23.01.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Education for Holocaust Remembrance

© CDJC/Coll. Klarsfeld

“Transmitting the memory of the Holocaust is a vital part of the struggle to combat ignorance and prejudice through education in humanist values, the sharing of cultures and knowledge of history,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO in a declaration on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, 27 January. Director General reaffirmed UNESCO’s determination to combat Holocaust denial: “Education is a key front in this struggle and also UNESCO’s unique contribution, through our work for youth, training of teachers and curriculum design”.

UNESCO recognizes that teaching the lessons of the Holocaust is fundamental to establishing respect for human rights, basic freedoms and the values of tolerance and mutual respect.

UN Member States are encouraged to develop educational programmes to transmit the memory of the Holocaust to future generations so as to prevent genocide from occurring again. UNESCO promotes these learning materials and provides a platform for institutions, teachers, students and interested parties to access resources on Education for Holocaust Remembrance. The organization works with The Holocaust and the UN Outreach Programme, as well as other major specialized institutions, to promote educational resources that use the lessons of the Holocaust to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills that will help students become more tolerant and prevent future genocides.

To commemorate the 2012 Holocaust Remembrance Day, UNESCO is organizing and taking part in the following events:

·        Monday, 23 January - French historian Georges Bensoussan will address Holocaust-related  pedagogical challenges in a discussion “Why Teach about the Holocaust and Genocides” at UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in Africa (Dakar, Senegal). The discussion will include representatives of civil societies and education ministries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal and Rwanda.  More information on the event and the video conference.

·        Wednesday, 25 January (18:30, Goethe Institute, Brussels) – UN Cinema is organizing in Brussels a projection of the film "The last flight of Petr Ginz”. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Marie Paule Roudil, Head of the UNESCO Office in Brussels and Regina Sluszny, Vice President of The Hidden Child. For more information, please visit the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) website

·        Friday, 27 January – On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Samuel Pisar will be officially appointed UNESCO Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.  Irina Bokova will then visit the Shoah Memorial in Paris.

·        Tuesday, 31 January – UNESCO in partnership with the Shoah Memorial is organizing a symposium entitled “International Dimensions of Holocaust Education” held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.  Samuel Pisar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Holocaust Education and Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism for the US Department of State will be among the participants.  The conference will be followed by a special ceremony under the theme “Children in the Holocaust”.  The participants will include the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, President of the Shoah Memorial Eric de Rothschild, an Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer and a Holocaust survivor Henri Borlant.  A short film entitled “Hidden Children” by film maker Robert Bober will also be shown. In addition, an exhibition of the Shoah Memorial entitled "The Righteous of France" will be presented on this occasion.  

Additional information:




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