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United Nations in Zambia to Commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day

PRESS RELEASE

Events to address tolerance, coexistence and peace

The Holocaust Memorial

Lusaka Zambia; From 27 January to 2 February 2017, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lusaka will hold a series of events to observe the International Remembrance Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The programme will target children and youth in secondary schools and universities in Lusaka, Central and the Copperbelt provinces. Speakers will include UNIC staff, members of the Jewish community in Zambia and Non-Governmental Organizations that work around peace building and friendships.

The United Nations General Assembly, on 1st November 2005, adopted Resolution 60/7 designating 27th January as an Annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The purpose of the Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember and learn from the lessons of the past. The theme for Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2017 is “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future”.

Approximately six million Jews who were persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during the Second World War through a systematic and state-sponsored fashion.

The Holocaust commemoration is important today as it offers lessons of not only the atrocities committed during the First World War but also on the need for tolerance, co-existence, conflict prevention and the respect for human rights. As killings of people in Africa and globally continues to be the order of the day as a result of armed conflict, the Zambian people can learn from these unfortunate events and not take peace for granted. There is need to guard against tribal differences and hate speech as they have the potential to cause conflict.

UNIC Lusaka will during the Holocaust commemorations engage children and youth as they are the future of Zambia who should grow up appreciating the need to defend our common humanity so that they can make correct decisions around peace in future.

The theme for the Holocaust remembrance this year emphasizes the fact that Holocaust education has a universal dimension and can serve as an appropriate platform for building respect for human rights, increasing tolerance and defending our common humanity. The Holocaust was a defining point in history and its lessons have much to teach about the danger of extremism and the prevention of genocide today.

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About UNIC Lusaka:

UNIC provides information services to the public that range from responding to general inquiries about the United Nations to organizing events commemorating special observances. Journalists, researchers, educators, Non-Governmental Organizations and the General Public also rely on UNIC for the lat

est United Nations information. Apart from a library, the centre also has a free internet service that clients can use for online research.

Issued by:

Mark Maseko

National Information Officer

UN Information Centre, Lusaka

Tel: +260-211-228487; Mobile: +260 955 767062; Email: masekom@un.org

INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, February 3, 2016

INTEUNIC Lusaka ACTIVITY REPORT –
INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, February 3, 2016

UNIC Lusaka organized an outreach activity at Ndola Technical School for Girls on February 3, 2016 in Ndola. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust, this was a very dark and sad period in human history; the NAZIs targeted the Jewish people with the sole purpose of total elimination of an entire race, however, other groups were not spared who included some religious groupings, gypsies, invalids, and prisoners of war. Over 6 million people met their end in death camps built by the NAZI’s across German occupied territory.

The Holocaust was a unique evil in the 20th century and cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten especially at a time in the 21st century when in some parts of the world similar atrocities are being committed of indiscriminate killings of defenseless people mostly women and children.

Inspired by the theme “The Holocaust and Human Dignity,” links Holocaust Remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations and reaffirms faith in the dignity and worth of every person that is highlighted in the United Nations Charter, as well as the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection under the law that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In order to put the discussion into perspective, Charles Nonde, Team Assistant from UNIC Lusaka, gave a background of the Holocaust during the Second World War and gave insight on the theme for 2016, the students also watched a video entitled “The path to Nazi Genocide”. He shared with the audiences present that the purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember and learn from the lessons of the past by looking at different themes every year, further adding; that it also provides a way into discussing difficult issues such as racism, xenophobia, discrimination and bigotry among different faiths and diverse communities within a country and the world at large.

Besides the presentations done at the school, there was a public display of panels highlighting different aspects of the Holocaust. Social media tools such as bulk sms were used to reach out a further 20000 people around the country in ten provinces with the following messages sent out;

1. Today’s is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. More information at https://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/

2. Do you know about the Holocaust? Visit the UN Information Centre to learn more

During the question and answer session the major concern raised was the senseless killings that were perpetrated because of ethnical and political differences perpetuated by one man to convince a whole country, there was a plea that outreach activities must not be restricted to commemorative days such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, there is need for the outreach to be done on the regular basis so that people were continually reminded of the dangers associated with intolerance and the consequences thereof.

