UN Offices to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day
Posted: Monday, 21 January, 2013, New York | Author: Department of Public Information
The Department of Public Information will mark the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust with a variety of events to be held around the world this week. Guided by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, 30 United Nations information centres are carrying out 70 activities, including candlelight ceremonies, lectures, film screenings and exhibits under the theme “Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care”. A number of events will also be held at New York Headquarters, which culminate with the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony on 25 January 2013.
Recognizing the powerful role that educators can play in teaching students to respect others who may have different religious or cultural beliefs than their own, the Holocaust Programme has assembled an educational package to help the information centres reach classrooms around the world. The package includes posters, a teacher’s guide, student handouts and an English-language film that has been produced in French, Spanish and Russian, with the assistance of UNIS Geneva, UNRIC Brussels, and UNICs Buenos Aires and Moscow. Students of all ages, from Lima to Brazzaville, and from Minsk to Manila, will learn about the courage and compassion that inspired rescuers of all nationalities and faiths to defy the Nazis – and risk their own lives - to save others.
Staff are invited to view this documentary film, “The Rescuers”, which chronicles the heroic efforts of a dozen diplomats who used their standing to save the lives of thousands of Jews and others during the Second World War. The film is told through the eyes of renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert and a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, Ms. Stephanie Nyombayire. It will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on 23 January in the ECOSOC Chamber. The following day, a briefing on “Rescue of the Danish Jews” will be organized by the Department’s NGO Relations Cluster.
Staff are also encouraged to view two informative exhibits in the United Nations Visitors Lobby through 18 February 2013. “The World Knew -- Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity” was curated by the Polish History Museum in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. A second exhibit, “Whoever Saves a Single Life … Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust”, was produced by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.
Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, will host the solemn two-hour Holocaust Memorial ceremony, which begins at 11:00 a.m. on 25 January in the General Assembly Hall. The event will include a video message from Secretary-General Ban; statements by the Ambassadors of Israel, Sweden and the Republic of Congo; stories on rescue; the memorial prayers and music to be performed by the Motyl Chamber Ensemble. No tickets are necessary for staff members with their United Nations passes while guests may register online by going to