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  Durban Holocaust Centre > Events

Seeking Refuge

Happy 8th birthday to the DHC!

We are so proud of how the centre has grown in both the scope and depth of our work and look forward to many more years of Holocaust and tolerance and human rights education in the future.

Thomas Hagspihl DHC Presentation 3 March 2016

UN International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust 2016

Each year on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, the United Nations commemorates 'International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust'. Each year, the DHC holds a special event to mark this sombre occasion, with a respected international guest as well as representatives from the media, civil society, local Jewish community and the United Nations in attendance. This year, the DHC was privileged to host Yad Vashem's Chief Historian Professor Dina Porat. Based in Israel, Prof Porat is head of the Kantor Centre for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and incumbent of the Alfred P. Slaner Chair for the Study of Racism and anti-Semitism at Tel Aviv University. She is also an award-winning author and editor of numerous publications and articles. Prof Porat presented on the topic 'The Individual in Historic Turning Points: Abba Kovner and Lithuanian Jewry as a test case'. Messages were shared by our Director, Mary Kluk, as well as from the United Nations Office in Pretoria, represented on the evening by Hope Kabambe who travelled to Durban to be with us for the evening.

Hope Kabambe, a representative from the United Nations Office in Pretoria.

DHC Director Mary Kluk, centre, with Professor Dina Porat (right) and her husband Yehuda (left).

International Day of Commemoration 2016

The Future of Jewish Memory In Central Europe

Treblinka's Last Witness

Political, Polish Jew: The story of Pinchas Gutter

Plungyan: A Lithuanian Shtetl

World Refugee Day 2015

Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Text

Germany's Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Text

Talk by Tomi Reichental Author of 'I Was A Boy In Belsen'

'Karski & the Lords of Humanity'

'Liberated But Not Free: 70 Years Since The Liberation of Auschwitz'

Intl Day of Commemoration at the DHC 27 January 2015

Nicky's Family

An extraordinary and nearly forgotten tale

Passion & Prejudice: Forgotten Composers

A programme of music by major Jewish composers whose music was banned by the Naziz

Snake Gives Birth To A Snake

'Forced to Flee' - World Refugee Day 2014

The DHC marked World Refugee Day 2014 by participating in 'Forced to Flee' mini-film festival held in various centres around Durban.

Together with partner organizations Refugee Social Services, Alliance Francaise and Project Gateway, the mini-film festival and series of activities which brought together film, photography, visual art, music and craft to raise awareness about the plight of refugees around the world.

As part of the festival, the DHC rescreened the Holocaust documentary 'Harbour of Hope' and housed the moving exhibition 'Dialogue of Civilizations' by Art for Humanity in our exhibition room.

Slawomir Grunberg and Katka Reszke workshop at the DHC

Slawomir Grünberg and Katka Reszke were recently in Durban and visited the DHC, where they conducted a fascinating workshop "The Holocaust through Film" for our volunteer guides. Grunberg is an award-winning documentary film producer, director and cinematographer and his wife Katka Reszke is a writer, filmmaker, photographer working in the USA and Poland.

March of the Living 2015: The International Adult Delegation

Harbour of Hope Invitation

Eva Schloss luncheon at the DHC

The DHC was honoured to host Holocaust survivor and renowned author and speaker Eva Schloss as our guest at an exclusive fundraising luncheon at our Centre recently.

The function, in our elegantly transformed Seminar Room 2, kicked off with a moving message by Rob Holding, Head of Academics at Kloof High School, who spoke movingly about the importance of history as a tool for transformation in the new South Africa and the importance, and advantage, of having the DHC as a resource for KZN learners

The audience then listened intently to Eva's inspiring story of survival as she recounted her escape from Austria and two years in hiding, as well as nine months in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the death of her beloved father and brother. Eva also spoke about her life after the Holocaust in London and her relationship with her step-father, Otto Frank, the widowed father of the renowned child victim of the Holocaust, Anne Frank who later married her mother.

Guests were privileged to be treated to a short tour around the Centre after lunch by Eva herself, who stopped in at our Anne Frank room and recalled her memories of her good childhood friend and world renowned step-sister.

Thanks go out to all those involved in putting together this memorable function and particularly to all who responded so generously to our appeal for help to bring 'busloads' of learners to our Centre.

Ghosts of the Third Reich

No Place On Earth

Johann Chapoutot talk March 2014 DHC

International Holocaust Memorial Day

Johann Chapoutot talk


This week, the Independent Projects Trust held a seminar for refugees and asylum seekers in Durban with Joan van Niekerk from Child Line South Africa who presented on the topic 'Children of Migrants and Refugees in South Africa'.
(left to right) Joan van Niekerk, National coordinator of Childline;. Glenda Caine, Director of the Independent Projects Trust; Nomusa Shembe from Safer Cities Durban and Alana Baranov from the Durban Holocaust Centre.

