22 January 2004
On January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau, many countries throughout Europe will hold official Holocaust commemoration days. Yad Vashem is providing a variety of remembrance and education resources for events in these countries.
Through Yad Vashem’s website (www1.yadvashem.org/education/ceremonies/auschwitz), the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem is providing Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies, lesson plans, online exhibitions, a photograph library, and lists of victims’ names for memorial readings. Among these is the International School’s new one-hour lesson plan, Remembering the Holocaust and Combating Xenophobia on January 27th, which is available in English, German, French, Italian, and Swedish. These tools and content are designed to help educators, community leaders, and other interested parties commemorate the Holocaust in an edifying, meaningful, and respectful way.
Austria’s Ministry of Education and Culture has publicized the lesson plan on its website (www.bmbwk.gv.at). The European Standing Conference of History Teachers' Associations (EUROCLIO - www.eurocliohistory.org) is using the Remembering the Holocaust lesson plan. Its latest bulletin, no. 18, features an article by the International School’s Asper International Holocaust Studies Program Director, Richelle Budd Caplan, titled, Holocaust Consciousness in Europe and Teaching the Shoah Outside of Europe. Yad Vashem has also notified hundreds of educators and others affiliated with the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO), the Council of Europe, and the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF) of its availability.
On January 26, Director of Russian Programs at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Dr. Irit Abramsky-Bligh, will lecture on The Meaning of the Holocaust in the 21st Century, Current Methodologies of Teaching the Holocaust, as well as Today’s Antisemitism in Milan, Italy. The lecture is being organized by the SIGLI della Shoah (Children of the Shoah) organization of children of Holocaust survivors. On January 28 in Rome, Dr. Abramsky-Bligh will deliver a paper titled, The Uniqueness of the Fate of Libyan Jewry During the Second World War, which is based on her book, Encyclopedia of Communities: Libya and Tunisia. This will take place at an international conference titled Il Campo di Concentramento nella Storia del Nove Chento.
The International School for Holocaust Studies has also prepared a booklet of articles on today’s antisemitism. International School staff is distributing these booklets, which are available in English and Hebrew, to participants in its programs.
Yad Vashem recently announced the publication of the first book in a new series on post-Holocaust issues. Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism, by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, is a joint publication of Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and the World Jewish Congress. It features interviews with 15 leading scholars, including Yad Vashem’s Academic Advisor, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Prof. David Bankier, and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, Deborah E. Lipstadt. Journalists are invited to contact Yad Vashem (see below) for review copies and to arrange interviews.
Yad Vashem has updated the section of its website devoted to antisemitism (www1.yadvashem.org/about_holocaust/holocaust_antisemitism/media_holocaust.html). Titled “The Middle East Conflict, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust”, this resource provides background and perspective that are critical to understanding the dangerous resurgence of antisemitism and its mix with anti-Zionism.
Yad Vashem is also releasing articles on Holocaust remembrance, antisemitism, and related issues in the media in countries that mark January 27.
About January 27
Among the countries marking January 27 as Holocaust Remembrance Day are Germany, England, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Greece, Russia, Estonia, Romania, and the Czech Republic. The Council of Europe also sponsors a project for schools in each of its 48 member states to choose the day on which they wish to memorialize the Holocaust.