Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘holocaust’

Holocaust Survivors’ Resilience, Strength Commemorated Through Videos Available Online for Yom Hashoah

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 aprile 2020

NEW YORK – 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 has produced a selection of videos and films to help people across the globe observe Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, online from the safety of their homes. 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 Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress. “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 World Jewish Congress had planned to mark the 75th 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 and the unique identity of the children born in the DP camp’s Glyn Hughes Hospital. Additional videos the WJC has made available include the final testimony of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Rachmil (Ralph) Hakman, who died in March after joining the WJC in Poland in January for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau; the 75th anniversary address by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder at the Death Gate of Birkenau on January 27; a CBS Sunday Morning feature about the significance of the Auschwitz site to its survivors, and the ongoing effort to preserve it and its artifacts; an HBO film about a 10-year-old boy learning his family’s history through conversations with his great-grandfather; and a WJC-produced video featuring photographs of daughters of Auschwitz survivors taken by Israeli photographer Debbie Morag. The WJC’s resources are available to Jewish communities, congregations, schools, youth groups, community centers, and the general public.

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Polish diplomats in Bern tried to save 10,000 Jews during Holocaust, new research reveals

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 febbraio 2020

NEW YORK – Polish diplomats based in Bern, Switzerland during World War II attempted to save between 8,000 and 10,000 Jews from Nazi deportation by providing them with fake Latin American documents, new research undertaken by the Warsaw-based Pilecki Institute has revealed.The English version of The Ładoś List, a comprehensive publication presenting previously unrevealed details about the Ładoś Group (also known as the Bernese Group), as well as a full index of the names of the 3,253 Jews who received or were meant to receive these documents, will be presented under the patronage of the World Jewish Congress on Thursday 27 February, at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, following its Polish-language premiere in December.
The publication of the Ładoś List, named for then-Polish Ambassador Aleksander Ładoś, who served in Switzerland 1940–45 and directed the forged certification efforts, is the result of two years of painstaking research conducted by the Pilecki Institute, together with the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum, and the Polish Institute of National Remembrance. It is one of the most comprehensive Holocaust research projects conducted in recent years, and was made possible through access to various reputable archives, including Bad Arolsen, Yad Vashem, the Polish Central Archives of Modern Records, and others, according to Pilecki Institute Director Dr. Wojciech Kozłowski.
Between 26 and 46 percent of the 3,253 Jews who received the Polish-forged documents are confirmed to have survived the Holocaust, and several dozen of them are still alive. But the real number of the survivors is much larger, said Dr. Jakub Kumoch, Polish Ambassador to Switzerland and the editor of the study. “We estimate that the Ładoś group contributed to the rescue of between 2,000 and 3,000 people,” Kumoch said, adding that thousands more Jews are believed to have benefited from these efforts, though their names remain undocumented.
The Ładoś Group assisted Jews from all over Europe, though the majority of the passports identified and documented in the research were used by Jews in occupied Poland, the Netherlands, and to some extent, Germany, according to Monika Maniewska, a Pilecki Institute archivist and co-author of The Ładoś List. Since its premiere in Poland last December, a number of people have come forward to confirm the details revealed. The English edition, which includes the life stories of more than 50 survivors, was first presented last week in London, at the Wiener Holocaust Library. The research will also be presented in West Hartford, Connecticut at the Mandell JCC Innovation Center on 28 February, following the 27 February event in New York.WJC Associate Executive Vice President and General Counsel Menachem Rosensaft, whose father Josef (Józef) Rosensaft was among the Jews saved through a forged certificate of Paraguayan nationality, praised these efforts in an op-ed in Tablet Magazine, in which he wrote: “We cannot and must not overlook those Poles who killed Jews or handed them over to the Germans to be killed, or who profiteered shamelessly from the ghettoization and deportation of their Jewish compatriots. At the same time, however, it is equally critical to emphasize that there were thousands of Poles who risked their lives to hide and save Jews, and that the London-based Polish government in exile was one of European Jewry’s few allies during the Holocaust years.”

