International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust marked with an Exhibition at the VIC and Film Screenings in Budapest and Vienna
To commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust on 27 January 2012, the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna in cooperation with Yad Layeled France, Yad Layeled Austria and The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme opened the exhibition "Following the path of a picture" in the Rotunda of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) on 23 January 2012.
In her speech at the opening of the exhibition, UNIS Vienna Officer-in-Charge Sonja Wintersberger highlighted the significance of this International Day: "On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most notorious of the Nazi death camps, where millions of men, women and children were brutally murdered during the Holocaust, was liberated. That is why this day was chosen by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust."
At the opening ceremony, the Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs and Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Sandeep Chawla, delivered the message of the Secretary-General for the International Day on behalf of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). There were also remarks by the Alternate Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, Alois Kraut, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (Vienna), Beth-Eden Kite, and the Chairman of the Ethnic Group Council for Romanies at the Austrian Federal Chancellery Professor Rudolf Sarközi.
At the end of the opening ceremony Milli Segal from Yad Layeled Austria introduced the exhibiton to Austria and emphasized that she felt especially satisfied that it is on display in the VIC after she has toured several Austrian schools and universities already. At its 10 th stop at the VIC, the traveling exhibition will be on display until 31 January 2012.
With the theme of his year's observance "Children and the Holocaust", the exhibition reveals the stories of ten Jewish children who survived the Holocaust. It gives an insight into one of the darkest periods of human history using archival materials such as photographs, drawings, documents, letters and personal objects that serve as witnesses of those times and events. It pays tribute to those individuals who saved children, and remembers those that did not survive the Nazi regime.
One-and-a-half million children perished in the Holocaust. Some managed to survive in hiding, others fled to safe havens before it was too late, while many others were sent to gas chambers immediately upon arrival at the death camps.
In addition to the exhibition, UNIS Vienna is screening three films at the VIC, including the OSCAR Winner 2000 for best documentary "Kindertransport - In eine fremde Welt / Into the Arms of Strangers - Stories of the Kindertransport" by Deborah Oppenheimer and "La Mémoire des Enfants - Die Kinder kamen nicht zurück" by Hannes Gellner and Thomas Draschan with opening remarks by Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in Vienna, Ambassador Aviv Shir-On, and introductory remarks by film producer Hannes Gellner. The third movie "The Last Flight of Petr Ginz" by Sandy Dickson, Churchill Roberts, Cindy Hill and Cara Pilson, will be introduced by Karel Pažourek, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations.
The film "The Last Flight of Petr Ginz" was also shown in Budapest at the Holocaust Memorial Centre in cooperation with UNIS Vienna on 17 January. The audience included secondary school students who participated in a competition project which was organized by the Memorial Centre. The screening took place at the final round of the competition.