Partners | Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day Events 2021
Monday, 18 January, 2021

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day upon which every year the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims. On 27 January 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp complex was liberated.

Holocaust Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day is worldwide marked by local, national and international events.

The majority of EHRI's partners also organise events on or around 27 January to commemorate the Holocaust, to learn and to never forget. Several of the events organised by our partners are listed below. Given the COVID-19 situation, most of them are online. This list is updated until 27 January.

Thu 21 Jan and Wed 27 Jan 2021 | Arolsen Archives, Bad Arolsen, Germany

#everynamecounts, Crowdsourcing event digital monument and livestream. Time livestream: 5-10 pm CET

#everynamecounts is an initiative by the Arolsen Archives which aims to establish a digital memorial to the people persecuted by the Nazis. Future generations should be able to remember the names and identities of these victims. But the initiative is important to today’s society as well – because by looking back, we can see where discrimination, racism and antisemitism lead.

Arolsen Archives are building the world’s largest online archive on people persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. To do this, the names and data in scanned historical documents must be digitally transcribed. This is why Arolsen Archives launched the #everynamecounts crowdsourcing initiative. You can spend as much time on it as you like. All you need to participate in #everynamecounts is a computer with an internet connection. Thousands of volunteers are already helping out.  

From January 21 to 27 in Berlin, a media installation dedicated to the victims of National Socialism will be projected onto the façade of the French Embassy, bringing #everynamecounts to the public. The multimedia artists from Urbanscreen developed this evocative installation based on documents from the archive. You can view the live stream of the media installation on January 21 and 27, 2021 (from 5 to 10 p.m. each day), together with interesting videos and interviews relating to the installation and the #everynamecounts initiative.

Read more about #everynamecounts and the livestream

Wed 27 Jan 2021 | Vilna Gaon Museum of  Jewish History, Vilnius, Lithuania

Online lecture Paneriai Escape Tunnel: The Story of a Robber, an Engineer, and an Electrician. Time: 2pm CET

Since 1943, eighty prisoners had to exhume and burn the remains of human bodies at Paneriai mass killing site, because Nazi officers wanted to hide the traces of the crimes. The prisoners themselves would later be killed, but they decided to escape.

In 1944 some of the brigade members escaped through a tunnel longer than 30 meters, including the main initiators of this escape plan: a robber, an engineer and an electrician. In the lecture, historian Mantas Šikšnianas will reveal the escape process and the role of the mentioned brigade members.

Read more

Wed 27 Jan 2021 | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., US

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021. Time: 7pm CET

This virtual ceremony will feature reflections from Holocaust survivors, as well as leaders in Europe and the United States, on critical work we must do together to embrace the lessons of the Holocaust to fight antisemtism globally.

Read more

Wed 27 Jan 2021 | Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel

Yad Vashem's annual symposium for the International Diplomatic Corps serving in Israel. Time: 2.30pm CET

Several online events

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is actively marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust through a range of online events and activities. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev will  participate in Yad Vashem's annual symposium for the International Diplomatic Corps serving in Israel, this year to be held online due to the current lockdown in Israel. Israel's President H.E. Mr. Reuven "Ruvi" Rivlin will address the participants and H.E. Ambassador Gil Haskel, Chief of State Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yad Vashem Senior Historian Dr. David Silberklang will also present a lecture, entitled "The Path from Mass Shootings to the Final Solution," relating to the central theme of the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day to be observed in Israel on April 8, 2021. The public is invited to watch this event live on  Yad Vashem's YouTube channel on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 beginning at 2.30pm CET.


Yad Vashem has created a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources the public can view, share and engage in, including online exhibitionseducational resources and the unique IRemember Wall.

Yad Vashem will be hosting for the first time ever an online virtual guided tour of the permanent exhibition "Shoah" located in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The virtual tour will take visitors through the Jewish Pavilion known as Block 27 in Auschwitz I, exploring the central themes of the Holocaust, offering insights into the rich Jewish life that existed prior to 1939 and the world of children during the Shoah, and showcasing the monumental Book of Names.

In addition to the virtual tour, Yad Vashem has curated and uploaded "My Lost Childhood", a new online exhibition featuring seven children's homes established after the end of WWII. Through the voices of survivor testimony, as well as artifacts, photographs and documents from Yad Vashem's unrivalled collections, this moving exhibition brings to life the terrifying ordeals of the children brought to the homes, and how they were gently assisted – often by survivors themselves – to re-enter normative society.

Wed 27 Jan and Thur 28 Jan 2021 | Vienna Wiesenthal Insitute for Holocaust Studies (VWI), Austria

Webinar zum Internationalen Holocaust-Gedenktag. Time: 5-8pm CET

Simon Wiesenthal Lecture. Caspar Battegay: Um-Deutung, Um-Erzählung, Dekontextualisierung. Die Shoah in der Gegenwart. Time: 6.30-8pm CET

Both events are online only and in German.

