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World Jewish Congress to commemorate Yom Hashoah via Monday online gathering open to public

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The World Jewish Congress has produced a selection of videos and films to help people across the globe observe Yom Hashoah. The compilation is part of AboutHolocaust.org, a site WJC created in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to provide young people with basic facts about the Holocaust.

 

With the postponement of international events to mark 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi death and concentration camps and the cancelation of Holocaust commemorations, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) will host on Monday, April 20, at 11 a.m. EDT (17:00 CEST), an online Yom Hashoah commemorative ceremony, to which the public is invited.

The brief ceremony, which is expected to last approximately 20 minutes, will include:

Opening remarks by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder followed by reflections by WJC Commissioner for Holocaust Memory Dr. Charlotte Knobloch and WJC Executive Committee Member Amb. Colette Avital, both Holocaust survivors, and an intervention by The Rt. Hon Lord Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues.

The World Jewish Congress has produced a selection of videos and films to help people across the globe observe Yom Hashoah. The compilation is part of AboutHolocaust.org, a site WJC created in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to provide young people with basic facts about the Holocaust.

“Yom Hashoah is the day set aside on the Jewish calendar to remember and mourn the six million Jewish lives that were destroyed in the Holocaust, to honor the bravery and resilience of those who survived, and to ensure that the terrors of the past do not become the future,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. “In this time of isolation, it is especially imperative that we come together to share the stories of Holocaust survivors and to further disseminate Holocaust education to ensure that never again really means never again.”

The WJC’s resources are available to Jewish communities, congregations, schools, youth groups, community centers, and the general public.

The WJC’s Yom Hashoah materials include:

“A Survivor’s Last Testimony” – Rachmil (Ralph) Hakman survived more than two years as an inmate at Birkenau. On January 26, 2020, in what would ultimately be his final testimony, he poignantly and eloquently described his experiences to representatives from Jewish communities from across the globe who were gathered in Krakow, Poland. His address, tied to the importance of Holocaust memory, was part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Rachmil Hakman passed away on March 21.

Auschwitz at 75: For Those Who Came After” – On January 24, 2020, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Martha Teichner talked with WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau at the site of the former camps in advance of the commemorative events marking the 75th anniversary of liberation. Her powerful report covering the importance of bearing witness to the Holocaust, including a rare visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum’s Conservation Laboratories, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning on February 16, 2020.

Address delivered by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder at the Birkenau Death Gate on January 27, 2020, at the official commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“Bergen-Belsen: The End and The Beginning” – The WJC had planned to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany by bringing back to their birthplace more than 50 of the more than 2,000 children who were born in the adjacent Displaced Persons Camp of Bergen-Belsen. The WJC produced an uplifting video about Bergen-Belsen before and after its liberation, focused on the identity of the children born in the DP camp’s hospital.

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm” – A sensitive, age-appropriate HBO film about 10-year-old Elliott discovering his family’s history in intimate conversations with his 90-year-old great-grandfather. Directed by Emmy winner Amy Schatz, this short film interweaves haunting historical footage and hand-painted animation to convey one family’s Holocaust experiences.

“Indelible” – A WJC-produced video featuring photographs of the daughters of Auschwitz survivors taken by Israeli photographer Debbie Morag, who was herself born in the Bergen-Belsen DP camp.

Short videos produced by the WJC on special stories of the people and places of Holocaust history

The World Jewish Congress had planned to mark the 75 th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany by bringing over 50 of the more than 2,000 children who were born in the adjacent Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons camp back to their birthplace.

With the postponement of this initiative, the WJC produced an original video about Bergen-Belsen before and after its liberation. “Bergen-Belsen: The End and The Beginning” tells the story of the unique identity of the children born in the DP camp’s Glyn Hughes Hospital.

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