World Jewish Congress and UNESCO Launch Holocaust Education Website
From the World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress and UNESCO officially launched a joint Holocaust education website Nov. 19, geared at providing students, young adults and others with essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy.
The website was unveiled by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and WJC Commissioner for Education and Academia Jean de Gunzburg at the UN agency’s headquarters in Paris, on the sidelines of the annual WJC Governing Board meeting.
The interactive website, aboutholocaust.org, is now available in English and is expected to be launched in dozens of languages, including Chinese and Arabic, going forward. It is dedicated to providing answers to frequently asked questions and common misconceptions about the Holocaust, and contains a range of simple content, including must-know facts, video testimonials of survivors and the latest news updates about Holocaust educational programs and activities.
The idea behind this project is to reach out to those with limited knowledge of the Holocaust and make the facts easily accessible and navigable. At the heart of the website is the Teach-A-Friend feature, enabling users to “nominate’ a peer to receive automatic emails containing information and facts.
Aboutholocaust.org will also guide users to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s expert website for an in-depth and advanced look at the topics explored.
“It is astounding and saddening that 75 years after the Holocaust, more than 46 percent of people worldwide have never even heard of the Nazi attempt to obliterate European Jewry, and some 32 percent believe that it is either a myth or greatly exaggerated,” said WJC President Lauder in his address.
“As we face a world without survivors or witnesses, it becomes more critical than ever to ensure that the greatest atrocity the world has ever seen never be forgotten, lest history repeat itself. We must pass this knowledge on to our children, and their children, because by knowing the past, we can protect our future.
“UNESCO is today the primary UN agency leading the efforts in fighting anti-Semitism and advocating for the importance of Holocaust education, and we commend its professional staff under the leadership of Director-General Azoulay, on their steadfast commitment to this critical cause,” Lauder added.
The Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress, comprising nearly 150 presidents of Jewish communities worldwide, held a gathering at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris on Monday. During their meeting, the first of its kind at UNESCO, the WJC delegates signed a commitment to the preservation of Holocaust memory and to fighting anti-Semitism worldwide.
The delegation was joined by senior representatives of the international community and Israeli organizations, including Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.
UNESCO Director-General Azoulay said: “It is essential to provide young people with the skills and tools to engage against the denial and distortion of history, which fuel extremism and antisemitism. We must fight against amnesia, intellectual and moral regression אo build a lively and collective memory. That is the core principle of the website that is being launched today by the World Jewish Congress with the support of UNESCO.”