March 7, 2011

February 2011

Annual UN Holocaust Memorial Day

On February 10, 2011, the UN paid tribute to victims of Holocaust with a special ceremony originally scheduled for January 27, the annual Holocaust Memorial Day, which had to be postponed due to the heavy snow storm in New York.

This year’s theme paid special tribute to the suffering of women during the Holocaust. In his speech Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, highlighted the role played by the mothers and daughters, grandmothers, sisters and aunts. “They saw their lives irrevocably changed, their families separated and killed, their traditions shattered,” he declared.
The IRWF has an on-going project of researching and honoring women rescuers in the WWII.

To read more click here.

Holocaust Survivor Receives 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom

On February 15, 2011, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, author, historian, and motivational speaker, received the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with 14 other recipients.  President Obama read the following as Gerda was presented with her Medal, “By the time she was 21, Gerda Klein had spent six years living under Nazi rule — three of them in concentration camps. Her parents and brother had been taken away. Her best friend had died in her arms during a 350-mile death march. And she weighed only 68 pounds when she was found by American forces in an abandoned bicycle factory. But Gerda survived. She married the soldier who rescued her. And ever since – as an author, a historian and a crusader for tolerance – she has taught the world that it is often in our most hopeless moments that we discover the extent of our strength and the depth of our love.”

In the press:

Muslims honor Jewish Holocaust victims at Auschwitz

Prominent Muslims joined Jews and Christians at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Tuesday in a gesture of interfaith solidarity designed to refute deniers of the Holocaust such as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. About 200 dignitaries from across the Islamic world, from Israel, European countries and international organizations such as UNESCO took part in the visit, which included a tour of the site and prayers in Arabic, Yiddish, English and French.
“We must teach our young people in mosques, churches and synagogues about what happened here,” Bosnia’s Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric told Reuters. “This awful place should stand as a reminder to all people that intolerance and lack of understanding between people can result in… such places as Auschwitz.”

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Italy’s first Holocaust museum to be built in Rome

ROME – Mayor Gianni Alemanno and the municipal authorities of Rome will be announcing on Tuesday the construction of a Holocaust museum as a focal point in the city’s 10-year “Stati Generali” plan for major projects in the city.
The Italian government and RAI-TV are currently sponsoring a television spot, which will be shown repeatedly until June, calling for Italians to submit any relevant wartime family records or material for exhibition.
Italy’s first Holocaust museum, based on preliminary plans drawn by architects Luca Zevi and Giorgio Maria Tamburini under the sponsorship of Rome’s previous mayor, Walter Veltroni, will be built in the central area of Villa Torlonia.

To read article click here.