New Exhibition to the 75th Anniversary of Babi Yar26 2016
On the 26th of September a new documentary exhibition “Babi Yar – symbol of the Holocaust” was opened in the showroom of Russian “Holocaust” Center (RHC). It is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the several tens of thousands of Jews in Kiev executed by Nazis and their collaborators on September 29-30 in 1941. The exhibition shows the photographs and documents from the archives and museums of Russia, Ukraine and France. A special section of the exhibition shows the photos of children killed in Babi Yar. Volunteers of RHC from Austria and Germany were the first visitors of the exhibition. TV Channels "Vesti" and "MIR" made a report about the opening of the exhibition.
The meeting of Action Reconciliation Service for Peace at the Holocaust Center08 2016
On 22nd of June this year volunteers in Russia of Action reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP) as well as the contributor for volunteer service in Russia and former volunteer of the Holocaust Center, Sina Gasde, director of ARSP, Jutta Weduwen and chairman Stephan Reimers met in the Russian Holocaust Center to compare note on the experience of the last month, to visit the Holocaust Center and learn about it work before visiting the exhibition of 25 years ARSP in Russia. In the beginning of the meeting Ilya Altman presented the Holocaust exhibition located in the hall of the Holocaust Center afterwards the volunteers, the contributor as well as the director and the chairman got the English newsletter of the Holocaust Center. After all rooms were showed and the listeners were informed about the work of the Russian Holocaust Center a nice discussion about German politics, the impressions and experiences of the volunteers in Russia and the work in the different projects and cities.
The event took place on 22nd of June, the day of German raid on the Soviet Union, because this incident is one of the reasons of the work of ARSP in Russia. ARSP campaigns for peace and international understanding and an awareness of the crime done by national socialists in the time of the World War II. ARSP also fights against anti Semitism, racism and any other forms of repression of minorities.
For more information:
Beslan: we remember!05 2016
On September 3 the chairman of the Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center and adviser of the Russian Jewish Congress Ilya Altman took part in a memorial ceremony for the victims of the tragedy of Beslan. Together with the head of the regional representation of the Russian Jewish Congress David Melikov, he laid a wreath at the cemetery “City of Angels”.
On the same day Ilya Altman visited the Jewish community “Shalom” in Vladikavkaz, where he met with its director Mark Petruschansk and visited a future museum exhibition about the Holocaust in the North Caucasus. It was reached an agreement for the provision of methodological and practical tools for the creation of a museum. One of the issues in this case will be the terror against children. During a meeting with the head of the North Ossetian Theater, Opera and Ballet and Russian folk artist Larisa Gergieva there has been a discussion about the performance of the opera Brundibár in Vladikavkaz on September 26 and about other projects. On September 4, Ilya Altman met with Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of North Ossetia Alexander Reutov. There was a long and interesting discussion about the experiences and problems in regard to the commemoration of the Holocaust victims in the establishment of a museum and educational program on the topic of the Beslan tragedy. In addition, a revision and a new edition of the educational books “Children – victims of terror and the Holocaust” was under discussion. The regional representative of the Center “Holocaust” Tatjana Svetlov participated at the meeting. At the end of the trip Ilya Altman attended the ceremony in Beslan, which took place in the building “School № 1”. The ceremony was also attended by the participants of the youth project of the Jewish organization from Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk, who were learning about topics of the Holocaust and terrorism. The guidance through the site of the tragedy was led by the heads of the committee “Mothers of Beslan” Susanna Dudieva and Aneta Gadieva.
On the photo:
1. Laying a wreath
2. In the museum Holocaust. On the left - Mark Petruschanski
News about the project “Return Dignity”01 2016
In Russia there are more than 500 places of mass murders of the Jews during the Holocaust, and most of the are not immortalized. Russian Jewish Congress together with Russian “Holocaust” Center (RHC) are aiming to establish memorial sites on each of them. The long-term project “Return Dignity” is dedicated to this aim. This work gather together the initiatives of federal and local authorities, Christian organization “Even-Ezer”, Federal Jewish National Culture Autonomy, Jewish communities and organizations, “Project of Names” of Yad Vashem, historians, archivists, survivors, witnesses and relatives of victims, etc…
In September 2016 eight monuments were established in four regions of Russia: villages Zunda Toga and Troizkoye of Republic of Kalmykia, in the city of Mineralnye Vody, villages Arzgir, Spassky, Nevdahin of Stavropol region, in the village Loknya of Pskov region, and Novozybkov town of Bryansk region. Co-chairman of RHC Ilya Altman, representatives of local authorities, organizations, schools, survivors and others, attended the opening ceremonies.
Seminar in Tambov28 2016
On 26-27 of August a seminar for teachers and students on the topic of Holocaust in Tambov was held. More than 50 teachers from schools and universities, students and representatives of national communities of cities and regions gathered together.
