Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan meeting the President of Argentina Alberto Fernández
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21 July 2022
During his recent visit to Buenos Aires, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan met with President of Argentina Alberto Fernández and other high-ranking Argentine officials, and participated in the Latin American Forum to Combat Antisemitism.
On his first tour of his native Argentina since assuming the chairmanship of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in August 2021, Dani Dayan met with the President of Argentina Alberto Fernández at the Casa Rosada, the official seat of the Argentine presidency.
Dayan remarked following the meeting:
"In my discussion with the President, I expressed our deep appreciation for his support that has led to the signing of two important agreements, one with the Argentine Ministry of Education and the other with the Argentinian National Archives. We also talked about the rise of hate speech and antisemitism around the world. President Fernandez shared his great concern about this worrying phenomenon. I also took this opportunity to raise the issue of the terror attack on the headquarters of the AMIA (Argentine Jewish Mutual Association) in Buenos Aires 28 years ago, and the fact that despite the deaths of 85 victims, justice has not yet been served, with no one prosecuted to date. President Fernandez expressed great frustration at this issue."
Indeed, one of the most emotional elements of Dayan's trip was his participation in a commemorative event marking the attack.
Dayan kicked off his visit to the Argentine capital by participating in the Latin American Forum to Combat Antisemitism, together with international delegates, such as US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, Commissioner of the OAS (Organization of American States) to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Fernando Lottenberg, and former President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales.
Dayan's weeklong visit also included personal meetings with key leaders of Argentina, including Chief of Government of the City of Buenos Aires Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Jaime Perczyk, and Minister of the Interior Eduardo Enrique de Pedro.
During his meeting with Education Minister Perczyk, the two signed the first-ever agreement between Yad Vashem and the Argentinian Ministry of Education pledging to strengthen efforts to promote education and commemoration of the Holocaust in Argentina.
"Holocaust education is key to our fight against intolerance and the baseless hatred of antisemitism. Today, Argentina took an additional step in the right direction to bringing meaningful and historically accurate knowledge regarding this dark chapter of our not-so-distant past to the youth of today and generations to come."
Coincidentally, Yad Vashem is conducting an educational seminar in Buenos Aires for Argentinian teachers this week led by Elianna Rapp Badihi, Head of Educational Programming for Spanish and Portuguese Countries at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies.
For decades, Yad Vashem has dedicated itself to gathering relevant archival documentation from around the world and bringing it to the Mount of Remembrance as the bases for all of its commemorative and educational efforts. Today, Yad Vashem houses the world's most comprehensive collection of Holocaust-related documentation: over 222 million pages. Over time, Yad Vashem has made many of these documents accessible to an ever-growing global audience visiting its campus in Jerusalem as well as online.
Following the meeting with the Interior Minister, Dayan commented:
"It is our unwavering mission at Yad Vashem to gather all possible information relating to the Holocaust. The archival documentation we collect is the basis for our multidisciplinary activities, and enhances Yad Vashem's mission to connect the pieces of puzzle of the Holocaust in order to transmit its messages for all humanity."
Director of the Spanish-Speaking Countries Desk in Yad Vashem's International Relations Division Marcelo Goldin participated in the meeting with President Fernandez as well as the signing of both historic agreements, together with Israel's outgoing Ambassador to Argentina, H.E. Ms. Galit Ronen.
The trip concluded with a tour of the Museo del Holocausto, Buenos Aires' Holocaust museum and memorial. President of the Museum Marcelo Midlin hosted an event in Dayan's honor, attended by community leaders and Holocaust survivors.
Earlier this month, Yad Vashem, together with UNESCO launched a new online course in Spanish, entitled "The Holocaust: The Abyss of Humanity." The free online course is available on the leading online learning platform Coursera and is the first of its kind created especially for the Spanish-speaking public. The course aims at exposing new audiences to the Nazis' antisemitic ideology and the processes that led to the massive and systematic murder of six million Jews – men, women and children – during WWII. Also included in the course are Holocaust survivor testimonies and lectures by leading experts in the field of Holocaust research and education from Israel, Spain, Latin America and the United States, and, for the first time, some of the reactions to and repercussions of the Holocaust in Latin America. The course includes lesson plans for teaching the Holocaust in the classroom and is viewed as a vital tool for disseminating the messages that are so relevant in today's fractured global society.
Yad Vashem also has a comprehensive website in Spanish, with commemorative and educational materials to serve the Spanish-speaking world.