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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“Yom Shoah” and Jewish heroism

19 2012

19th April 2012
Ilya Altman staging at the Research institute of Yad Vashem took part in a memorial ceremony at the occasion of “Yom Shoah”. It took place the evening before on the place of the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters in the memorial complex of Yad Vashem.
According to Ilya Altman, "it was an unforgettable sight.  The ceremony adhered  a particular atmosphere  though,  despite the cold spring evening, it was held outdoors. The sculptures of the famous monument to the heroes of the Warsaw uprising were illuminated by red lights which made them look as if  they were brought to life..
It was a very moving ceremony when six torches were lightened and a video was shown telling about the miracle of the surviving prisoners and partisans, who were entrusted with the right to light the torches.
The witness reports  were combined with film reports, photos of the speaker and his family from different years, and documents. I would like to emphasize that the topic of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union was mentioned in most speeches. Israeli President Shimon Peres, listing the destroyed Jewish communities, mentioned  Minsk, Odessa, Riga, Belarus and  the Ukraine. The ceremony was opened  by the chairman of the Board of Trustees  of Yad Vashem, Rabbi Meir Lau, who was saved at  Buchenwald by a young man from Rostov. Among those who lightened the torches was Bat Sheva Dagan,  liberated by the Red Army at Auschwitz, the former prisoner of the Minsk ghetto and  partisan Anatoly Rubin,  the prisoner  from  Kossovo ghetto (Belarus) and later partisan, Hasya Vardi. At the end of the ceremony  the Hatikva  was sung by young boys and girls wearing the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces' .
And today at 10 am the country came to a standstill ,bowing her  head in a minute's silence in memory of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust. At the same time at Yad Vashem  a ceremony began attended by former prisoners of the ghetto and  resistance fighters , World War II veterans and young people.

Graduate from Yad Vashem international course on the history of the Holocaust awarded as “Meritious teacher of the Russian Federation”

06 2012

6th April2012
Olga Grigoryeva, participant of the Yad Vashem seminar was awarded by a decree of the Russian President as ”Meritious teacher of the Russian Federation”. The Holocaust Center combines its congratulation with best wishes for  further sucees in her demanding activities.

Russian Holocaust scholar visits University of Toronto

04 2012

Toronto — In discussions about the Holocaust, the number of Jews murdered on Soviet territory is often overlooked, minimized, or simply not examined due to a lack of accessible information, says Ilya Altman, a leading scholar in Holocaust studies from the Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow and a Yad Vashem fellow.
The article:

Seminar in the House of the Wannsee Conference (Berlin)

31 2012

31 March 2012
From 25th – to 31rst  March  a  seminar  "History of the Holocaust as a subject of study." took place  at the museum  “House of the Wannsee-Conference” for 15pedagogues  and researchers   from Russia and  the Ukraine , who came from  Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Vologda, Rostov-on-Don, Yaroslavl. , Kiev and Odessa.
The  intensive training program comprised lectures by Dr Wolf  Kaiser (House of the Wannsee-Conference), Elisabeth Schwarzbaum (International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen) and Ulrike Huhn) (Research Center for East European Studies, Bremen University ) followed by a workshop  on "Racism and Anti-Semitism,"  Besides providing information the seminar acquainted the participants with interactive methods  of learning such as mutual  presentation  of parts of the exhibition by working groups  and  the  comparison  of  the history of the Holocaust in Germany, Russia and the Ukraine.
At a visit at the Schiller Gymnasium the Russian and Ukrainian guests had the opportunity to exchange experiences with German teachers of history.
Only very few time was left for a visit of the historic district of Berlin.
The group visited many places that are connected with the tragedy of the European Jews  -from the train station Grunewald where the deportation started to the Memorial Sachsenhausen. This left an deep impression on the visitor as well as the visit of the Jewish museum, where  the group was introduced to the architecture of Daniel Libeskind  who tried to express an atmosphere  of fear and abandonment in  some parts of the building reminding the Shoah.
From the  German Russian Museum at Karlshorst, the group came to see  the “Topography of Terror”, an exhibition about the most important institutions of the  National Socialist persecution and terror at  the site where the headquarters of the Secret State Police (Gestapo), the SS and the Reich Security Main Office were located. The last point of the Berlin excursion was the monument to the murdered Jews in Europe, consisting of a site covered with 2,711   dark tower arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field, designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere.
The successful performance of the seminar was only possible due to the active and dedicated participation  of the whole group and last not least  with the perfect preparation and the as well  decisive as kind  guidance through Berlin and the program by Tatyana Manykina (Holocaust Center, Moscow)

Teachers from Russia finish their traineeship at the Yad Vashem International School

29 2012

29 March 2012
In the recent years a growing number of teachers felt  the need to  discuss the Holocaust with their classes and to learn together with their students  about the origins and lessons of this unprecedented tragedy.   The Moscow Holocaust Center invited such engaged and active people from 22 regions of Russia and one participant from Lithuanian Center to participate in the annual training from 18  to 28  March at the Yad Vashem International School of.

