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Educating about the Holocaust to Safeguard the Future

On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day celebrated each year on 27 January,  UNESCO partnered with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan, Alliance Francaise de Delhi, the Embassies of Germany and Israel in India and a consortium of other diplomatic missions for an educational programme, to deepen the knowledge of a diverse group of Indian youth on the history of the Holocaust and issues related to contemporary expressions of antisemitism.  
 
The event comprised of a film screening and interactive discussion with school students, and was organized around UNESCO’s commitment to #ProtectTheFacts by confronting Holocaust misinformation and safeguarding the historical record of the Holocaust.
 
A seven part video series from the Holocaust Education Toolbox developed by Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was screened along with ‘The Harmonica Player of Auschwitz’ – video story of Holocaust survivor Shmuel Gogol, who played the harmonica at the Auschwitz camp orchestra and was forced to play while Jews were led to the gas chambers. The videos sparked interesting conversations among the youth about contemporary forms of antisemitism and ways to prevent it. 
 
In response to one of the questions, Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director, remarked that “people aren’t born antisemitic, they aren’t born racist, and they aren’t born hating; they learn it. Through education, through remembering the horrors of the past, we can all do our part to ensure they never happen again”. 
 

UNESCO’s New Delhi office will carry forward this momentum, through a workshop for educators on addressing antisemitism and other forms of discrimination through global citizenship education on 10th of February 2022 , with support from the Embassies of Israel and Germany in India and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). 
 
The United Nations marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to honour the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, and millions of other victims of Nazi persecution. On this day, the UN urges every member state to develop educational programs to help remember this painful history as a way to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.
 
Holocaust distortion is increasingly threatening the memory of the Holocaust. As the only UN agency with the mandate to promote Holocaust education, UNESCO has a unique responsibility to challenge this disturbing trend, and build the knowledge and skills to accurately remember the past to ensure such atrocities can never be repeated. 
 
For further information, please contact Euan Mackway-Jones or Aishwarya Sehgal (shs.ndl@unesco.org