The same day the representatives of the Center visited the Jewish Community in Tambov and together with the Chairman A. J. Farbaja discussed the perspectives of a possible commemoration of more than 1500 Hungarian Jews, who died in the years from 1943 to 1948 in the region Tambov during her captivity in labour battalions.
Awards ceremony at Paris08 2016
The Simon Wiesenthal Center moved the location of its annual Russian Holocaust University Essay award from the headquarters of its co-sponsor UNESCO, in protest over its resolution in April denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
“Ever since the Palestinians were accepted to UNESCO in 2011, things have changed,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, director of international relations of the Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post. “It used to be a favorable arena for us, especially at the World Heritage Committee. But the Palestinians have launched a theft of the Jewish narrative. The Palestinians are trying to deny the Jewish narrative, because the validation of the Palestinian narrative depends on deleting the Jewish-Israeli one. It’s a replacement ideology.”
The Wiesenthal Center cooperates closely with UNESCO on different programs. The Russian Holocaust University Essay award is one of these co-projects, conceived in order to strengthen Holocaust studies in Russia and former Soviet Union states.
Since its establishment 12 years ago, many countries make it a point of participating to demonstrate their support.
This year as well, ambassadors and deputy ambassadors from dozens of countries participated at the ceremony held at the Paris Holocaust Memorial, including representatives from Russia, Armenia, Germany, Belarus, France, the US and of course Israel.
The five laureates this year include graduates from Moscow, Erevan in Armenia, the Republic of Buryatia (Russia), Minsk of Belarus, and Saratov from Russia, dealing with a variety of issues such as the interpretation of the Holocaust by Russian mass media, teaching the Holocaust in the Russian education system, Holocaust denial in Belarus, and more.
The students who were chosen are all engaged in researching and teaching the Holocaust for the long term.
Marek Galstyan of Armenia, who worked on the issue of righteous among the nations, told the audience that he considers his research much more than just an academic study. “At present, I am working on finding information about another person, who may be awarded the title of righteous,” he said. “He is Henrik Bakhtiykan, cousin of my grandfather, whom my grandfather told me about.”
Another student, Nikita Gordeev from Saratova, has been working on historical revisionism in the structure of extremist ideology. In his presentation, Gordeev noted that “there are currently about 10 organizations in the Russian Federation that are banned by the court for carrying out extremist activities – groups which position themselves as neo-pagan,” a fact, he explained, which highlights the ongoing trends of Holocaust denial.
Israeli deputy ambassador to UNESCO, Yossi Mustaki, emphasized at the meeting the importance of this award, in raising public awareness to the lessons of the Holocaust.
“We consider this award as an excellent means to increase the awareness of young people – school students, students in universities, and youngsters in general – to the issue of the Shoah and to its lessons,” he said. “It’s a very positive and constructive way to encourage the creativity and activities of students who specialize in these areas of research. From our side, it is important that Israel recognizes this project and encourages similar ones across the world. Some of our delegations initiate and support projects in the same vain, sometimes for younger children. We really congratulate the Wiesenthal Center for this essential educational program, and wish to see more initiatives of this kind.”
Concerning the issue of changing the location of the ceremony, Mustaki said that “I can certainly understand the decision [due to] the anger within the Jewish world, as in Israel, over the outrageous UNESCO board resolution. Each one reacts in his/her own manner – and this was apparently the way the Wiesenthal Center chose to react.”
The XVI Summer Seminar „The Lesson of the Holocaust - Path to Tolerance“ 30 2016
The XVI annual summer seminar for teachers started on
June 26th in the Memorial Synagogue of the Russian Jewish Congress
in Moscow. Partner of the seminar were Yad Vashem, like every year, but also
the Memorial de la Shoah
(France). This year 40 educator form 29 regions of Russia participated at our
On the first day the Participants visited the library
and the archive of the Holocaust Center as well as the Holocaust Museum in the
Memorial Synagogue on the Poclonoi Gora. The head of International School for
Holocaust Studies at Yad Vachem, the head of the Memorial de la Shoah and Ilya Altman as
well as others hold speeches.
On 27th of June there was a plenary session
with the topic “The Holocaust at the territory of the SU and the Commemoration” and “The Lesson of the
Holocaust”, Christina Winkler (Germany) as well as Ilya Altman talked about the
features of the national socialist occupation regime in the USSR and about the
Holocaust Commemoration in today’s Russia. After the speeches the participants
worked in groups to hold reports.
The third day of the seminar started with watching the
film “Children form the Abyss”. Although many of the participants had already
seen the movie, the emotional shock was big. Afterwards the participants had a
round table to discuss whether the film suits for watching it with students or
With the panache of the emotional start the
participants farther worked in groups. The first group under the direction of
Alla Gerber, Noa Sigal (Yad Vashem) and Svetlana Antonova dealt with the
discussion and elaboration of the methodical materials of the film “The
Holocaust: the Eastern Front”. The second group, at the same time, was working
on the elaboration of the methodic materials of the “Liberator” and the search and determination on the fate of
the soldiers of the red army, who liberated the death camp Auschwitz. This
group was under the direction of Ilya Altman, Svetlana Tichankina and Maria
On the last day of the seminar the projects and
research studies about the Holocaust were discussed.
