27 January / 9th Annual International Students Conference “Holocaust: Remembrance and Warning”
The conference was held at Memorial Synagogue on Poklonnaya Hill and organized by the RREHC with the support of the “Dinastiya” (Dynasty) Foundation, the RJC (Russian Jewish Congress) and the EAJC (Euro-Asian Jewish Congress) as well as with the means provided by a Presidential grant.
The participants were greeted by Semyeon Dodik, who was a ghetto prisoner in Transnistria. “15 years ago, I learned about the Holocaust Center in Moscow and from that day on, I have been telling others about the Holocaust. I am glad, that you young people take such an interest in this topic and that you are doing everything you can in order to prevent that this atrocities happen again.” Mr Dodik said.
During his opening speech, the Ilya Altman noted, that the works of the 13 participants had been selected from a total of more than 1000 submissions. One of the participants, 17-year old Alexander Alexeev, dedicated his presentation to a relatively unknown part of the Holocaust history: the situation of the Jews from Northern Africa in the territories controlled by Italy and Vichy France. He underlined a very interesting particularity: Whenever Italy (despite their anti-jewish laws) did not imprison Jews, the Vichy regime send them to the camps in Algiers - without any Nazi involvement. These camps were still in operation after the liberation of Africa by the Allies.
Maria Konstantinova – also 17 – dedicated her work to study of the life of Sobibor prisoners right after the war. In her presentation she emphasized that unity of the prisoners ended upon the achievement of their common goal: freedom. However, for many of them it eventually became clear that they had, by then, developed closer bounds with some fellow prisoners than with many family members.
Ruslan Farkhutdinov treated the subject of the Eichmann case and different views of the State Israel and the philosopher Hanna Arendt. He underlined, that for Israel the criminal process was a way to inform the world public about the Holocaust and that, for this very reason, many crimes, in which Eichmann himself was not involved at all, played an important rule during the trial. For Ardent, the Eichmann case was, in Farkhutdinov’s opinion, an example of an average civil servant becoming a mass murderer by striving to fulfill his duties and running away from his own responsibility. Eichmann usually preferred to deal only with documents instead of seeing the real result of his “work”.
16-year old Anne Korneeva from St. Petersburg presented her two short stories about the Holocaust as well as different writing techniques used by her and by other authors.