Questions asked during the session

1. How and why did the holocaust end in Germany (Europe)
2. What did the Jews do to the Germans for them to be branded inferior?
3. Are there any people who are still alive among those who escaped from Sobibor? If any, where are they now?
4. Did Hitler threaten his supporters in anyway?
5. What was the main aim of Dr Sigmund Rascher experiments and why did he specifically need to perform them on children?
6. What happened to the officials heading the camps after the Jews were rescued?
7. How were the soldiers who used to execute the Jews affected psychologically exactly?
8. Are the Jews still being killed in Germany?
9. Was there anything wrong with Hitler, mentally? Because it’s hard for me to believe that someone in their right mind could be so cruel!

Outreach in numbers:

Bulk sms: 20 000 countrywide
Hand out distribution: 1 500 in various locations
School outreach reach: 100 students

Prepared by Charles Nonde, Team Assistant

RNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, February 3, 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Lusaka, Zambia

The United Nations in Zambia held a series of outreach activities in various educational institutions from January 26 to 28 January 2015 namely Lake Road School, University of Zambia and a public display at the UN Information Centre. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust, this was a very dark and sad period in human history; the NAZIs targeted the Jewish people with the sole purpose of total elimination of an entire race, however, other groups were not spared to include gypsies, invalids, and other prisoners of war. Over 6 million people met their end in death camps built by the NAZI’s.

UNIC Lusaka

Students from Lake Road School viewing the Holocaust bio panels . Photo credit UNIC Lusaka

The Holocaust was a unique evil in the 20th century which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten especially at a time in the 21st century when in some parts of the world similar atrocities are being committed of indiscriminate killings of defenseless people mostly women and children.

Inspired by the theme “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”, this year’s observance coincides with two milestone events: the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s end and the founding of the United Nations. First and foremost a testament of our respect to those who survived and a tribute to the memory of the victims, this International Day also will be an opportunity to recall the commitment of the international community to taking action against anti-Semitism and racism, and to preventing similar violence from occurring in the future. It is a time to reflect on how deeply the Organization was shaped by the experience of the Holocaust, the principle of human rights for all was enshrined in both the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the video shown during the discussions one of the survivors, Gilbert Schie recalls memories of the journey taken during this dark period, from deportation to incarceration to freedom. A story of pain and suffering, yet ultimately also of triumph and renewal, serving as a guiding force for future generations.

In order to put the discussion into perspective, Charles Nonde from The UN Information Centre, gave a brief background of the Holocaust during the Second World War and gave insight on the theme for this year. He shared with the audiences present that the purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember and learn from the lessons of the past by looking at different themes every year, as was the case with this year whose focus was on”liberty, life and the legacy of the holocaust survivors” Further adding that it also provides a way into discussing difficult issues such as racism, xenophobia, discrimination and bigotry among different faiths and diverse communities within a country.

Besides the presentations done a various school, there was a public display of panels exhibiting the stories of some of the survivors. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and bulk sms were also used to create awareness on the Holocaust in addition to a public display that was mounted at the Centre.

Holocaust Bio Panels on display at the UN Information Centre, Lusaka. Photo credit UNIC Lusaka.

Holocaust Bio Panels on display at the UN Information Centre, Lusaka. Photo credit UNIC Lusaka.

During the question and answer session the major concern that was raised was the senseless killings that were perpetrated because of ethical differences, there was a plea that outreach activities must not be restricted to commemorative days such as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, there is need for the outreach to be done on the regular basis so that people were continually reminded of the dangers associated with intolerance and the consequences thereof.

INTERNATINAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, 27 JANUARY 2014 AT UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA CHRISTIAN CHAPEL

UNIC Lusaka, January 25, 2013- Zambia joined the rest of the international community in commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an important reminder of the universal lessons of the Holocaust, a unique evil which cannot simply be consigned to the past and forgotten especially at a time when in some parts of the world similar atrocities are being committed of indiscriminate killings of defenseless people mostly women and children.

“The Path to Nazi Genocide” was the focus of the theme for 2014 and looked at how the Nazi

H.E. Mr. Saul Radunsky, Australian Consular in Zambia making his remarks.

H.E. Mr. Saul Radunsky, Australian Consular in Zambia making his remarks.

rose to power and used its position to systematically target the Jews and others who they termed as racially inferior. 250 people were in attendance and included The Honorary Australian Consular, H.E. Saul Radunski, who is also Jewish and his family was directly affected by what happened during the war, Reverend Faerber, from Universal Peace Federation, Representatives from the Messianic Association of Zambia, the Jewish Community in Zambia, Jerusalem House of Prayer, Orthodox Jewish Community, Universal Peace Federation Zambia Chapter, High Schools Matero Girls, Rhodes Park, Thornpark and Jacaranda.