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 gennaio 2020

OSWIECIM (Poland) On the site of former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and Chairman of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation (ABMF), today rang the alarm bell on the rise of antisemitism, appealing to world leaders to advance Holocaust education before it’s too late. As part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, the ABMF — under Ambassador Lauder’s leadership — organized a survivors’ delegation of more than 100 Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors and their families from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Latin America and several European countries.The preceding night, Lauder and the ABMF welcomed the survivors at a dinner gathering in Krakow also attended by Jewish community delegations from around the world. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to those gathered and called the survivors “strong and incredibly courageous” and “rays of sunshine that penetrated the darkness.”
At the January 27 official International Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lauder presented keynote remarks on behalf of the Pillars of Remembrance, private donors who support the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and its mission to preserve the authenticity of the memorial site. Lauder emphasized that it was the scourge of antisemitism combined with world indifference which led to the Holocaust, and urged citizens and government leaders everywhere to speak out against intolerance and hatred.Marian Turski, a Polish Auschwitz survivor who spoke during the ceremony, warned that Auschwitz “did not fall from the sky.” He said that Auschwitz and its horrors existed as a result of world indifference to antisemitism and discrimination.In his remarks, Piotr M.A. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and President of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, asked, “Where and why did we squander our basic fundamental values? When will Auschwitz become a reality that has been overcome and liberated? In the very essence of the cry of ‘never again,’ the liberation of Auschwitz continues right here, right now, every day.”
After a ceremonial blowing of the shofar, Cantor David S. Wisnia, a member of the ABFM’s survivor delegation, recited the traditional Jewish memorial prayer, El Maleh Rahamim, and invited participants to join him in the Mourner’s Kaddish.Profiles of survivors participating in the delegation can be found at preserveauschwitz.org/survivors-stories.Background on Ronald S. Lauder’s commitment to the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial
Lauder, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, dedicated his efforts to the preservation of the memorial at Auschwitz-Birkenau after visiting the site with his family in 1987 and finding a state of disrepair that threatened its disappearance. He committed to its preservation for future generations, shortly thereafter bringing in curators from the Egyptian Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to assess the needs and create a plan. Lauder, with the help of Auschwitz survivors Kalman Sultanik and Ernest Michel, raised the initial $40 million from 19 countries to ensure the site’s preservation. Lauder has donated tens of millions of dollars toward the memorial site’s preservation.In 2003, with the financial support of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum opened its Conservation Laboratories. The laboratory’s mission is to preserve material traces of the camp, including every shoe, every document and every building that remain at the site.
The WJC is committed to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and of the millions of Jews and countless Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust, and to advocating on behalf of its survivors and their families. The WJC works to raise public consciousness of the dangers of religious, racial and ethnic oppression and persecution. In the weeks leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the World Jewish Congress launched its fourth annual #WeRemember campaign to spark a global dialogue around the need for better, stronger and more widespread Holocaust education. The campaign invited participants to take a picture of themselves holding a sign with the words “We Remember” and to then share the photo on social media.

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Remembering the Roma Holocaust

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 2 agosto 2018

In April 2015, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt 2 August as Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day is devoted to remembering the Roma Holocaust and honouring the memory of the more than 3,000 Roma who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.During the years leading to World War II and throughout the wartime period, Roma people were persecuted, imprisoned, and murdered. This Nazi-era oppression is but one tragedy in their long history in Europe. For centuries Roma have experienced discrimination and violence and are still victims of widespread social exclusion, crime, and unjust treatment.“The Roma Holocaust did not happen overnight. It was prepared for years, through social segregation of Roma in society and dehumanisation in public speech and portrayal—not least by politicians,” remarked Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) General Secretary Torsten Moritz. “Today we again can hear similar messages in political speeches. Churches are called to oppose any discrimination and dehumanising of Roma brothers and sisters today.”“Even generations after Porajmos, the Roma Holocaust, life often remains insufferable for the Roma community in Europe,” added Conference of European Churches (CEC) General Secretary Fr Heikki Huttunen. “The shame of these events linger, along with old prejudices. The churches must continue to take up the urgent and difficult work of reconciliation with Roma people and communities.” CEC and CCME encourage all to honour the memory of those who died on this day and contribute to a just society for the 10 to 12 million Roma people living in Europe today. As a pan-European minority, the quest justice for Roma affects all European countries and churches. The upcoming Romanian EU presidency also provides special opportunity to highlight the plight of Roma today. CCME is part of the partnership with the Alliance Against Anti-gypsyism.

