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UNESCO commemorates victims of the Holocaust

Paris, 26 January

UNESCO commemorates victims of the Holocaust

The victims of the Holocaust will be remembered in a ceremony to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration and death camps, designated by the United Nations in 2005 as the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The opening of the ceremony, at 7 p.m., will include addresses by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Frédéric Mitterrand and Limor Livnat, culture ministers of France and Israel; and Eric de Rothschild, President of the French Mémorial de la Shoah (Holocaust Memorial).

International lawyer Samuel Pisar will deliver the central address of the commemoration, bearing witness to the Holocaust, which he survived after internment in Auschwitz and Dachau. Mr Pisar was chosen to testify at the 3rd edition of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. “The legacy of survival” is the theme of this year’s commemoration.

The ceremony will feature musical performances and the screening of a documentary by French film director Francis Gillery, La Vie après la Shoah (Life after the Holocaust).

Ahead of the main event, at 5.30 p.m., Bulgarian-born Israeli author Michel Bar-Zohar will present his book, “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews.”

The book describes how Bulgaria’s 50,000-strong Jewish community was saved from extermination. Bulgaria’s pro-fascist Parliament rebelled against the deportation order of the Nazi occupiers just two hours before the scheduled departure of the trains that were to carry the Jews to camps in Poland. They prevailed on the King and the Church to work with them to thwart repeated attempts by the Nazis to annihilate the Jews of Bulgaria.

Tsetska Tsacheva, President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, which played a key role in the saving of the country’s entire Jewish minority, as well as Guinio Ganev, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, will be special guests at both events.

  • Author(s):Media Advisory N°2010-04
  • 26-01-2010
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