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Yad Vashem Marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018 in Israel, Abroad and Online

21 January 2018

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Israel's President Reuven Rivlin will address the Annual Symposium for the Diplomatic Corps in Israel on Thursday at Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem has launched several special online events for International Holocaust Remembrance Day – the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names in French; a new online exhibition, "Last Letters From the Holocaust 1943"; and the annual IRemember Wall, which provides people all over the world with an opportunity to engage through Facebook in a unique commemorative activity

Today, Sunday, 21 January 2018, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev participated in a special Israeli Government Cabinet Meeting dedicated to Holocaust commemoration in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers. Shalev presented the ministers with an overview of the current status of Holocaust commemoration in Israel and around the world. Shalev made special mention of the fact that despite the many decades that have passed since the end of the Second World War, and the inevitable dwindling of the survivor generation, there remains a continued high-level of interest from the public in the subject. "We are presented with a great responsibility, to continue to ensure meaningful and relevant memory," Shalev remarked. "Yad Vashem is committed to this end."

Shalev's appearance commences the myriad events and commemorative activities in Israel, throughout the world and online including social media, through which Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is marking the UN-sanctioned International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day).

Jerusalem, Israel

On Wednesday, 24 January 2018, Yad Vashem will inaugurate a new exhibition entitled Flashes of Memory – Photography during the Holocaust. Alongside archival documentation of the period’s events, visual documentation – photographs and films – has contributed significantly towards knowledge of the Holocaust, influenced the manner in which it has been analyzed and understood, and affected the way it has been engraved in the collective memory. This exhibition presents a critical examination of documentation through the camera lens, focusing on the circumstances of the photograph and the worldview of the photographer. Press is invited to preview the exhibition together with the Curator and Director of the Museums Division Vivian Uria in the presence of Holocaust surivors who are connected to the exhibition, at 09:00 on the same day.

In addition, on Thursday 25 January 2018, Yad Vashem will host its annual event for members of the international diplomatic corps in Israel. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev will address ambassadors and representatives from dozens of countries following a keynote speech by Israel's President H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin. In addition, the diplomats will tour the exhibition, "Flashes of Memory – Photography during the Holocaust," opening in Yad Vashem's Temporary Exhibitions Pavilion the day before. Director of the Educational Technology Department at Yad Vashem's Internatonal School for Holocaust Studies Dr. Naama Shik, will address the ambassadors on the topic "From Old to New: Antisemitism – Contemporary Challenges," based on the content of the new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) created by Yad Vashem's International School entitled "Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present." Yad Vashem will be issuing a separate release regarding media arrangements for this event. 

On 26 January 2018, a memorial ceremony will take place at Yad Vashem commemorating the Italian Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust. The event will take place in coordination with the Italian Embassy and in the presence of the Italian Ambassador to Israel.

Yad Vashem Online

Yad Vashem has uploaded a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources for the public to view, share and engage in, including online exhibitions, educational resources and the "IRemember Wall." This annual social media campaign is a unique and meaningful opportunity for the public to participate in an commemorative activity to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. By joining the IRemember Wall, the participant's Facebook profile is randomly linked to the name of a Holocaust victim from Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. Thousands of individuals have already participated in this commemorative event in years past.

In addition, Yad Vashem has curated and uploaded "I Left Everyone at Home,"
a touching online exhibition of last letters written by Jewish men, women and children in Nazi-occupied Europe. These letters, some viewable by the public for the first time, were composed in 1943 in the ghettos, camps, while fleeing, in hiding and while wandering from place to place. They reveal the inner world and terrible fate of individual Jews in the Holocaust; for many recipients, they were also the last greetings and messages from their loved ones.

Additionally, the mini-site includes a section of informative resources about the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which took place on 27 January 1945. 


Yad Vashem historians, researchers and educators will participate in various events and ceremonies around the world marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

  • Yad Vashem Chief Historian Prof. Dina Porat will deliver remarks at the Eurpoean Parliament's annual events in Brussels and Paris, marking the publishing of a biography of Jewish underground leader and partisan commander Abba Kovner in French. (21-24 January 2018)
  • Yad Vashem Academic Advisor Prof. Yehuda Bauer will be present at an event hosted by the Swedish Parliament marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (27 January 2018)
  • The OSCE Antisemitism Conference in Rome, Italy will be attended by Chairman of Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Prof. Dina Porat and Director of the Yad Vashem Libraries Dr. Robert Rozett. (29 January 2018)
  • Eliad Moreh Rosenberg, Curator and Director of Yad Vashem's Art Department, will be speaking at a joint event with the Government of Liechtenstein and the Society of Friends of Yad Vashem in Liechtenstein in the Municipal Museum Building in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. (30 January 2018)

Together with the United Nations, Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies will be exhibiting the Poster Display "Keeping the Memory Alive – Our Shared Responsibility." Twelve original posters commemorating the Holocaust have been created by young designers from across the world. The display will open at the UN Headquarters on 22 January 2018 as part of events organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. The posters will be displayed in some 40 United Nations Information Centers around the world, including India, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Tanzania, Azerbaijan and Peru.

In addition, some 45 Yad Vashem ready2print exhibitions will be displayed around the world in locations such as England, Ireland, the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Serbia, Slovenia, Latvia, Russia, Croatia, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Italy, Guatemala, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. The ready2print format allows for organizations and government institutions to purchase and print locally a range of exhibitions on various Holocaust-related subjects.

Yad Vashem has curated a special ready2print exhibition for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighting the activities of diplomats who were honored as Righteous Among the Nations. The exhibition, entitled "Beyond Duty," will be displayed in 70 Israeli missions worldwide in over 20 languages.