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More than 1,000 run through Bologna in road race for Holocaust remembrance

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 29 gennaio 2018

bologna rimembranzaBologna, Italy – More than 1,000 people joined together in Bologna on Sunday morning for a remembrance road race passing through Jewish historical sites, including those of Holocaust remembrance, as part of a series of events in Italy marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event was hosted by the Italian Union of Jewish Communities, in partnership with the Jewish Community of Bologna, and the Italian Coordination Committee for Celebrations in Memory of the Shoah, and with the support of the World Jewish Congress and local organizations. The debut Run for Mem (Run for Remembrance: Looking Ahead), was held in Rome in 2017, as the first sports race in Europe ever to commemorate the Holocaust. The Italian community brought the event to Bologna in 2018 to mark 80 years since the introduction of anti-Jewish legislation in the city and in memory of Árpád Weisz, the former coach of the Bologna national team, who was deported to Auschwitz along with thousands of Italian Jews and perished in the death camp.The race took the form of two routes – 12 kilometers and 5 kilometers – passing through notable Jewish community and Holocaust memorial sites, including the Piazza del Memoriale, the Porta Lame monument in memory of the battle in Bologna, the Certosa monument dedicated to partisans and Holocaust victims, Árpád Weisz’s gravestone, the Via Mario Finzi gravestone for the deported Jews of Bologna, the Piazza Maggiore gravestone of the martyrs, and the Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum), among others. Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola welcomed the crowd in an opening address prior to the race, and stressed the significance of holding such an event 80 years after the racial laws were introduced against the Jewish community, adding that it was imperative to keep the memories of the past alive and move forward together.Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Italian Union of Jewish Communities, who initiated both the debut Run for Remembrance in Rome in 2017 and the run in Bologna this year, remarked that even in the darkest moments of history, there has always been light. The significance of this event, she said, is to demonstrate that humanity is always searching for the light, and that despite the horrors of the Holocaust, the community is still strong. “We are running through the sites of the past, but toward the future,” she said.World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, who took part in the race along with representatives of the organization including members of the WJC-Jewish Diplomatic Corps, praised the Italian Union of Jewish Communities and the Jewish community of Bologna for the initiative. Bringing greetings from WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, Singer said: “I salute the city of Bologna, not just for what you are doing today, but for what the citizens of this city did during World War II in fighting the Nazi occupation.”

