22 January 2015
On January 27, 2015, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev will deliver the keynote address at the United Nations event marking the tenth anniversary of the UN-sanctioned International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, as well as the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The event at the UN General Assembly, centered on the theme â€œLiberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors,â€ will include remarks from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Israel's President Reuven Rivlin; H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly; H. E. Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations; Holocaust survivor Yona Laks; and Red Army Liberator Boris Feldman. Grammy-award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari and the Jewish Chapel Choir of the United States Military Academy at West Point will perform. Cantor Shimmy Miller, from the Ahavath Torah Congregation in Englewood, N.J., will recite the memorial prayers.
A live broadcast of the event, it will be available on the Yad Vashem website (www.yadvashem.org).
In addition, a new Yad Vashem Traveling Exhibition, "Shoah â€“ How Was It Humanly Possible?", will be opened at the UN Visitors' Lobby the day before (January 26). Created with the generous support of Cindy and Gerald Barad, the exhibition uses texts, images and video clips to recount a comprehensive history of the Holocaust from 1933-1945. Topics include Jewish life in Europe between the two world wars, Nazi ideology, Jewish and non-Jewish responses (victims, bystanders and perpetrators), the Final Solution, and liberation and the return to life of the survivors. The event is being held in cooperation with the American Society for Yad Vashem and the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations. The exhibition will remain on display at the United Nations through February 2015.
In Jerusalem on January 27, a new display entitled "The Anguish of Liberation as Reflected in Art, 1945-1947" will open in the Yad Vashem Museum of Holocaust Art, as part of a special evening marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem. The evening will be held in conjunction with UNSCO, in the presence of members of the Diplomatic Corps as well as Thomas Geve, one of the survivor-artists. The display features some 30 pieces from the Yad Vashem Art Collection, produced at the time of liberation or in its immediate aftermath by 17 artists: 15 survivors, one liberator and one witness. These artworks depict the moment of liberation, as well as the devastation and loss the survivors found upon their return. Consequently, some works give voice to feelings of suffering and turmoil, while others relate to the artistsâ€™ newly found sense of freedom. The diplomats will tour the new display and participate in a commemoration event at the Yad Vashem Synagogue, during which a live broadcast of Chairman Shalev's keynote address will be screened from the UN. The diplomats will also be addressed by Director of Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research, Dr. Iael Nidam Orvieto, and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry. Representatives from various countries will be in attendance, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, the US, and Uruguay.
Around the world, Yad Vashem researchers, historians and educators will participate in various events and ceremonies marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, and Yad Vashem Chief Historian, Professor Dina Porat, will attend events in Prague and Terezin. Other Yad Vashem staff will travel to countries throughout Africa and Europe.
A special online event, the IRemember Wall on Yad Vashem's Facebook page, will provide people across the globe with a unique opportunity to engage in online commemorative activity. Each participant will be "linked" to a name of one of the over 4.3 million men, women and children currently found in the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, thus creating an opportunity for personal commemoration.
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