24 January 2023
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is actively marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust through a range of events both in-person and online.
Chosen by the United Nations in 2005 to serve as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp in 1945.
This week, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan will inaugurate two new Yad Vashem exhibitions: "Sixteen Objects from Yad Vashem," the first exhibition of its kind in which all the items included are connected to one specific country, will be opened by Dayan on Tuesday, 24 January 2023, in the Bundestag in Berlin in the presence of Bundestag President H.E. Ms. Bärbel Bas; and on Thursday, 26 January 2023, Dayan will be in New York to unveil the new Book of Names of Holocaust Victims installation in the United Nations Headquarters, together with UN Secretary General António Guterres.
Also, on 26 January 2023, President of the State of Israel H.E. Mr. Isaac Herzog will attend an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the European Parliament in Brussels. At this event, President Herzog will open Yad Vashem's exhibition "Shoah: How was it Humanly Possible?" and will unveil a replica of the artwork "The Refugee" from the Yad Vashem Art Collection. Created by German Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum while in hiding in 1939, The Refugee reflects Nussbaum’s fear and desperation on the eve of World War II. On 20 July 1944, Felix and his wife Fajga were arrested in their hideout and sent to the Mechelen transit camp. Eleven days later, they were deported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Years later, a cousin filled out Pages of Testimony in memory of Felix and Fajga Nussbaum. On the basis of this artwork, a permanent installation will be erected in the European Parliament to commemorate the Holocaust, with the painting displayed on a large glass wall.
In Jerusalem, on the Mount of Remembrance, Yad Vashem will host its annual symposium for the international diplomatic corps in Israel. The event will take place also on 26 January, and will feature lectures relating to this year's central theme for Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day (observed on 17-18 April 2023), Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust: Marking 80 Years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Newly appointed Minister of Education Yoav Kish will deliver a keynote address at the symposium. The head of the diplomatic corps in Israel, Zambian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Martin Mwanambala, will also speak, and Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan will address all in attendance via a video greeting.
The symposium program starting at 16:00 includes a lecture by Director of the E-learning Department in the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem Dr. Na'ama Shik on the topic of "The Multifaceted Nature of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust," followed by Holocaust educator and lecturer Orit Margaliot who will speak on “'My Words are Tears, That Want to Rest in Your Hand' - Cultural
and Spiritual Resistance in the Holocaust." There will also be a musical performance by the Ankor Children's Choir of the song " Under Your White Stars," written in the Vilna ghetto in 1943 by the poet Avraham Sutzkever. The event will be held in English. Journalists wishing to attend the event must register in advance with the Communications Division at Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem has created a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources the public can view, share and engage in, including online exhibitions, educational resources and the unique IRemember Wall.
As Yad Vashem’s flagship annual commemorative project, the IRemember Wall allows individuals to be randomly linked to one of the 4,800,000 Jews murdered in the Holocaust currently registered in Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. The participant's name then appears on the IRemember Wall together with the name of the victim of the Holocaust. The user can also choose a specific name of a family member or anyone else from the Names Database with whom they wish to be matched – and then share their stories via their own social media.
In addition, Yad Vashem has launched a new online exhibition for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, entitled "Personal Milestones during the Holocaust." While fighting for their very existence, Jews during the Holocaust also strove to maintain their identity and culture. Marking personal milestones, including weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs, and even the preparation and sending of birthday cards when conditions permitted, helped assuage their emotional turmoil and gave them a sense of routine and stability. The customs that had accompanied the Jewish people for centuries were a source of comfort during the Shoah. They provided perpetually anxious, persecuted men, women and children with a feeling of continuity and optimism, and maintained a precious link in the sacred generational chain between the custodians of venerable traditions.
Aside from the exhbition openings attended by Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, Yad Vashem experts will participate in various events and ceremonies around the globe marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Some 100 of Yad Vashem's ready2print exhibitions will be displayed in community centers and institutions around the world.