The primary focus of the commemoration was video presentation and discussion based on it entitled “The Path to Nazi Genocide” a synopsis of the movie was given to the audience prior to seeing the movie so that they had an understanding of what they were about to watch. This included an explanation of the theme, the message and the setting so that the audience better understood what they were watching and later be in a position to ask questions.

Charles Nonde, Team Assistant at UN Information Centre Lusaka told the audience that in addition to what they had read; the remembrance of the holocaust provides a way into discussing difficult issues such as racism, xenophobia, discrimination and bigotry among different faiths and diverse communities.

In his remarks H.E. Mr. Radunski, stressed the importance of never being used by the political mechanisms to mistreat others and use it as an excuse to kill others, he further said that children need to be inculcated with good values that teach tolerance and fairness for others this way society is groomed to live in peace and harmony, thereby averting any potential threats such as deliberate targeting of others with crimes of hate. Mr. George Okech, FAO Resident Representative read the UN Secretary Generals Message.

The keynote presentation was given by Reverend Faerber from the Universal Peace Federation, entitled “choosing the transformation to a culture of peace”, in it he emphasized the need to be conscious of the fact that people are different but they all have equal rights and opportunities. He also stated that political ideologies, cultural differences should not be used against each other. The youth present were urged not to be used by those pursuing selfish desires and suppressing the rights of others.

Rabbi Yalenga, lead the gathering into the Kaddish prayer and Ha-Tikva, thereafter a candle lighting ceremony in honor of those killed during the Holocaust.

Besides the presentation at the Christian Centre, the documentary was also shown on two TV stations namely Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and Prime TV with a total viewership of  8 million, social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter were used and bulk sms reached out a further 13 000 people and the following messages where sent out;

  1. Information on the Holocaust at www.yadvashem.org/holocaust, https://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/
  2. Intl Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust – watch 1 survivor’s story http://un4.me/7bo-en @7_billionothersMonday: Intl Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust. @UNHOP Education material, videos & more: http://j.mp/1fPKoWL

Questions arising from the screening of “The Path to Nazi Genocide”

  1. What was the holocaust?
  2. Why were the Jews killed?
  3. Why the Jewish people are hated so much around the world?
  4. Where did the Jews come from and why did they go to Germany?
  5. What does the symbol swastika mean?
  6. From the film, we have seen how innocent people suffered from the brutality, by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. This has continued to happen in many parts of the world e.g. Syria, Afghanistan. What is the UN doing about these ongoing wars to make sure the lives of the people are protected?
  7. After the Jews were rescued from the concentration camps, where did they settle? And if they did settle in Germany were they given back their assets as well as their rights as citizens
  8. What was the purpose of the war in 1914? In addition, why did German people hate the Jews? What was the purpose of the Nazi genocide?
  9. What is Anti-Semitism?
  10. What is an ideological battle?
  11. How can the lesson gained from the factors that led to the beginning of the holocaust (e.g. Teacher’s neglect of bullying in schools) help us to deal with problems of gender equality between boys and girls in schools today?
  12. What do the letters NAZI mean?
  13. Did Hitler want his past doings be known in the future? If not, why would he allow media people to video tape and capture it?
  14. What happened to Hitler when he was younger? What made him attack the Jews?
  15. What happened to the people involved in the Nazi genocide?
  16. Is it true that Hitler was not a German? If so how did he infiltrate from where he belonged, Austria to Germany?
  17. Adolf Hitler was a determined person to bring about change, but why didn’t he bring about equality to all races?
  18. What benefit did Hitler find in killing the Jews?
  19. Why was Germanys’ military force reduced to 13% at the Versailles treaty after World War 1?
  20. As we remember the holocaust victims in Zambia, how does the UN in Zambia localizing the events so that young people and the society are being sensitized, beyond the gathering present?
  21. Apart from taking part in commemorating the holocaust, what can the Zambian youth especially students do to help the Jewish people and stop such atrocities from happening again?
  22. How can modern technology not be used to perpetuate crimes against humanity?
  23. What specific international laws have been put in place that prohibits the mass killings such as genocides and holocausts which are potential threats to the eruption of the third world war? How effective and serious are they if implemented?
  24. Are there still any survivors of the holocaust?
  25. Using the UN platform; are similar approaches (videos, narrations, dialogue) employed to assist war torn countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, etc.?