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 3 gennaio 2016

Primo Levi.jpgToronto January 27, 2016 – 6:00pm Alliance Française theatre – 24 Spadina Road, Free admission. On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy, is pleased to present an evening of literature and music. Excerpts from Primo Levi’s literary work “If This is a Man” will be read by actor Michael A. Miranda. Musical intermissions featuring some classic Klezmer repertoire will be performed by Robbie Grunwald, pianist and Drew Jurecka, violinist.
Primo Levi, (born July 31, 1919, Turin, Italy—died April 11, 1987, Turin), Italian-Jewish writer and chemist, noted for his restrained and moving autobiographical account of and reflections on survival in the Nazi concentration camps. Levi was brought up in the small Jewish community in Turin, studied at the University of Turin, and graduated summa cum laude in chemistry in 1941. Two years later he joined friends in northern Italy in an attempt to connect with a resistance movement, but he was captured and sent to Auschwitz. While there, Levi worked as a slave labourer for an I.G. Farbenindustrie synthetic-rubber factory. Upon the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviets in 1945, Levi returned to Turin, where in 1961 he became the general manager of a factory producing paints, enamels, and synthetic resins; the association was to last some 30 years. Levi’s first book, Se questo è un uomo (1947; If This Is a Man), demonstrated extraordinary qualities of humanity and detachment in its analysis of the atrocities he had witnessed. His later autobiographical works, La tregua (1963; The Truce) and I sommersi e i salvati (1986; The Drowned and the Saved), are further reflections on his wartime experiences. Il sistema periodico (1975; The Periodic Table) is a collection of 21 meditations, each named for a chemical element, on the analogies between the physical, chemical, and moral spheres; of all of Levi’s works, it is probably his greatest critical and popular success. He also wrote poetry, novels, and short stories. His death was apparently a suicide.
Michael’s career spans across the mediums of Film, Television, Theatre and Radio. For the screen Michael can be seen in the soon to be released feature film KIDNAP CAPITAL; appeared in CTV’s LIVES of the SAINTS, starring the legendary Sophia Loren, for which he received an ACTRA nomination for Outstanding performance. Michael also appeared in the CBC Mini-Series IL DUCE CANADESE, about Canada’s internment of Italians during the Second World War. Other credits include THE FIRM, MURDOCH MYSTERIES and BEAUTY and the BEAST. For the stage Michael performed in BHOPAL (Cahoots Theatre), THE LOVE LIST (Globus Theatre), MAMBO ITALIANO (Sudbury Theatre Centre) and originated the role of Paolo in Salvatore Antonio’s family drama IN GABRIEL’S KITCHEN; which received a Governor General’s Award nomination.
Drew Jurecka is an accomplished violinist who is comfortable in many genres. Trained classically, he studied with Lorand Fenyves during his teens and with David Updegraff at the Cleveland Institute of Music for his undergraduate degree. Drew has spent the last ten years playing jazz, pop, rock and other contemporary styles in Toronto.
Robbie Grunwald is a keyboardist, composer, and producer based in Toronto, Canada. Trained in classical and jazz music, Robbie fits equally well into any musical setting from a free jazz improvisational ensemble, to an electro pop band, to a traditional klezmer group. The many facets of his playing make him a highly sought after player on the Canadian Music scene. (Photo: Primo Levi)

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‘Making art kept countless Jews alive during the Holocaust,’ Robert Singer tells United Nations forum

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 Maggio 2014

united nationsUNITED NATIONS – Speaking before a packed audience at the United Nations in New York on Monday night, World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer noted the importance of the arts to the persecuted Jews in Nazi Europe. “The will to make art kept alive for a few more days countless Jews imprisoned in ghettos and camps,” Singer said. “The art that Jews made lifted the spirits of those who heard the music of ghetto orchestras or saw a drawing scratched out in charcoal on a barracks’ wall. It was the finest kind of spiritual resistance.”Singer spoke at “Learning About the Holocaust Through the Arts,” a UN program to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 28, which featured presentations by accomplished artists in the fields of dance, literature, film, and music, including choreographer Steven Mills of Ballet Austin, author Nava Semel, actress Olympia Dukakis, Professor Olga Gershenson of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, philanthropist and arts patron Clive Marks, and Shirli Gilbert of World ORT. The event, co-sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information, the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, and World Jewish Congress, drew more than 500 attendees, a cross-section of the international community, including diplomats, dignitaries, and arts educators and students from 30 universities.

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Don’t sell books that deny the Holocaust, World Jewish Congress urges Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 20 ottobre 2013

NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress on Thursday demanded that Amazon.com remove from its website books that deny the Holocaust and promote anti-Semitism and white supremacy. “No one should profit from the sale of such vile and offensive hate literature. Many Holocaust survivors are deeply offended by the fact that the world’s largest online retailer is making money from selling such material,” WJC Executive Vice President Robert Singer wrote in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.”We are shocked and disgusted that Amazon has not yet removed these items, which came to light in news reports on October 14,” Singer said. Amazon.com’s vending of hate literature was exposed by ‘The Kernel’, an American web publication. In April 2008, the WJC asked Amazon.com to remove merchandise that glorified the Nazi regime. At the time, the firm complied.

