I only have one more week left working at the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Programme, so this might be my last bit of shameless UN promotion (shameless self promotion will continue). We just announced the line up for our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and there’s some really great stuff going on.
Adolf Eichmann was largely responsible for orchestrating the “Final Solution”, the mass deportation and murder of European Jewry during the Holocaust. Following the end of the war, he escaped to Argentina and lived under an alias until he was kidnapped by Israeli operatives in 1960. His trial in Israel from 1961 to 1962 captivated the world’s attention, in large part because Holocaust survivors were called upon to testify. He was ultimately found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged. The trial is considered to be a great milestone in Holocaust history and international law.
There’s an exhibit debuting at the UN Headquarters on April 19th that features art, photos, video, and documents from the Eichmann Trial. And on April 23rd, we’re hosting a roundtable discussion on the trial, which will cover a range of issues: the concept of universal jurisdiction, the impact of the trial on Israeli society, the role the media played, and the implications for justice and accountability in the 21st century. The panelists include Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Professor Deborah Lipstadt, and many more. You can register for the events and find out more information here.
Tomorrow is the start of Holocaust Remembrance Week at the United Nations. We have a great roster of events - from photo exhibits to a film screening to the annual memorial ceremony - so there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Our first event is a special launch on Monday morning of IWitness, a new online platform from the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute. IWitness is an “online application that gives educators and students access to search, watch, and learn from more than 1,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.”
Readers of this blog will know that I am passionate about digital media strategies and multimedia platforms - especially those that promote human rights, social issues, and historical themes. And IWitness does just this. Students can gain valuable insights into the lives of Holocaust survivors, while also honing their digital literacy skills. The Holocaust thus becomes less of a historical event and more of a living, breathing experience.
By placing the lessons of the Holocaust into the medium of the 21st century, IWitness creates a timeless learning opportunity for students. And, as fewer and fewer Holocaust witnesses remain, digital media platforms become pivotal in carrying forward their messages.