XIII Summer Session for Russian teachers on Holocaust20 2012
20 August 2012
A three-day workshop for teachers from 24 regions of Russia was organized in the Memorial Synagogue at Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow by the Yad Vashem International School, the Holocaust Center and Fond and the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Holocaust which met an extremely knowledgeable audience. Some of the participants delivered lectures and practical instructions by themselves.
Lectures and round table discussions on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, xenophobia and contemporary organization of research work were organized by staff members of the Holocaust Center: Alla Gerber, Ilya Altman, Kiril Feferman, Tatiana Manykina and the chief archivist of the Museum at Poklonnaya Hill, Natalia Anisina.
For the first time heads of the Office of Education (Ekaterinburg) and libraries (from Taganrog and Chelyabinsk) participated. A significant number of the participants came from leading centers for teachers’ education, from 11 regional training institutes (Izhevsk, Kirov, Orel, Perm, Ryazan, Saransk, Smolensk, Stavropol, Tver, Vladivostok), Federal Academy and from universities (Buryat State University, Volgograd State University, Russian State Humanitarian University, Tambov State University, Lipetsk State University, Dashkova Institute (Moscow), and schools.
At the final session the First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Russia, Zvi Mirkin, stressed the importance to perpetuate the memory of Holocaust victims by teachers.
The seminar was held with the support of Claims Conference and the Moscow branch of the JDC.
VII International Conference on "The History of the Holocaust in the North Caucasus and the fate of Jewish intellectuals during the Second World War."17 2012
17 August 2012
From 12 to 14 August, in Rostov the VII International Conference "Lessons of the Holocaust and Contemporary Russia" took place. It was organized by the Russian Holocaust Center, Yad Vashem Institute for Holocaust Studies and the International School for Holocaust Studies, Institute of Russian History at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Federal University, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, with the support of Russian Jewish Congress (REK) , Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR), \ Jewish community of Rostov, Genesis Foundation and the Claims Conference.
Prof. Altman noted in his speech that for the first time a discussion on Holocaust focused on regional aspects, and it would be held for the first time concomitantly with a film festival dedicated to the Holocaust. He also presented a new book by Elena Ivanova "Calling the fire upon myself," which has been printed with the support of the Russian Jewish Congress.
The President of the Russian Jewish Congress, Yuri Kanner underlined the importance of Holocaust research by non-Jews because they could be hardly accused of partiality.
The conference was opened with the report of the European director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Shimon Samuels "In the Shadow of the Wannsee Conference: The vanishing memory of the Holocaust."
The second day dealt with special aspects of the Holocaust in the North Caucasus region, whereas the last day was dedicated to the fate of Sabina Spielrein, a native of Rostov and one of the founders of psychoanalysis, who shared the fate of other Rostov Jews being murdered in Zmievskaya Balka - and the fate of the Jewish intelligentsia in the WW2 on both sides of the front line. Johan Beckman, head of the Finnish anti-Fascist Committee pointed out different treatment of Jewish intellectuals depending on their utility for the state; Gennady Kostyrchenko reported about the only female member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, Lina Stern who was also the only one not to be executed by Stalin because he wanted to make use of her scientific merits.
Tatyana Passman (Center of Civic Education, Pskov) stressed the contribution to military technology and the victory of the Red Army by the Kikoin brothers.
The last session of the conference dealt with the problem of preserving the memory of the Holocaust, pointing out that in the postwar period authorities tried to hinder the Jewish community of Rostov-on-Don from keeping the Holocaust memory.
Director of Krasnodar Regional State Historical and Archaeological Museum, Andrey Eremenko stated that in his museum the Holocaust is not represented in any special exposition or included in the total collection of the Great Patriotic War.
Leonid Terushkin (Holocaust Center) presented a large-scale program to archive collection of wartime documents (letters, diaries, memories) which could be used as sources for Holocaust research.
Anna Volkovich from Military Medical Museum in St. Petersburg informed about that the archive of the museum contains a large number of memories by Jewish military doctors who survived the Holocaust.
Concomitantly with the conference the X. a seminar for teachers of Jewish schools in the CIS was held, where participants discussed methodical and organizational problems of Holocaust education in Jewish schools and preservation of Holocaust memory.
The seminar was supported by the Claims Conference.
