A special event marking the 60th anniversary of Yad Vashem and 50 years of honoring the Righteous Among the Nations will take place on March 4, 2014, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. German Federal President Joachim Gauck will address the gathering, which will be attended by Holocaust survivors, government ministers, members of the Bundestag and dignitaries from Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem, Hildegard Mueller, Chairwoman of the German Friends of Yad Vashem and Barbara Prammer, President of the National Council of Austria will also be attending the event. An audio-visual presentation will be part of the tribute evening, including musical pieces composed during the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem was established by a law of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in 1953 to commemorate the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Through its museums, archives, International School for Holocaust Studies, International Institute for Holocaust Research, and recognition of the Righteous among the Nations, Yad Vashem has become the world center of Holocaust documentation, research, education and commemoration, with some 1 million people visiting the campus annually, and some 13 million visits to its website recorded last year. Its state-of-the-art museums, world-class research and education centers and unrivaled archives and libraries provide an unparalleled environment of intergenerational learning and reflection.
The government of Germany and German funds and institutions have supported a number of Yad Vashem’s projects, particularly in the field of gathering documentation on the Holocaust and the ongoing endeavors to make this material accessible to the general public through preservation, digitization, internet accessibility, research, education projects and virtual exhibitions. This past year, Yad Vashem launched a comprehensive German language website, with the support of the Friede Springer Foundation.
Over the years, Yad Vashem has received the Israel Prize for special contribution to the society and State of Israel in 2003, the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 2007, and numerous other awards and recognitions for its work on behalf of Holocaust commemoration, research, documentation and education.