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UNESCO commemorates 75th anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camp’s liberation

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PARIS—The UNESCO’s International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust will take place on 22 January and focus on the Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, whose liberation took place 75 years ago, on 27 January 1945, the UN agency for education and culture announced.

This year, the Organization will mark the anniversary at its Paris headquarters with a conference, a ceremony, and two exhibitions which will remain on display until 30 January.

The conference, titled ’Auschwitz-Birkenau 75 years after’’ will focus on three themes: Preserving heritage. Site management and collective memory.” It  will explore challenges relating to the protection and conservation of the site, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979, along with its artefacts and archives, their management and use for research and education, as well as the place Auschwitz occupies in the collective memory.

 Studying Auschwitz-Birkenau. Research perspectives and academic freedom will present recent findings and outline new avenues in studying the history of Auschwitz highlighting the importance of free academic research and debate.

“Reaching new generations. Dealing with the past and youth empowerment” will examine educational approaches to the history of Auschwitz, ways to sustain the interest of new generations and raise awareness of its relevance in addressing contemporary issues.

The commemoration ceremony will be opened by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay with the participation of Eric de Rothschild, President of the Mémorial de la Shoah (France), and Claudia Roth, Vice-President of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

It will include performances by the Moscow Male Jewish Capella choir, historic video footage, a survivor’s testimony by Marian Tuski of the Jewish Historical Institute Association, Chairman of the Council for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the chant of funerary prayers by Chief Rabbi Olivier Kaufmann (France).


Exhibitions, from 22 to 30 January:

Crimes Uncovered: The First Generation of Holocaust Researchers” Conceived by the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site (Berlin), the Touro-College (Berlin) and the Wiener Holocaust Library (London).

“Seeing Auschwitz”, Conceived by Musealia, with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum (Poland).

On 27 January, official date of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, the Director-General of UNESCO will join more than 200 Auschwitz and Holocaust survivors along with dozens of Heads of State and Government at the Auschwitz Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp’s liberation.


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