Adress: 115035, Russia, Moscow,
Sadovnicheskaya St. 52/45
The Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center and the Holocaust Foundation
Phone/fax: (499) 995-21-82, (495) 953-33-62
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Awards ceremony at Paris

08 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 seminar.

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 not.

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 Gileva.

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.


Interview with Christina Winkler:

I 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 ( 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 ( 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 Discussions

24 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 Israel

23 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.
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Unknown Archives of the Holocaust

22 2016

March 22​/
The fifth session of the Lecture Program “Genocides of the XXth Century and Contemporary World” was held at the Institute for History and Archives of the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). It was organized by the Research and Teaching the History of the Holocaust and Genocides Center of the RSUH. The session was opened by co-Chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center (RHC) Ilya Altman and the Dean of the Faculty of Archival Studies Elena Malysheva. Representatives of Russian archives, Archive of the RHC, museums, libraries, teachers and researchers, students attended the session.
Director of the Archival Acquisition Department at the “Yad Vashem” (Jerusalem, Israel) Maria Ionina reported about “Unknown Archives of the Holocaust: searching and findings in CIS and Baltic countries”. Participants of the session were acquaintedwiththe peculiarities of acquisition and processing the sources in the archive of Yad Vashem. Then Maria Ionina told about some methods of searching for the documents about the history of the Holocaust in the USSR at the archives of CIS and Baltic countries and presented some forthcoming plans and perspectives of this direction.

«Photo Chronicle of the Holocaust as a Historical Source»

20 2016

20 March /
The same name round table was held in Moscow in the Center of Photograph named after brothers Lumiere on the 20th of March. It was organized by the Embassy of the State of Israel and the Polish Cultural Institute in Moscow together with the Russian Holocaust Center (RHC)within the exhibition«The Album of the Auschwitz».
Moderator of the round table Ilya Altman reported about the features of documentary photographs as a source of the history of the Holocaust in the USSR.The round table was opened by an informative report of Dr. Haim Gertner, Director of the YadVashem Archives Division (Israel). He gave an exhaustive answer to the question why it is important to ensure public access to documentary sources of the Holocaust, and how to do it with the help of modern information technologies. Head of theArchive Department of RHC Leonid Terushkin highlighted the problem of “Searching in family archives and using the photographs of the World War II and the Holocaust”. Dr. Andrzej Żbikowski, professor of history of the Jewish Historical Institute and Center of Holocaust Studies (Poland) talked about interesting experience of collecting and publication of historical sources about the Holocaust in Poland during the postwar period. Interesting reports about studying and interpretation of the photo documents and written sources as well as the attempts of falsification of the tragedy of the Holocaust were presented by professor of Russian State University for the Humanities Valery Durnovtsev, who marked a special place of photo documents at the “hierarchy” of sources about the Holocaust history, and Director of research programs of the Foundation “Historical Memory” VladimirSimindey, who gave a critical analysis of the recent studies in Latvia about the camp Salaspils.

Anti-Semitism of the Postwar Stalin’s Russia

16 2016

February​ 16/
Forth session of the Lecture Program “Genocides of the XXth Century and the Modern World” was held in the Institute of History and Archives of Russian State University for the Humanities. The leading researcher of the Institute of Russian History of Russian Academy of Science Dr. Gennady Kostyrchenko gave a lecture “Anti-Jewish Repressions in the Post-War Stalinism: New Documents and Considerations”.
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International Conference “Holocaust: Remembrance and Prevention”

29 2016

January 25-28, 2016
10th International conference of students and young researches as well as the 16th International conference of pupils “Holocaust: Remembrance and Prevention” was held in Moscow on the 25-28 of January. It was organized by the Russian Research and Educational “Holocaust” Center (RHC) and the Center of Studying and Teaching about the Holocaust and Genocides of Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) with the support of Moscow’s Government, the Russian Jewish Congress, Museum of the Holocaust and Jewish Heritage and the Institute “Just world”. During the three days more than 80 participants from different cities of Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Germany made reports and took part in memorial and official events. Sessions were held at different halls, including RSUH, Museum of the Holocaust and Jewish Heritage of the Memorial Synagogue at Poklonnaya Gora and for the first time at the State Duma of Russian Federation. The conference has become one of the key events of the “Week of Memory” dedicated to the 71th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp “Auschwitz-Birkenau” by the Red Army and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

RequiemEvening in Memory of the Holocaust Victims

27 2016

On 27 January a large memorial evening devoted to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day was held at the Moscow theater “Helikon-Opera”.
It was organized by the Government of Moscow, Russian Jewish Congress (RJC), and Russian Holocaust Center with the support of the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia. More than 500 participants attended the evening. Famous public figures, government officials, diplomats, artists, war veterans and former prisoners of camps and ghettos, teachers, pupils and students were among them. There were representatives of the diplomatic corps: German Ambassador Rüdiger von Fritsch, Israeli Ambassador Zvi Heifetz, US Ambassador John Tefft as well as the ambassadors and high-ranking representatives of the Embassies of Armenia, Albania, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, France and other countries.
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