The Holocaust in France

Lidice Screening

A small exhibition of the South African art work submitted as part of the International Children's Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice was also on display at the DHC.

DHC Director Mary Kluk with Nicol Adamcova, Deputy Head of Mission; Sandra Platts, Personal Assistant to the Ambassador; and Tomas Dvorak from the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria.

On Monday September 9th, the DHC was honoured to partner with the Embassy of the Czech Republic to screen the powerful film 'Lidice'. The Czech drama, released in 2011 with English subtitles, describes the retaliatory Nazi massacre at - and destruction of - the Czech village of Lidice in June 1942. The event followed the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

World Refugee Day

On Thursday June 20th 2013, World Refugee Day was celebrated around the globe.

In honour of this day, the Durban Holocaust Centre together with a fantastic array of partners organizations including Oxfam; Lawyers for Human Rights; Refugee Social Services; Alliance Francaise; the eThekwini Municipality; Refugee and Migrant Ministry; and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,
held the "One Family, One Walk" Event.

Every minute eight people are forced to flee war, persecution or terror. In solidarity with those who have been affected by these issues, a special walk was held along the Durban promenade to the Durban Holocaust Centre, where participants from the refugee community and the broader Durban society had a chance to meet each other, engage and share their personal stories first hand. Once the "One Family, One Walk" event had reached the DHC, a special photographic exhibition on statelessness; poetry and music were all open to the public as well as some well-deserved refreshments.

Invite Screening The Children of Chabannes

Don't miss this interesting documentary! All welcome

In Whom Can I Still Trust?

Paragraph 175

International Holocaust Day - 28 Jan 7.30 pm

Time Keepers

In Commemoration of Kristallnaght

Christopher Nupen Film Festival

La Rafle screening with Alliance Francaise Durban

In August the Durban Holocaust Centre, together with Alliance Francaise Durban and the Victor Daitz Foundation, hosted a screening of the acclaimed Holocaust film La Rafle.

Based on years of meticulous research, the film tells the story of a young boy and several families during the few weeks in July 1942 when more than 13 000 Jews, including 4000 children, were rounded-up in the city of Paris in the infamous Vel d' Hiv or La Rafle round-up. A capacity crowd, including members of the Jewish community together with French students and members of Alliance Francaise as well as the local French community, gathered at the Durban Jewish Club to watch the moving film.

DHC Director Mary Kluk welcomed the audience by commending Alliance Francaise for incorporating an event which represented such a dark and troubling chapter of history into their French Season 2012. Sarah Doignon, Director of Alliance Francaise Durban, referred to the example this interesting project gave for the way in which France explored its own difficult past through art and the arts.

This emotional film depicting heart wrenching events left a lasting impression on those present.

The *Circle Cafe* was the venue for a farewell to the staff of the Durban Jewish Centre complex by outgoing CKNJ President David Simpson. As a thank you for all their hard work during his Presidency, David treated everyone to a lovely lunch and those present had a chance to celebrate David's warm guidance and leadership over the past few years.

Leadership Lounge function with Rabbi David Lapin

On May 19th the DHC held a very successful and special fundraising evening. Our garden was magnificently transformed into a Leadership Lounge where guests were treated to an inspirational address by internationally acclaimed speaker Rabbi David Lapin. We would like to thank the outstanding organizing team who put so much love and effort into the preparations for the function. We would also like to thank all of our generous sponsors and those who helped contribute to making the evening such a fantastic success.

Guest speaker Rabbi David Lapin with DHC Director Mary Kluk and Julian Beare.

The DHC garden was magnificently transformed into a 'Leadership Lounge' for the Rabbi Lapin event.

The organizing committee for the Rabbi Lapin event were (from left) Maureen Caminsky, Moira Kasher, Andy Bernstein, Michelle Nathan, Mary Kluk and Yiota Christodoulou

An exciting fundraising event for the DHC

Rabbi David Lapin

Join us for an inspiring evening with this acclaimed Intellectual and Spiritual Adviser May 19th at 19.45 at the DHC, followed by a light dinner

Holocaust Survivor Elly Gotz with Ms Ronlynne Benn during Elly's visit to our Centre for International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012

Tracey Peterson, Barbara Buntman and Mdu Ntuli attended a South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation Educator Workshop in Mafeking and Vryburg, North West Province

Tracey Peterson at the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation Educator Workshop in the North West Province

Barbara Buntman at the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation Educator Workshop in the North West Province

In February 2012, the Durban Holocaust centre was the host of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation's National Educator Workshops for 2012.

