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  Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre > Events >> 27 January
The United Nations designates 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirms that 'the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one-third of the Jewish people along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice".
The Holocaust and Human Dignity was the UN’s theme for 2016. The JHGC partnered on 2 events to mark this Commemoration.
Over 250 learners participated in a morning workshop facilitated by Arlene Sher and Bonaventure Kageruka of the JHGC in a partnership event together with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and Education Africa.

An evening event was hosted by the JHGC, UNIC) and Ditsong National Museum of Military History.

Grade 9 learners from Hoërskool Voortrekkerhoogte participated in a interactive educational programme.  

Keynote speaker at the evening event was Professor Dina Porat, Chief Historian at Yad Vashem. She spoke about The Individual in Historic Turning Points: Abba Kovner and Lithuanian Jewry as a test case.


Liberty, life and the legacy of Holocaust survivors was the UN’s theme for the 70 th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The JHGC partnered on 2 events to mark this Commemoration. Keynote speaker at both events was Yiftach Ashkenazy from Yad Vashem’s International School of Holocaust Studies. 

JHGC educator Arlene Sher interacting with learners in what has become a much anticipated annual event hosted by the JHGC, UNIC and Education Africa. Over 200  learners from schools in Orange Farm participated in a facilitated Holocaust education programme.

The capacity audience were captivated by Ashkenazy’s presentation, Liberated but not free: 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The partnership event was hosted by the JHGC, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and Ditsong National Museum of Military History.

The theme of this year’s observance is Journeys through the Holocaust, which recalls memories of the various journeys taken during this dark period, from deportation to incarceration to freedom, and how the experiences transformed the lives of those who endured it. These are stories of pain and suffering, yet ultimately also of triumph and renewal, serving as a guiding force for future generations.

Together with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and Ditsong Museum of Military History, the JHGC hosted keynote speaker Dr Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries whose presentation How did it happen in 1944? The destruction of Hungarian Jewry was well received by the capacity audience.
At Orange Farm the JHGC partnered with UNIC and Education Africa when over 200 Grade 9 learners, participated in a facilitated educational programme on the Holocaust.   


The theme Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to care recognised individuals who risked their lives to save Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution during World War Two. The JHGC partnered on 2 events to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. 

The JHGC partnered with the United Nations Information Centre South Africa (UNIC) and Liliesleaf -guest speaker Paul Goldreich, a UK based psycho analyst, spoke about his work with first and second generation survivors. Photo 1: 27 Jan credit Julian Pokroy

L-R Helene Hoedl, Deputy Director (UNIC), Israeli Ambassador Dov Segev-Steinberg,  Paul Goldreich and Sudeshan Reddy at  Liliesleaf on 27 January. 

At Orange Farm the JHGC in partnership with Education Africa and UNIC held an enriching educational programme for 350 Grade 9 learners who study the Holocaust as part of the Social Science curriculum.


The 2012 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust focused on the theme “Children and the Holocaust”. We remember the one-and-a-half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust, together with the thousands of Roma and Sinti children, the disabled and others, who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.

To hear the message from United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

The JHGC held an event at Liliesleaf in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre Pretoria (UNIC) and the Liliesleaf Trust.
Special guest, Holocaust survivor Elly Gotz addressed a capacity audience about his Return to Dachau after 65 years

(L-R) Helene Hoedl (Deputy Director, UNIC), Tali Nates (Director JHGC), Nicholas Wolpe (CEO, Liliesleaf Trust), Elly Gotz, Janine Cohen (JHGC), Arlene Sher (JHGC), Sudeshan Reddy (UNIC)

125 Grade 9 learners from 7 Gauteng schools were privileged to engage with Elly Gotz at a JHGC event in partnership with UNIC and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).
Elly Gotz with the group from Greenside High School

Tali Nates, guest speaker at a 27 January Commemoration assembly at St Stithians Boys’ College together with Tracey Harvey (HOD History) (L) and Headmaster, Mr David Knowles
Helene Hoedl, Deputy Director UNIC and Tali Nates, addressed learners and educators at the UNIC Library in Pretoria, to commemorate the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust


UN Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 2011 pays tribute to and honours the courage of women during the Holocaust, which continues to inspire and empower women today.

In Johannesburg the UNIC (United Nations Information Centre), the JHGC, and Museum Africa hosted an educational programme for 150 Grade 11 learners from 11 schools at Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg.

Programme director, Sudeshan Reddy (UNIC) read the message from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (to hear the full message go to

Tali Nates, Director of the JHGC contextualised the morning’s events and introduced the documentary film, Daring to Resist, featuring the stories of three young Jewish women who found unexpected ways to fight back against the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Testimony by Holocaust survivor Irene Klass was followed by a Q & A session with insightful, stimulating questions and comments from learners and educators.

Learners were guided around selected exhibitions in Museum Africa as well as the temporary exhibition, The Holocaust: Lessons for Humanity exhibition, which was brought in for the programme.


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