22 January 2017
Yad Vashem launches new online exhibition, "Last Letters From the Holocaust"
Today, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev participated in a special Israeli Government Cabinet Meeting in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers dedicated to discussing Holocaust commemoration and the status of global antisemitism. Shalev addressed the cabinet on Yad Vashem's ongoing activities in the field of Holocaust education and research both in Israel and throughout the world. In addition, he highlighted the work and accomplishments of Yad Vashem in the various international and local forums and committees for Holocaust remembrance and commemoration.
Shalev's appearance commences the myriad of events and commemorative activities in Israel, throughout the world and online including social media, in which Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center is marking International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day). This year marks the 11th anniversary since the United Nations designated 27 January as the International Day of Commemortion in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust, following the United Nations decision in November 2005.
Yad Vashem created a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources the public can view, share and engage, including online exhibitions, educational resources and the unique Facebook campaign, the "IRemember Wall." In addition, Yad Vashem has curated and uploaded "Last Letters From the Holocaust: 1941," a touching online exhibition featuring missives, some viewable by the public for the first time, written by children and adults in the midst of the Shoah and sent to their loved ones. They were composed in 1941 by Jews 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 site dedicates a complete section of informative resources about the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which took place 27 January 1945, and is the reason this specific date was chosen to commemorate the Holocaust and its victims.
On 26 January 2017, Yad Vashem will host an event for members of the international diplomats corps. Ambassadors and representatives from over 40 countries including the United Kingdom, European Union, France, Poland, Germany, Russia, Canada, Spain, Ukraine, Netherlands and Lithuania will attend this event. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev will address the audience following a keynote speech by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In addition, the diplomats will tour the exhibition, "Stars Without a Heaven," which tells the story of the Holocaust from the point of view of children, and hear a presentation by Yad Vashem Archives Director and Fred Hillman Chair for Holocaust Documentation Dr. Haim Gertner. The event will take place in the Yad Vashem Synagogue and begin at 16:30. Yad Vashem will be issuing a separate release regarding media arrangements for this event.
On 27 January 2017, there will be a memorial ceremony 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.
Members of Yad Vashem's senior leadership, historians and educational staff will participate in various events and ceremonies around the world marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will attend a remembrance event sponsored by the European Union in Belgium. Yad Vashem Director General Dorit Novak will participate in UNESCO's Annual Day of Commemoration in Paris. Yad Vashem Chief Historian Prof. Dina Porat and Academic Advisor Prof. Yehuda Bauer will lecture at various memorial services in London, Brussels, Paris and Vienna. Additionally, Yad Vashem Archives Director Dr. Haim Gertner will represent Yad Vashem at a special meeting sponsored by EHRI, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, in Brussels.
Yad Vashem new Ready2Print exhibitions will be displayed in community centers and schools around the world, including locations in various Latin American countries, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) TV affiliate and their international broadcast partners will air a special presentation using portions of Yad Vashem's official ceremony of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day from this past May 2016. The name of the program, A Nation Remembers, will air on 27 Januaury 2017 at 21:00 US Central Time and will also be broadcasted online at www.nrbtv.org.