“Memory, Dignity and Justice”
This year’s theme highlights the global imperative of Holocaust commemoration and education in the third decade of the 21st century. The writing of history and the act of remembering brings dignity and justice to those whom the perpetrators of the Holocaust intended to obliterate. Safeguarding the historical record, remembering the victims, challenging the distortion of history often expressed in contemporary antisemitism, are critical aspects of claiming justice after atrocity crimes.
Holocaust commemorative and educational activities draw attention to the actions taken by Holocaust survivors in the immediate years following the devastation and brutality of the Holocaust, to reclaim their rights, their history, their cultural heritage and traditions, and their dignity. The theme encourages action to challenge hatred, strengthen solidarity and champion compassion. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme is an expression of the United Nations’ unwavering commitment to promoting human rights, to countering antisemitism and racism, and to preventing future genocide.
Calendar of events in Geneva
Wednesday, 26 January 2022 – 6 p.m.
Ciné ONU Geneva presents Les Derniers (The Last Ones) (virtual screening)
Director Sophie Nahum went to meet some of the last Holocaust survivors in their homes. She asked them about their lives, their journey during the war and their life afterwards, and how they managed to live a normal life and start a family after experiencing such a trauma. She also asked them about their vision of the world today. The series of interviews reminds us about the importance of passing on the memory before it is too late.
After the virtual screening, there will be a discussion on the challenges of keeping the memory alive with Sophie Nahum, the film’s director, and Yoni Berrous, from Yad Vashem. Moderation by Rhéal LeBlanc, Chief of Press and External Relations, UN Information Service in Geneva.
Organized in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Israel and France to the United Nations in Geneva and other international organizations, and with the support of Centre d’accueil de la Genève internationale.
Thursday, 27 January 2022 – 12 noon
UN Geneva ceremony marking the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
Room XVIII at 12 noon
Limited physical participation due to Covid-19.
Also streamed live at http://webtv.un.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/UN.Geneva
UN Geneva will host its annual ceremony on the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Holocaust survivor Ms. Emma Adjadj, from Marseille, will share her memories of fleeing the Nazis during the war and of losing her mother and three siblings, who were sent to Auschwitz after a raid on the place where they were staying.
Message of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres
Remarks by Ms. Tatiana Valovaya,
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Remarks by Her Excellency Ms. Meirav Eilon Shahar,
Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Remarks by Her Excellency Ms. Lotte Knudsen,
Head of the Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Conversation with a Holocaust survivor, Ms. Emma Adjadj
Musical interlude by the baroque ensemble Kaïros, featuring Sue Ying Koang, violin, Karolina Plywaczewska, cello, and Iván Rodríguez Expósito, harpsichord and direction
Sonata BWV 1017 by J.S. Bach
Sonata BWV 1021 by J.S. Bach
The United Nations Outreach Programme on the Holocaust is also organizing several online activities during Holocaust Remembrance Week, including a virtual discussion of the film “The Last Survivors” on 10 February. Directed by Arthur Cary, the film gathers the compelling and, in some cases, never-before-heard testimony from the last Holocaust survivors living in Britain today. The film will be made available for viewing prior to the film discussion. The film contains material that is disturbing, and not suitable for younger viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
On 17 February, there will be a virtual series “Conversations with the author”, where Dr. Elisabeth Anthony will discuss her new book, “The Compromise of Return: Viennese Jews after the Holocaust” with Professor Albert Lichtblau, Universität Salzburg. The event is part of the discussion series “Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons”, organized by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes against Humanity, the Graduate Center, CUNY and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, NYU.
To register for these events and for more information, click here.