Israel soldier - liberator and keeper of the memory of the Holocaust awarded with the Russian “In Memory of the People's Militia" Medal

27 2012

March 27, 2012
At the International School for Holocaust Studies and  the memorial  complex Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) the first ceremony took place  awarding the unique Russian Medal "In Memory of the People's militia" to veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 living in Israel. This award was established in accordance with the Presidential Decree № 49 of 9 January 2012, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the People's Militia (1612), the 200th anniversary of the participation of militia in the war of 1812 and the 70th anniversary of the heroic deeds of the militia divisions in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The ceremony was attended by the head of the Russian speaking program of the Yad Vashem International School Dr. Irit Abramsky and staff member of Noah Segal, the chairpersons of the Russian Holocaust Center Alla Gerber and  Dr. Ilya Altman,  representative of  the Russian Holocaust  Center in Israel, Gregory Reikhman, and a large group of Russian teachers, participating in a seminar organized by the Moscow Holocaust Center in Israel. The  medal along with a certificate –was  awarded by the head of the Bryansk  group of the “Baton of remembrance” on behalf of the All  Russian  Union  "Revival", Alex Ekimtsev.
The first to receive this award was  a member of the All-Israeli  Union,of disabled veterans, soldiers and partisans and  fighters against the Nazism, living in Be'er Sheva, Leonid (Linden) Jankowski.
The representative of the Russian Holocaust Center, Gregory Reikman noted that the fate of Leonid Jankowski is a prime example of a "fighting Jew". A lecture on the topic was delivered  the evening before ,followed  by a contribution of the director of the “Museum of Military History”, (Hadera, Israel) David Zelvensky The energy of courage"   introducing to the exhibition "On the fire line. "
 I. Altman underlined that Leonid Jankowski - one of half a million of Jews -fighting in the Red Army, being  in liberator and eye witness in one person, guarded the memory of the Jewish tragedy  and heroism after  WW II
Born in 1923 in the Bryansk region he joined a battle group on the fourth day of the war at the age of not yet  seventeen. In late 1941 he fought near Moscow, participated in the battles around Rzhev, where he was wounded. He fought at Dembitsa and on 27 January 1945 he took part in the liberation of Auschwitz in the  Divison of General Petrenko.
In autumn 1943 Leonid Jankowski learned about the death of the Jewish population of his native town among them father, mother, two brothers and sisters who were shot by the Nazis  on 18 February 1942 in Zlynka.
Half a century later, together with the head of the School museum for local history, L. Taranova,  Jankowski undertook efforts to keep the memory of the Holocaust victims alive by collecting a list of names  including his relatives and friends and  sent them to Yad Vashem.
After settling in Israel in the early 90's Leonid Jankowski became an activist of the” Union of Disabled World War II-fighters against the Nazis”, and one of the initiators for the erection of the monument in Beer-Sheva for the Jews who perished at the front during World War II He also participated in numerous meetings with students and is the author of many newspaper publications.
 Leonid Jankowski  handed over unique documents from his personal archive to the archives of the Russian Holocaust  Center among them -photos of his the deceased parents and the original  newspaper of the 60th Army from 1rst September  1944, reporting on the battle for the heights in which he took part, as well as an unique collections of photographs of the political  leadership of his army division  and collection of documents  about the liberators, including the fund of the commander of  the 107th division, General V.Y. Petrenko, where  Jankowski served until the end of the war ...
Photo : Leonid Jankowski, 1945.

Ilya Altman was a keynote speaker at the international conference on the history of Second World War and the Holocaust in Toronto

25 2012

On March 25, Professor Ilya Altman representing the Russian Holocaust Center and also Yad Vashem where he conducts his postdoctoral project was a keynote speaker at the international conference on the history of Second World War and the Holocaust that opened in Toronto. Professor Altman’s presentation, “The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Unknown Pages,” was the Annual Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Lecture in Holocaust Studies attended by more than 150 people. It opened an international conference “Jewish Life and Death in the Soviet Union during World War II” attended by scholars from Israel, Germany, Canada, and Russia (among them Dr. Gennadi Kostyrchenko, member of the Board of the Russian Holocaust Center).
In the evening of March 25, the University of Toronto organized a reception to honor its guest. He was greeted by the organizer of the annual lecture Mrs. Rose Wolf and the conference organizer professor Doris Bergen. In the past, such lectures were delivered by such prominent Holocaust scholars as Professor Dan Michman (Israel) and Professor Omer Bartov (USA).
Ilya Altman conducted negotiations on cooperation with the heads of Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto with an emphasis on participation in international scholarly contests and educational programs. Ilya Altman emphasized that “Starting from 2013, Canada will assume the Chairmanship of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research and it is of primary importance for us to cooperate with this country”. He mentioned a perfect organization of the conference. On the eve of the conference, a local newspaper in Russian published a big article on the activities of Russian Holocaust Center and its scholarly publications.



