Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan and EU Ambassador to Israel H.E. Mr. Dimiter Tzantchev
For more pictures click here
20 January 2022
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the European Union Delegation to the State of Israel and Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, on Thursday hosted Holocaust survivors, European ambassadors, Israeli officials and other guests for a special event discussing ways to commemorate the Shoah through cinema.
The event featured the screening of the award-winning Israeli documentary “Love It Was Not” by Maya Sarfaty, which tells the harrowing story of Helena Citron, a young Jewish woman from Slovakia, imprisoned in Auschwitz-Birkenau, who endured a complicated personal relationship with a German SS officer, under tormented, almost inconceivable, conditions.
After the screening, Sarfaty was joined by Miki Marin, Helena’s Citron niece, for an expert panel which related to the wider implications of the remarkable specific story told in the film and about ways to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive though cinema. Director of Yad Vashem's Visual Center, Liat Benhabib, moderated the panel.
EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev said: “Seventy-seven years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we are at turning point. As the last Holocaust survivors are leaving us, we need to find new ways of remembrance. Films such as ‘Love It Was Not' can play an important role in this endeavour.”
Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan spoke about the uniqueness of the Holocaust, saying it was singular event in history that must not be equated with any other genocide. He also lauded the European Union’s first-ever Comprehensive Strategy on Combatting Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life, which was launched in October. "The Holocaust continues to haunt us 77 years later," Dayan stated.
"We are still revealing previously unknown aspects of the unprecedented events of the Holocaust. Holocaust distortion continues to rear its ugly head across the continents. We salute the dedicated efforts of EU Coordinator Katharina von Schnurbein to combat this trend. Yad Vashem welcomes the EU's strategic initiative to further Holocaust remembrance, education and fight antisemitism."
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which takes place annually on January 27th, was chosen to be a day of commemoration for the victims of the Holocaust as it coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp on 27 January 1945.
The EU ambassador paid special tribute to the Holocaust survivors who were present in the auditorium and to those who followed the event on Zoom.
“We bow our heads to you, and to all other survivors who went through hell on earth and then had the strength to build a new life here in Israel. On behalf of my staff at the EU delegation in Tel Aviv and in the name of the entire European Union, I want to thank you for honouring this event with your presence, and wish you good health,” he said.
He concluded by reiterating Europe’s determination to fight against resurging antisemitism and listed some of the projects the Union has recently undertaken to strengthen Holocaust education and fight against Holocaust denial and distortion.
For more information on the Comprehensive Strategy on Combatting Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life, click here.
For more information on Yad Vashem’s activities for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, click here.