"It's time to open all the files in the Wallenberg case and keep his name in eternal memory in Moscow"03 2012
3 August 2012
This is what was expressed by the participants of the memorial meeting for the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg s birthday on 3 August held in the Museum of the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue at Poklonnaya Hill: Yuri Kanner, President of the Russian Jewish Congress (REK) Alla Gerber, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and President of the "Holocaust" Fond, and Ilya Altman, co-chairman of the "Holocaust" Center.
The relevant proposals on these issues related to the complete elimination of "white spots" in the Wallenberg case and the commemoration of his name in Moscow, will be sent to Prime Minister of Russia and Moscow’s Mayor. Swedish Minister Plenipotentiary Martin Aberg, the deputy head of the diplomatic mission of Hungary, Ferenc Nagy-Rebek, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Onno Elderenbosh, First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel, Zvi Mirkin and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Germany, Jens Gust told about efforts to preserve the memory of Wallenberg and his role in rescueing victims of the Holocaust in their counties.
Director of the UN Information Centre in Moscow, Alexander Gorelik underlined that the United Nations paid great importance in preserving the memory of the Holocaust and of the Righteous. The Acting Director of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Victor Dyachko lectured about the losses of the Red Army during the liberation of Budapest, and the reflection of the Holocaust in the museum. Ilya Altman informed about new findings in the archives on "The Secret Service and the Righteous among the Nations". Igor Pehovich, actor of the Taganka Theater quoted poems about Wallenberg. The evening ended with the presentation of a new documentary film about Raoul Wallenberg "Solo for single owls" presented by its director Grigory Ilugdin.
Remembrance of the Holocaust: problems of memoralization26 2012
26 July 2012
The volume “Remembrance of the Holocaust: problems of memoralization, materials of the 6th International Conference “Lessons of the Holocaust and Contemporary Russia”, St Petersburg, 2-5 October 2011” appeared recently the book series “The Russian Holocaust library”. It provides a survey on research and memoralization of the Holocaust in Russia and CIS. The book is intended for researchers of WWII, for staff of museums, archives and educational institutions, teachers, students and those who organize the search of the names of the victims of the Holocaust and the Righteous. For that reason much attention is given to new approaches in the collection of the names, the detection and immortalization of the memorial sites of WW2 and the performance of commemorative events.
The book was published with the support of the Russian Jewish Congress, the Claims Conference (USA) and the ITF .
Moscow students visit Holocaust sites 22 2012
22 July 2012
In the Museum of the Holocaust and Jewish heritage on Poklonnaya Hill.
Ilya Altman informed Moscow students visiting in the framework of the Hillel program sites of the Holocaust in the Smolensk region about the project "To return dignity." The young people reported about their experience of visiting execution sites and the memorials in Lubavitch, Monastyrshchina, Chislavichi, Velizh, Katyn and Smolensk. Eyewitnesses reports and the fact that many monuments did not mention the Holocaust left the deepest impression on them. The participants decided to collect money in order to memorialize the fate of Jews in Chislavichi in a worthwhile manner. Anna Vitkina and Ekaterina Lazareva, winners of the competition “We cannot be silent” who had presented their works at UNESCO in 2011 and 2012, urged their mates to take part in competitions and conferences on the Holocaust. The Chief archivist of the Museum, Natalia Anisina provided a very informative guided tour of the museum.
70th anniversary of the annihilation of the Smolensk Ghetto15 2012
15 July 2012
The Co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center Ilya Altman took part in a memorial ceremony at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Smolensk Jews at the execution place near the village of Vyazovenki where in the late 1960s a monument dedicated to the ghetto inmates had been erected. Ilya Altman underlined the importance of the largest Russian ghetto, stressing: "Through the efforts of Jewish organizations in the city and region more than 800 names of the victims have been collected, the search should be continued in cooperation with non-Jewish organizations, educators and students. And the names of all the victims should be commemorated in the future memorial.”
The ceremony was attended by the Chief Rabbi of Smolensk and the Smolensk region, Levi Yitzchak Mondshayn, historian Michail Rabinowich, Chairman of the Jewish community of Smolensk Zinovy Agranat, representative of the Public Chamber of Smolensk and the administration of the Dnepr Rayon of the city which is in charge the memorial. Z. Agranat had been an eyewitness to the tragedy. The ceremony was also attended by a delegation of the Moscow youth organization "Hillel”.
Contributions by Russian students to the International Competition on Holocaust Studies to be published under the auspices of UNESCO11 2012
This was announced on July 9 in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris by the Director of the International Programs of the Wiesenthal Center, Shimon Samuels, introducing a joint project of the Wiesenthal Center, "Verbe et Lumière" Charity Fund and the Russian Holocaust Center. The winners of the International Competition on Holocaust presented their results in Paris for the eighth consecutive year. This year’s winners came from Arkhangelsk, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Tambov and Yaroslavl.
The representative of the Russian Embassy, Tatiana Balykina underlined the importance of preserving the memory of the war and the Holocaust for Russia. Soo-Hyang Choi, UNESCO Head of the Department for Early Childhood and Inclusive Education underlined that the subject of Holocaust constitutes one of the priorities in the educational programs of the organization.
The Honorary President of the French Committee for Yad Vashem, Paul Schaffer showed his cap given to him by a Soviet soldier during the liberation of Auschwitz to the audience. He appealed to young people and educators to search for new forms of communication about the Holocaust. His vivid memories can be regarded as a bridge between historical facts and the formation of their historical memory in the modern world.