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The Remarkable Story of Holocaust Survivor

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 12 Maggio 2010

(Madison, WI) In 1942, Martin and Eva Deutschkron lived in constant fear of being caught by the Nazis and executed, simply because they were of Jewish descent. Both of their parents were transported to a German concentration camp and never heard from again. The young couple removed the yellow stars that all Jews were required to wear on their clothing. They avoided registering with the government, which meant they could not legally find housing, receive food rations and new clothing, access medical services, or travel on public transportation. They moved around frequently, staying with people who needed their skills as a seamstress and a tailor. With the Gestapo searching for Jews and recruiting informants, no one could be trusted and no place remained safe for very long. Faced with being ‘transported’ or perhaps shot by the Nazis just because they were Jews, Eva and her husband disappeared into the ‘underground’ in 1942. For the remainder of World War II they continued to work and live right in the Berlin area without being apprehended by the dreaded Gestapo. Miraculously, they survived. This is an intriguing story of heroic and ingenious people who were blessed by having valuable trade skills and the help of many people who were willing to defy the laws enacted by one of the cruelest governments in history. Two years after World War II ended, they left Berlin and emigrated to the United States with their newly born son. They eventually settled in Madison, Wisconsin, and opened a clothing store.  For nearly 60 years, Eva said little about their life as Jews in Nazi Germany, even after the death of her husband.  Finally, prodded with questions from a great granddaughter, she realized that her story should be told.Eva is now 91 and one of the few living Jews who, as adults hiding in Berlin’s underground during the war, eluded capture.  Her story is another reminder of the horrors and injustice brought on by discrimination and the determination to endure. The Remarkable Story of Holocaust Survivor Eva Deutschkron (By Arthur and Ursula Rathburn $16.00 ISBN 978-0-9779516-6-6 Fort Dane Books) http://www.fortdanebooks.com.

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FRA: Holocaust Lessons

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 27 gennaio 2010

At a Ministerial Conference in Auschwitz on the 2010 International Remembrance Day for the Victims of National Socialism, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) will release the findings of the first ever EU-wide study on the role of historical sites and museums in teaching about the Holocaust and human rights. The report reveals that at historical sites and in schools across the EU, teaching about the Holocaust rarely includes discussion of related human rights issues.  Teachers and guides are regarded as key to ensuring interest in the subject, yet there is a lack of human rights training on behalf of both groups.  Based on the findings of its study, the FRA encourages national governments to better integrate human rights education into their school curricula to reflect the significance of human rights for both the history and the future of the EU. Many of the interviewed students stated that they would appreciate a stronger connection to the present in education activities about the Holocaust, both at school and at historical sites and museums. However, only one of the 22 surveyed Holocaust commemoration sites regarded informing people about human rights as its most important objective.   Based on the findings of the study, the FRA is of the opinion that Holocaust education should go beyond the mere transmission of historical facts to include discussion and debate on past and present human rights issues.  Interviewed teachers appealed not only for financial support for visits to memorial sites, but also for guiding material on how to make best use of such visits. The FRA will publish a handbook for teachers on Holocaust education and human rights education, as well as a handbook to be used by memorial site staff, later in the year.

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In memory of the Holocaust

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 aprile 2009

President appeared at the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance, a somber ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in memory of the Holocaust.  President’s remarks were preceded by those of a few others, including Elie Wiesel, as well as a presentation of the flags of the U.S. Army divisions that had liberated concentration camps – along with a mention of the camps each had freed. Wiesel spoke movingly – perhaps a redundancy – about some of his own experiences and the failure of those in the free world – singling out Washington as well as the Washington Post and the New York Times – to warn the remaining European Jews in the early 1940s about what was in store for them. He said it might have saved his own family, which had an option to try to avoid the trip that turned out to be a journey to the death camps. And Wiesel waded into present day politics as well, condemning Iranian President Ahmadinejad as a Holocaust denier and thanking President Obama for boycotting the recent Durban II U.N. conference, where the Iranian leader called Israel racist. Obama’s remarks, which you will soon have, focused more on lessons going forward and were laced with a greater sense of optimism about learning from the past.

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