Richard Freedman (Director of SA Holocaust and Genocide Foundation), Inge Schaap (Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam), Janine Cohen (Johannesburg Holocaust Centre), guest speaker Professor Shirli Gilbert and Janine Hamilton (Durban Holocaust Centre) at the Children's Memorial during the recent South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation National Educators' Meeting held in Durban February 2012.

Mary Kluk (Director of the Durban Holocaust Centre) and Richard Freedman (Director of SA Holocaust and Genocide Foundation) during the recent South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation National Educators' Meeting held in Durban February 2012.

Educators from the various Holocaust Centres across the country take a break during the recent South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation National Educators' Meeting held in Durban February 2012.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, our Children's Memorial and Elly Gotz

Elly Gotz is a man with an incredible story to tell and so much life to share. We had the honour of having Elly and his lovely wife Esme as our guests at the DHC in the first week of February, where we hosted Elly as the guest speaker at our United Nations Holocaust Remembrance Day function.

This year's UN Holocaust Remembrance Day was built around the poignant theme 'Children and the Holocaust' and paid tribute in particular to the one and a half million children who perished during the Holocaust. Young people who did not have the opportunity to play, grow, learn and use the potential of their lives to contribute to this world. In a moving twist of fate, the night also saw the unveiling of our very own 'Children's Memorial' at the DHC. A beautiful silhouette together with a touching poem provide an area of reflection for those we lost, a place where the stones collected at the end of the exhibition can be placed so that our visitors have a physical way of expressing their solidarity and connection with those who died and honour their memory. The evening was a resounding success. Sudesh Reddy, Chief Information Officer of the United Nations Department of Public Information in Pretoria, was in attendance and brought a welcome message from the UN Secretary General. A packed auditorium then sat captivated as Elly recounted his brave and harrowing tale, sharing with us his own personal photographs from his return to Dachau in 2004 accompanied by children and grandson. Just a child himself when World War 2 started, Elly survived the Kovno ghetto and nearly two years in Dachau, after which he endured the pain of liberation and was eventually reunited with his family. His struggle to receive an education took many difficult years, and he travelled across numerous shores to accomplish it. After 47 years abroad this was his return to South Africa, a country where he had finally graduated as an engineer at Wits and met his wife. Having left South Africa in the face of the prejudice of the Apartheid regime all those years ago, he was thrilled to return. We hope that these vital lessons are imparted to the next generation of children and young people through our exhibition and workshops.

First Anniversary

The Durban Holocaust Centre commemorated their first anniversary in March 2009 with an elegant luncheon for the Consular Corps. The guest of honour was the Premier of Kwazulu Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize who is seen in the photograph with Mary Kluk Director of the Durban Holocaust Centre as well as Richard Freedman (Director of South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation) and Tali Nates (Director Jhb Holocaust Centre)

The Durban Holocaust Centre was privileged to have a visit from Chief Rabbi Lau (Holocaust Survivor, Chairman of Yad Vashem). In the photo: Rabbi Lau (center) with Mary Kluk and Mr Alex Zingol.

Members of the Durban community who's lives were drastically affected by the Holocaust were invited to collectively "cut the ribbon'.

Mr Jaap van Prosdij who has been awarded a Righteous Among the Nations Medal from Yad Vashem and Mr Jack Puterman(right) a Holocaust survivor. Both these gentlemen addressed the emotional audience at the opening.

In April Hannah Pick-Goslar visited the Durban Holocaust Centre. She is the childhood friend of Anne Frank and she spent an emotional morning sharing her story with us. In this photograph Hannah Pick-Goslar is pointing to a photograph of herself with Anne Frank and other friends in the Anne Frank section of the DHC. Hannah was visibly moved as she explained who each girl was in the photograph and what had become of them.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM , who visited our Centre in August, was accompanied by John Moshal and Paddy Meskin and was escorted through the Centre by Mary Kluk. He said of his visit “ A quick look into the past which gives meaning to much of the present, shedding light on why people continue to show such inhumanity. Please G-d, the lessons learned will begin to make a difference today and in the future.”

We hosted three functions directly connected to the Holocaust Centre:

  • In May 2008 Marta Wise, a survivor of Mengele’s block at Auschwitz told a packed audience of her life through the Holocaust.
  • Fumiko Ishioka and Lara Brady visitors from Japan and Canada respectively gave the Durban community an erudite and moving account of Lara’s fathers survival and the sad story of her aunt Hana’s death in Auschwitz.
  • On 9 November 2008 coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Jan-Erik Dubbelman, Director of Anne Frank International opened the Anne Frank Room which forms part of the exhibition. The room bears an uncanny resemblance to the original room in Amsterdam where Anne and her family hid for 2 years during the war.
South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation © 2011