During the conference within the framework of a film festival on the Holocaust were shown the films by Yury Kalugin "Free of Jews" (Rostov, 1992), A. Maroutyan "The Sobibor Uprising" (Moscow, 2009), E. Jakovich "The world after Auschwitz" (Moscow, 2006), G. Ilugdin "Solo for single owls "(Moscow, 2012).
In an interview with the Jewish News Agency, Ilya Altman assessed the conference as successful in providing the appropriate atmosphere for a fruitful exchange of opinions. With regard to the attempt to introduce National Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, he stressed “If this day would hav already existed there would not have been aroused such questions as now posed in Rostov newspapers: whether there had been a Holocaust or not.”
Australia’s High Court ruled this week that suspected war criminal Charles Zentai cannot be extradited to Hungary 16 2012
Zentai was an officer in the Hungarian army during WWII, and he's suspected of beating a teenager to death in Budapest in November of 1944 for failing to wear the yellow star that identified him as a Jew.
The Austrailian High Court says Zentai wont be extradited to face war crimes charges bcs in 1944 hungarian laws did not recognize the offence of war crime.
12 August already translated on the website Resolution of the VII International Conference "Lessons of the Holocaust and Contemporary Russia" on Holocaust memorialization14 2012
14 August 2012
We, representatives of 13 countries (Belarus, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, USA, Ukraine, Finland, France, Switzerland, Estonia) who took part in the conference dedicated to the history of the Holocaust in the south of Russia, and the fate of the Jewish intelligentsia during the Second World War, regard as indispensable:
1) To address the parliaments of post-Soviet states which did not yet implement the UN General Assembly Resolution № 60/7 of 1rst November 2005 on the establishment of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, urging them to establish a National Holocaust Memorial Day and to support in this context the initiative of some public organizations in order to introduce the National Day of Remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and the war and the liberators of Nazi death camps in Russia.
2) To appeal to the authorities and the society of the post-Soviet states urging them to effectively resist all forms of Holocaust denial and relativization, to include information about the Holocaust in the expositions of central and regional museums, as well as in educational literature;
3) To request regional Russian authorities to preserve all the places of mass executions of Jews in southern Russia during the Second World War, to clarify texts which were already established on plaques, including those in Taganrog and Mineralnye Vody;
4) To approach the Administration of Rostov-on-Don with the proposal to adjust the text of the memorial plaque on the wall of the memorial "Zmievskaya Balka" in accordance with archival documents provided by contemporary historiography on Jewish victims of mass executions;
5) To support the claim of the Russian and international public to the President of the Russian Federation to assign to Alexander Aronovich Pechersky, the leader of the Sobibor uprising Sobibor - posthumously the title of “Hero of Russia” and to bestow awards on Petchersky’s comrades who are still alive, S. Rosenfeld (Israel), A. Vayspapir(Ukraine) and A. Weitzen (Russia).
Hundreds gather to mark massive Holocaust pogrom in Russia12 2012
August 12, 2012
(JTA) More than 1,000 people gathered at Rostov-on-Don, which 70 years ago witnessed the worst Holocaust atrocity in Russia.
Wearing arm bands marked with a Star of David, the crowd on Sunday marched to the mass grave of approximately 27,000 people executed by German soldiers near the city in 1942. Most of the victims were Jewish, according to the Russian Jewish Congress.
Leading the procession was Rabbi Meir Lau, a Holocaust survivor and former chief rabbi of Israel.
“The unprecedented turnout shows the memory of the Jewish genocide in Rostov is shared and preserved by Jews and non-Jews,” Russian Jewish Congress President Yury Kanner said.
Last year the memorial site became the subject of a legal fight between Kanner’s organization and local government. The Russian Jewish Congress petitioned the court about a memorial plaque that city officials had placed last November at the city’s Zmievskaya Balka mass grave that noted “mass killing by the fascists of captured Soviet citizens.” It replaced a plaque from 2004 that did mention the Holocaust.
A ruling on the matter is expected later this year, according to Matvey Chlenov, the RJC's deputy executive director. Chlenov told JTA that city officials wrote a memo warning that mentioning the Holocaust could lead to “ethnic unrest.”
Southern Russia is home to many immigrants from the Caucasus region. Nationalist Russians staged riots there in 2010.
"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
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