16 . February. HOLOCAUST THE NEWSLETTER OF THE RUSSIAN RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTER AND THE HOLOCAUST FOUNDATION16 2011
No. 51 January 2011
Note from the Editor
Sixteen years ago, our
Bulletin appeared for the first time in Russian and English. The make-up of the
editorial board saw changes but we persisted in exposing our readers to
information on our educational and scientific programs, conferences and
seminars, new publications, and Holocaust commemoration events. What matters is
not only that we are read in pseudo-patriotic circles in «Nash sovremennik»
(vols. 1-8, 10, 2010) who desperately try to protect Holocaust deniers, but
first and foremost, by Russian and foreign teachers and scholars. This may be
learnt from the fact that there is a growing demand for the Bulletin in Russia and
Let me cherish the hope
that we do not stop. That the Russian state permanently supports Holocaust
educational programs led to concrete results: for the first time since its
inception, more than 1,000 schoolchildren, teachers, and students, most of them
representing Russian periphery, took part in our contest. This serves as a
weighty argument to further cooperation with educational authorities in Russian
periphery. This issue will emphasize our projects conducted jointly with the
Museum of the Holocaust and Jewish Heritage at Poklonnaya Gora. As always, the
issue contains material on new publications that appeared within the framework
of the Russian Holocaust Library.
The Austrian actor and writer Miguel Herz-Kestranek visits the Holocaust museum in Moscow16 2011
The Austrian actor and writer Miguel Herz-Kestranek visits the Holocaust museum in Moscow
On 16 February, Miguel Herz-Kestranek paid a visit to the exhibition on the history of Jews in Russia and the Holocaust in the USSR at the memorial synagogue on Pokolonnaya Hill. He underlined how much he was impressed by the exhibition, especially because it treats a subject that is little known, let alone studied, in the West. In his capacity as vice-president of the Austrian Society for Exile Studies, Herz-Kestranek reached an understanding with Ilya Altman about a future cooperation.
Holocaust Center: Participation in the 18. International Conference on Jewish Studies „Sefer“03 2011
03. February / Holocaust Center:
Participation in the 18. International Conference on Jewish Studies „Sefer“
On 3 February, the 18th Annual International
Conference on Jewish Studies „Sefer“ ended in Moscow. The event lasted three days. At the
plenary session Ilya Altman presented the new book series of the Russian
Holocaust Library, including the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of the
„Holocaust on the territory of the USSR“. During the meeting of the section
„History of the Holocaust“, which was lead by Arkadi Zeltser (Yad Vashem) and
Ilya Altman, 21 presentations were held, including a lecture by the President
of the Holocaust Foundation Alla Gerber. Dr. Kiril Feferman held a lecture on
the influence of the Holocaust in world history and the role of the Holocaust
in the Caucasus. Around 40 scholars from Russia, Ukraine,
Belarus, Israel and the U.S. were attending this event.
During a meeting at the Jewish Museum, Ilya Altman talked about the Holocaust
on the territory
of Russia: the sources,
historiography and its memory.
31. January / Kaliningrad: International Holocaust Memorial Day31 2011
31. January / Kaliningrad: International Holocaust Memorial
A monument in memory of the last mass execution
of Jews by German troops was inaugurated in Kaliningrad on 30 January. Ilya Altman
stressed the importance of students from the region and other Russian cities
visiting this monument. A high number of students actively participated at the
ceremony. Overall, about 130 teachers and students took part in the
inauguration of the monument by sculptor Frank Meyslerom. The head of the
archives of the Holocaust
Center, Leonid Terushkin,
gave a lecture at the international conference. He, among others, talked about
letters and diaries of Jewish soldiers during the fighting in East Prussia.
28 January / Memorial Evening on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day28 2011
28 January / Memorial Evening on the occasion of the International Holocaust
On the 27 January, a memorial ceremony dedicated to the liberation of
Auschwitz was held at the Writers House in Moscow. About 500 people attended the event:
war veterans, former ghetto prisoners, representatives of the Public Chamber,
leaders of Jewish organizations, students and teachers. Furthermore the
Ambassadors of Turkey and Slovakia were present at the event, as well as
members of the diplomatic corps of the USA, Canada, Finland, Latvia, Estonia,
Romania, Italy, Germany, Austria and other countries.
The Holocaust Center and the Holocaust Foundation organized the
ceremony with the kind support of the Moscow
City government, the Israeli Embassy
the Russian-Jewish Congress and the Federation of Jewish communities. Speeches
were held by a number of high ranked officials such as Boris Spiegel (the
president of the World Congress of Russian Jewry and a member of the Russian
Federation Council), Yossi Tavor (First secretary of the Israeli Embassy to the
RF), Berel Lazar (Chief Rabbi of Russia), Yuri Kanner
(President of the REK), Rudolf Adam (German Embassy to the RF), Andrei
Konchalovsky (Russian filmmaker) and Alexander Borisov (Russian-Orthodox Cleric
and Head of the Russian Bible Society).
Furthermore, the awarding ceremony of then 9th Annual Essay
Writing and Drawing Competition took place. More than 1000 works from 8
countries had been submitted.
27 January / 9th Annual International Students Conference “Holocaust: Remembrance and Warning”27 2011
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
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
Ruslan Farkhutdinov treated the subject of the Eichmann case and different
views of the State Israel and the philosopher Hanna Arendt. He underlined, that
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
участницы конференции, ученицы 10 класса Александры Васильевой (Псков)
26 January / Video conference Moscow-Kiev: 26 2011
26 January / Video
The president of the RJC Yuri Kanner and the co-chairman of the RREHC
Ilya Altman took part in a video conference between Moscow and Kiew. The date coincided with the
International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
WW2 caused collateral damage and distress for the Soviet people,
regardless of their nationality. The genocide organized by the German Fascists
during the war had been unprecedented in history. Jews became the first
prisoners of the concentration camps. Oswiecim,
Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor – the names of these camps are known everywhere
today. The Warsaw ghetto, Babyn Yar (Kiew), Kaunas (Lithuania)
and the German Einsatzgruppen will forever be linked with the tragic history of
WW2. But the desire to survive forced ghetto and camp prisoners to decide: Between
death and live, between resignation and resistance – all this needs to be
remembered, as well as the fact, that it was the Soviet people, who under great
human losses defeated Fascism.
International Conference of students from the Baltic States and the CIS countries23 2011
23 January / International Conference of students from the Baltic States and the CIS countries
The International Conference of students from the Baltic States and the CIS countries takes place at the Museum of the Holocaust and Jewish Heritage in the Memorial Synagoge on Poklonnaya Hill on the 26th and 27th January – a date which was chosen because it coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp by the red army in 1945.
The participants are going to meet war veterans and former ghetto prisoners. Together they are going to visit the temporary Yad Vashem exhibition “No Child’s Play” that has recently been opened at the Memorial Synagoge.
In a small Russian town, a refugee from Rwanda conducts a seminar on the Holocaust 25 2010
25 December / In a small Russian town, a refugee from Rwanda conducts a seminar on the Holocaust
With the support of the Pskov representative of the RREHC, François Tulikunkiko, who completed a study course at Yad Vashem, took actively part in the organization and conduction of a seminar on the Holocaust in the town of Novosokolniki.
Holocaust denial as a means to falsify the history of WWII17 2010
Ilya Altman held a lecture on this topic during the session of the Council of the Russian Federation (upper chamber of the parliament) within the framework of the International Conference “World without Nazism”. Representatives of 47 countries attended the Conference.
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