At our XVI summer seminar the participants could
qualify for the seminar in March 2017 at Yad Vashem. The results will be
released in January 2017.
was very happy to participate in this year‘s summer school because I’ve been
focusing my research of the past ten years on the Holocaust on Soviet
territory. I was particularly interested to get practical insights into
Holocaust education in Russia. That’s why especially the part when the teachers
presented their projects was important for me because they introduced their
individual teaching methods and approaches to the subject. I was quite
impressed with the spectrum and can only name a few examples here but I
personally really like a Russian-German cooperation between a school from
Voronezh and the Free University of Berlin (FU) because it enables teachers and
other potentially interested people to access interviews with former Russian
slave labourers at an online platform created by the FU (http://prinuditelnyj-trud-archiv.org/ru/) and
use them for their history lessons or just to get information. The project was
introduced at this year’s Petersburg dialogue that took place a couple of days
ago in St. Petersburg (http://prinuditelnyj-trud-archiv.org/ru/news/forum.html) which
underlines the importance both countries attribute to this cooperation. But
there were other great projects, I was for example very impressed by a teacher
from Nevel who connected her family history with the historiography of the
Holocaust under the catchy title “history doesn’t have an expiration
date”. Since I personally focus on the Holocaust in Rostov-on-Don, I was
of course interested in this participant’s approach to her hometown’s history.
All in all, the seminar demonstrated how many very talented teachers there are
throughout the country and I’m even more convinced now that I want to continue
research but also engage in teaching about the Holocaust in Russia.
The Seminar for Russian educator in Germany 04 2016
May 8-15 /
On 8th May started this year’s annual seminar for Russian educators, which is organized by the Russian Holocaust Center and the House of Wannsee Conference. The 16 participants of the seminar were high and middle school teachers, teachers of institutes and staff of archive departments and museum, who were from 6 different regions of Russia and also from Moldavia (in the last seminars there were also participants form Belarus, Ukraine or Lithuania).
In the Seminar the educator learned about the teaching experience about the Holocaust in German schools, when they visited the secondary school „Drei Linden“ in Berlin. Furthermore, they had a guided tour through the museum “House of Wannsee Conference” and the “German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst” in which they were also informed about the activities of the museum. Afterwards they visited the memorial Sachsenhausen. The participants were especially interested in the difficulties and methodic of teaching the Holocaust. The Russian educator also shared their own experience about the topic of Holocaust.
The seminar was held in an interactive way. While the sessions problems of the psychological perceptions, problems of the Holocaust were discussed and their methodic were analyzed.
The Holocaust and the Defense of the Brest Fortress: New Discussions24 2016
May 24 /
The seventh session of the Lecture Program “Genocides of the XXth Century and the Contemporary World” was organized by the Russian Holocaust Center and the Institute for History and Archives together with the department for Russian history of the modern age by the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). The Session for the first time was hold as a round table to discuss the difficult problems of the Holocaust and the defense of the Brest Fortress in context of present German documents.
In 2016 the collection “Brest. Summer 1941” (original in Russian: Брест. Лето 1941 г.) including a large amount of new German documents of the Brest Fortress and the Holocaust was published in Smolensk (a link for a preview of the anthology was published on our website earlier). The book was prepared to be published by Byelorussian historian and at their head by the German historian Christian Ganzer. The book was presented in Minsk and Brest, causing a lot of discussions because of an article of Mr. Ganzer.
In the session Christian Ganzer acquainted the participants about the proceedings of the work for the collection by the group of historian. In his conclusion he presented his arguments and historical base with which he had worked. In answer to his lecture there were asked numerous of questions and comments with doubts about relevancy of some phrases used in the introductory article and about the expansion of the historical base to achieve a wider consideration of the discussed topic, were made. In the end the head of the group of compilers thanked Christian Ganzer for his enormous work form preparing the documents to publication.
Professional scientists, graduate students, representatives of public organizations and scientific magazines as well as representatives of the Moscow school Nr. 444, which has a museum in the name of Yefim Fomin, a commissar of the Brest Fortress, took part in the session.
Seminar for Russian and Armenian Educators in Israel23 2016
Annual seminar for schoolteachers and university lecturers took place in Jerusalem (Israel) on the 27 March – 4 April 2016. It was organized by the International Schoolfor Holocaust Studies ofYadVashem. The representatives of 16th regions of Russia and one professor from Armenia attended the seminar. Professors, Heads of departments and lecturers of universities; secondary schoolsteachers of history, literature and geography; employees of archives, cultural institutions, publishing houses were among the participants.Read more
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