On 27 January, VWI will organise a webinar for International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

Am 27. Januar 1945 wurde das KZ Auschwitz befreit. Zum Internationalen Holocaust-Gedenktag laden _erinnern.at_ und das Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI) zu einem Webinar über das Arbeits- und Vernichtungslager Auschwitz. Der zweite Teil des Webinars widmet sich der Prävention von Antisemitismus durch Bildung.

Das Webinar gliedert sich in zwei Teile: Der erste Teil, von 17:00 bis 19:00 Uhr, widmet sich der Geschichte des KZ Auschwitz. In Impulsvorträgen und einer anschließenden Podiumsdiskussion befasst sich das Webinar mit drei exemplarischen Aspekten des KZ Auschwitz. Der zweite Teil des Webinars, 19:00 bis 20:00 Uhr, widmet sich der Prävention von Antisemitismus durch Bildung und wird sich mit der Frage „Wie können wir heute Antisemitismus durch Bildung vorbeugen?“ befassen. Es werden neue Angebote von _erinnern.at_ vorgestellt. Read more and find the zoom link

On 28 January, a Simon Wiesenthal Lecture with Caspar Battegay will take place.

Bei den Protesten gegen die Corona-Maßnahmen wurden Symbole des Holocaust wie der »Judenstern« in Anspruch genommen, um damit eine vermeintliche Marginalisierung abweichender Haltungen zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Neben solchen antisemitischen Umdeutungen ist die Gegenwart aber auch von innovativen Narrativen zur Aktualisierung der Shoah geprägt. Neben der antihistorischen Um-Deutung wird der Vortrag auf das parahistorische Um-Erzählen in der Literatur und der populären Kultur eingehen sowie die Dekontextualisierung der Shoah durch historische Vergleiche mit anderen Menschheitsverbrechen diskutieren. Es sollen ausgewählte Beispiele für die jeweiligen Narrative analysiert werden. Dabei wird für einen gegenwärtigen Zugang zur Geschichte plädiert, der gleichzeitig unversöhnt und zukunftsoffen ist. Read more and find the zoom link

Wed 27  and Thur 28 Jan 2021 | Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, France

Cérémonie de commémoration. Time: 12 noon CET

Témoignage  d’Izio Rosenman en conversation avec Régine Waintrater. Time: 7.30pm CET

Diffusion exclusive du film La mémoire d’Auschwitz de Manfred van Eijk.

Conférence exceptionnelle l’historien de Timothy Snyder. Time: 7.30pm CET

Mémorial de la Shoah organises several online events on and around Holocaust Memorial Day. On the day itself, there will be an online commemoration ceremony at noon, followed in the evening by a meeting with d'Izio Rosenman, which is organized as part of a large cycle of testimonies with the survivors of the Nazi camps. From 27-29 January, the film Le mémoire d'Auschwitz can be viewed via the website of Mémorial de la Shoah.

On 28 January, Mémorial de la Shoah presents an online lecture with Timothy Snyder. This meeting is part of a series L'Histoire au présent : 1941 - La décision. EHRI Project Director Karel Berkhoff will speak at another meeting in this series, Ukraine et Biélorussie : épicentre des massacres de 1941, an online event on 31 January.

Read more about the events on 27 and 28 January.

Read more about the series L'Histoire au présent: 1941 - La décision.

The following events are not organised by our partners, but are internationally orientated:

27 Jan 2021 | IHRA in cooperation with the United Nations and UNESCO

Commemoration Ceremony and Panel Discussion: Holocaust Denial and Distortion. Time: 5-7pm CET

The IHRA, the United Nations, and UNESCO will jointly commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In honor of the victims of the Holocaust and to mark the German IHRA Presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel will give the keynote address at the online commemoration ceremony, which will also see statements from Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

The ceremony is followed by an online panel discussion on Holocaust denial and distortion with the participation of Robert Williams, the Chair of the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, Vice-President of the International Auschwitz Committee Marian Turski, Kindertransport refugee Hella Pick, historian Deborah Lipstadt, and author Philippe Sands. The discussion will be moderated by CNN anchor Hala Gorani.

Read more

1 Feb 2021 | B’nai B’rith International

International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Time: 4pm CET

On 1 February, you can join the EU Affairs team of B'nai B'rith International in marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day – 76 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. In a world with fewer and fewer survivors, and following a year that has challenged everyone's understanding of connectedness, this event focusses on innovation and cooperation as two key motors for remembrance.

There are several video messages and two panel discussions. EHRI Project Director Reto Speck will take part in Panel 2 – Innovation as a driving force for Holocaust Remembrance.

Read more

First image: Tatiana Rodriguez for Unsplash

All other images, by the partners involved.