish Community of Bratislava

The Story of the Bratislava Jewish Community

On the eve of the Holocaust the Jewish community in Bratislava, over 15,000 individuals, was the largest in Slovakia; it was a Jewish religious and political center, and home to the renowned Pressburg Yeshiva as well as the Histadrut of Slovakia. In March 1939, with the creation of an independent Slovak State, the Jews of Bratislava were subjected to discriminatory practices and persecution. By the March 1, 1942, nearly half of the city’s Jews had been evicted, and dispersed in smaller towns across the country. During 1942 many of the Jews of Bratislava were deported to the death camps in Poland. The city was also  home to the Bratislava Working Group, which was devoted to rescuing Jews during the Shoah. The group’s efforts, unfortunately came to naught and most Slovakian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. This is the story of the Jewish community of Bratislava.

Recent Events

German Ministers Sign Declaration of Intent

German KMK Declaration Signing

A delegation of Ministers representing the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) attended a day-long seminar at the International School in October. As part of the visit, a Declaration of Intent was signed by the Israel Education Minister Rabbi Shay Piron, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and President of the KMK Stephan Dorgerloh. The Declaration aims to increase cooperation between Yad Vashem and German pedagogical institutions, universities, Holocaust memorial sites, museums and organizations in Germany in an effort to promote professional development programming for German educators and foster the teaching of the Holocaust in the German educational curriculum. This is the first time that a Declaration regarding Holocaust education has been signed that includes all 16 Germany states.

First Arab Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem

Righteous Among the Nations Dr. Mohamed Helmy

Yad Vashem recently recognized Dr. Mohamed Helmy and Frieda Szturmann as Righteous Among the Nations. Dr. Helmy, an Egyptian physician living in Berlin and Szturmann, a local German woman, worked together in the heart of Nazi Germany to help save a Jewish family during the height of the Holocaust. Dr. Helmy is the first Egyptian to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem is currently searching for the rescuers’ next of kin to posthumously honor their relatives in a ceremony and present them with the certificate and medal of the Righteous.  Until the next of kin is identified, Dr. Helmy’s certificate and medal will be on view in the I am My Brother’s Keeper: 50 Years of Honoring Righteous Among the Nations now on display at the Exhibitions Pavilion at Yad Vashem. A complementary exhibition is available online.



New Publications

Conscripted Slaves

Hungarian Jewish Forced Laborers on the Eastern Front during the Second World War
Conscripted Slaves

by Dr. Robert Rozett
$58 $44 (airmail included)

From the spring of 1942 until the summer of 1944, some 45,000 Jewish men were forced to accompany Hungarian troops to the battle zone of the Former Soviet Union. The Hungarian authorities considered these men unworthy of bearing weapons, yet they demanded they take part fully in the “blood sacrifice” that was the war against Stalin and his forces. Some 80% of the Jewish forced laborers never returned home. They fell prey to battle, starvation, disease, and grinding labor, aggravated immensely by brutality and even outright murder at the hands of the Hungarian soldiers responsible for them. This study tells the story of these modern-day slaves – a story that is integral to understanding the destruction of Hungarian Jewry in the Holocaust. 

News Highlights

With Your Support

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