The second part of the ceremony was dedicated to the guests from Russia. Ilya Altman, Co-Chairman of the Holocaust Center explained the aims of the contest and introduced the winners. The students’ contributions dealt with nearly unknown or current problems of the history of the Holocaust. The international character of the conference reflected research on different states. Kristina Murashova (Yaroslavl) reported about the Japanese Counsel Sugihara who rescued many Jews; Irina Golovashina (Tambov) analyzed the experience of The House of the Wannsee Conference in Germany, and Maria Gileva (Archangelsk) analyzed the US policy during the Holocaust. The reports of the graduates of the Russian State University for Humanities, Yekaterina Lazareva and of the Southern Federal University, Anna Arsenova focused on the problems of oral history and the preservation of Holocaust memory at the regional level.
The presentations aroused great interest in the audience, in particular among Holocaust eyewitnesses, such as Ms. Laura Rusk and also among social actors. Showing a genuine interest in the students’ research results, the speakers stressed the need for students from around the world to study the Holocaust history.
The Russian participants got the opportunity to discuss some additional aspects not reflected in their reports in a more informal atmosphere. It is important and pleasant to note that the efforts of the young researchers were recognized on such a high level.
For each student this meant a significant step forward into the future, both in terms of professional accomplishments and experience gained in being involved in the activities on the international level.
On July 10, despite the fact that the conference was over and the beauty of Paris was not fully explored, Russian delegates showed strong devotion and desire to continue their Holocaust studies.
On this day, it was the time to visit to the Holocaust Memorial. During a guided tour, Philip Boukhara, member of the Mémorial educational staff described main venues of the museum activities and showed some of the most interesting exhibits.
During the first two days, the group had the opportunity to get to know Paris. These days were filled with fresh and intensive impressions stemming from visiting the main attractions of the French capital: Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre ... When exploring the city the group lost its way and found it again by contacting Parisians who did not always understand English, but had some command of Russian; walking under the pouring rain through the nocturnal city, trying to keep up with the time. The time was filled with touching and emotional impressions – but the main purpose of our trip was never lost out of the sight: presenting the contributions at the conference at the UNESCO headquarters.
Maria Gileva and Irina Golovashina
Elena Testova, staff member of the Holocaust Center delivers a lecture at the XVII International Youth Conference "Sefer" in St. Petersburg11 2012
11 July 2012
The Department of Jewish Culture of the oldest Russian University at St. Petersburg hosted the XVII International Youth Conference on Jewish Studies, organized by the Center for Researchers and Teacher of Jewish Studies "Sefer”.
Elena Testova from the Holocaust Center delivered a lecture in the section “Jewish art” on "The language of terror in visualizing the Holocaust: Soviet Jewish photographs." Her contribution was complemented by a presentation of photo material from the archive of the Holocaust Center.
Seminar of Russian and Belarusian teachers in France05 2012
From July 2-5, for the second time, the Moscow Holocaust Center organized a training seminar for Russian teachers on the Holocaust in Paris at the ”Fondacion de la Shoah”, which was attended by 12 teachers from 6 Russian cities (Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Pskov, Dubrovka, Yoshkar-Ola, Ivanovo), and two representatives from Belarus.
The exhibition leaving a strong impression on the visitors provoked a lively discussion about the methods of preserving the historical memory of the Holocaust.
The workshop dealt with the history of the Holocaust in France, Nazis accession to power, their ideology and politics and the role of the “Jewish question”. These topics showed clearly the need to study the Holocaust in our time. The participants highly appreciated the constructive and dedicated approach of their French colleagues Georges Besancon, Tolya Broutman, Helene Dumas and Iva Ternon.
From the Russian side the seminar was led by Prof. Altman (Holocaust Center) and Prof. Alexander Danilov (Academy of Pedagogical and Social Sciences), who presented their approaches in Holocaust teaching and Holocaust remembrance. The workshop included a visit at the monument on the site of the transit camp Drancy.
Lecture “On the traces of lost remembrance” presented in the Moscow Jewish Community Center (MJCC)25 2012
Leonid Terushkin, head of the archive of the Holocaust Center introduced Boris Maftsir’s film “On the traces of the lost remembrance” to the members of the “Club of the friends of the library” in the Moscow Jewish Community Center. This introduced the unique project of Yad Vashem aiming at collecting and memorizing the names of the victims of Holocaust in cooperation between many volunteers and experts.
L. Terushkin mentioned in this context the forthcoming scientific conference at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the tragedy in Zmievskaya Balka. The following discussions focused on the problem of establishing memorials for Holocaust victims in Russia today.
Participation of the Head of the Russian Research and Educational Center in the 8th International Annual Conference for the Study of the Holocaust" at Yad Vashem21 2012
During his internship, I. Altman took the opportunity for talks with the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and heads of museums and centers for the study of the Holocaust from Argentina, Australia, France and South Africa, discussing the challenges and successes of teaching these themes in Russia.
Ilya Altman about the effect of the Holocaust on Jewish self-identification in Russia 14 2012
June 14, 2012
Prof. Altman delivered a public lecture “In the shadow of the Holocaust. Self-identification
of Russian Jews” at the Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center. It was
attended by students and staff of the Cummings Center for Russian and East
European Research and the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism
Besides, I. Altman informed the audience about
the role of the Holocaust Center and the programs of the Russian Jewish Congress in order to
preserve the memory of the Holocaust in the Russian public. The lecturer explained
the peculiarities in perceiving the war and the Holocaust in Russia, in
particular the influence of the memory of war and its victims on the Jewish and
non Jewish population. He traced the relations towards the Holocaust and its
influence on the Jewish self-identification in relation to certain groups, such
as to Jews in Russia in general, Jewish leaders, Jewish students from mixed
families, Jewish communities, and Jewish philanthropists.
The main conclusions drawn by the lecturer were:
strengthening of Jewish self-identification was made possible due to the whole
complex of measures, including educational programs, participation in fundraising for the erection
of monuments dedicated to Holocaust
victims and the projects “To Return dignity" and "Baton of memory”.
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