23 2012

No. 55 January 2012.Note from the Editor. In this issue we present various aspects of teaching and studying of the Holocaust in Russia. The year culminated in the inclusion of Holocaust in State examination on history. Supported by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, teachers and schoolchildren representing more than eighty percent of the country’s regions participated in the scholarly contest on Holocaust. Our Center participated in more than 10 seminars supported by the grants of the President of Russian Federation and Claims Conference: they were conducted from the Far East and Siberia to Baltic Sea. Supported by local authorities many cities hosted events that commemorated 70 years from the beginning of the Holocaust on the territory of the Russian Federation. Supported by the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, the Center conducted international conference on Holocaust memorialization in St. Petersburg.
Representatives of various confessions and ethnic communities took active part in erecting monuments and were engaged in educational programs. International Holocaust Memorial Day was widely commemorated in Russia (although not at the official level). Traditional ceremony took place on January 27 at the Central House of Writers; it brought together more than 500 Russian public figures.
Such memorial evenings held all over Russian with the Center’s support, are the most visible sign of public commemoration of Holocaust in Russia. Yet, they cannot and should not substitute recognition of the Holocaust by Russian state as Russian national memorial day (The Russian Holocaust Center proposes to include in this day also the recognition of the role of the red Army in the rescue of Jews). In 2011, national Holocaust day was introduced in Ukraine. Unfortunately, for various reasons Russian state refrain from making such a step.
We would like to highlight one case widely covered by world media. It does not allow us to think that Russian officialdom internalized the Holocaust uniqueness and universality: in November 2011, memorial plaque carrying the text on Holocaust victims was removed in Rostov-on-Don.…
Now we conduct active preparation to mark 70 years from the tragedy in this city. International scholarly conference and educational seminar, alongside a set of memorial actions scheduled to be held in the city in August 2012 will make it possible for Russia to view Holocaust concerned as a part of its own history. 
Download from the page:
Or: №55(PDF)

56th edition of the information bulletin “Holocaust “(Russian edition)

23 2012

23 March  2012
In his editorial I. Altman pointed out that the present issue focuses on the memorial and educational programs in Russia. Many cities organized memorial events dedicated to 70th anniversary of the Holocaust on the territory of the Soviet Union, as  in Pushkin, Taganrog, Lubavitch. The International Holocaust remembrance day was widely memorialized in Russia (although not on an official level)  Teachers and students  from over 80% of the Russian regions  participated the 11th  contest of the Holocaust Center  with interesting new contributions to this topic.
 It is important to keep in mind that the installation of monuments and the conduct of educational programs have been actively supported by representatives of various religious and national communities.
One example however, having been extensively reported in international  mass media, does not allow to believe  that  understanding of the unprecedented nature and the universality of the Holocaust  came into minds of those who should feel obliged to honor the memory of Nazi victims : in November 2011  in Rostov-on-Don,  a memorial plaque  with an inscription  mentioning the victims of the Holocaust was replaced ...
The Russian Holocaust Center is  preparing for the 70th anniversary of the tragedy in  the Snake Canyon  In August 2012 an international scientific conference and  seminars will take part , along with a series of commemorative events: this is  essential in order that  Russia should acknowledge the Holocaust as an important part of its own history.
Almost simultaneously the 55th issue of the  English version of the Bulletin in English appeared,
To download both the Bulletin  in both languages please click

"From Moscow to the furthest borders ..."

19 2012

19 March 2012
They come from all parts of Russia, the teachers of schools, universities, heads of educational programs and museum staff, who will take part in the next seminar at Yad Vashem.  The 25 Russian participants come from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg , Kemerovo , Nizhny Novgorod, Bryansk, Ivanovo and Murmansk regions, Krasnodar, Rostov, and Tomsk, and  one participant from Lithuania. There will be a rich program of intensive studies not only of the tragedy of the Holocaust and the teaching methods of this topic in Israel, including meetings with eye witnesses of the Shoah and World War II veterans, but  they will  be introduced  in the history and geography of the country as a whole by visiting museums and important sights in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (e.g. Diaspora Museum).
 A brief introductory discussion showed that each of the participants came to the seminar with interesting elaborations that will be presented at upcoming seminars.

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