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USC Shoah Foundation presents stories of rescue at UNESCO’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day program

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Watch witnesses talking about different aspects of rescue

During the Holocaust, numerous individuals and groups risked their lives to save countless Jews.  Originally displayed for International Holocaust Remembrance Day at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, this exhibit showcases five themes of rescue brought to light in the testimonies of nine Jewish survivors and four rescuers and aid providers.

Organized Rescue

Language: English

This video focuses on the theme of organized rescue, which included both governmental and civilian cooperation. Individuals intervened as part of religious groups, political and resistance groups, and even neighborhoods and villages. This video features the testimonies of Kruuse Caroe, Iréne Rainman-Krausz, and Jean Gamähling who recount their personal experiences of rescue during the Holocaust.

  • Organized Rescue

    Language: English

    This video focuses on the theme of organized rescue, which included both governmental and civilian cooperation. Individuals intervened as part of religious groups, political and resistance groups, and even neighborhoods and villages. This video features the testimonies of Kruuse Caroe, Iréne Rainman-Krausz, and Jean Gamähling who recount their personal experiences of rescue during the Holocaust.

  • Diplomats and Rescue

    Language: English

    This video focuses on the theme of diplomats and rescue and relates some of the best-known cases of aid provided by consulates and embassies including the efforts of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Raoul Wallenberg, and Chiune Sugihara. Diplomats in countries throughout Europe helped Jews escape persecution by issuing visas and other travel paperwork that allowed Jews to flee Nazi-occupied territory. Featured in the video are the testimonies of Israel Kipen, Per Anger, and Henri Deutsch who recount their personal experiences of rescue during the Holocaust.

  • Rescuing Children

    Language: English

    While more than one million Jewish children died during the Holocaust, some survived in hiding.  This video tells the story of Eva Lewin and her experience in the Kindertransport, a series of rescue efforts that helped nearly 10,000 Jewish children escape from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to safety in Great Britain.

  • Religion and Rescue

    Language: English


    This video focuses on the theme of religion and rescue, and recounts examples of how religious leaders acted both individually and as part of a network to protest anti-Jewish measures and provide refuge to Jews in convents, monasteries, and private homes. The video shares the experiences of Edward Harvitt and Kurt Lewin, Jewish survivors who were recipients of aid during the Holocaust; and Isaac Sephiha, who worked with Catholic clergy to help Jews.

     

  • Acknowledging Rescuers

    Language: English

    This video focuses on the theme of acknowledging rescue, which recognizes the actions of those who contributed to the rescue and aid of Jews during the Holocaust, and who serve as examples to the world of the importance of preserving human dignity and human rights in the face of extreme danger and authoritarian rule. Many of these individuals have been honored by governments, communities, and local and international organizations for their actions. The video shares the recollections of Jewish survivors Betty Berz, Kurt Lewin, and Estelle Abas and rescue and aid provider Andrée Herscovici.

“Rescue: Preserving Humanity during the Holocaust,” a new exhibit curated by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, is on display in Paris at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The exhibit is part of UNESCO’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013 activities; commemorated annually on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, International Holocaust Remembrance Day pays tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

This year, UNESCO is highlighting the theme “The Courage to Care: Rescue during the Holocaust” in a series of public educational events that include a commemorative ceremony, conference, and three exhibitions at the UNESCO House in Paris. “The history of the genocide perpetrated during the Second World War does not belong to the past only. It is a living history that concerns us all, regardless of our background, culture, or religion,” Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, said.  “Other genocides have occurred after the Holocaust, on several continents. How can we draw better lessons from the past?”

“The testimonies in the exhibit underscore the complexity of rescue during the Holocaust while also acknowledging the rescuers and aid providers whose actions during the war allow the voices of the survivors to continue to resonate today and into the future.”

Amy Marczewski Carnes, Associate Director of International Programs for the Institute

To connect the past to the present, the public is invited to view the Institute’s exhibit, which will be on display from January 28 to February 4. The exhibition showcases the video testimonies of nine Jewish survivors and four rescuers and aid providers who offer a multiplicity of voices and personal experiences of rescue during the Holocaust. Visitors are guided through the exhibition by a series of descriptive panels related to five themes of rescue that characterize a range of activities, decisions, and outcomes. The themes—Organized Rescue, Diplomats and Rescue, Rescuing Children, Religion and Rescue, and Acknowledging Rescue—come alive through the stories in the videos projected in the exhibition space, which are also available for viewing on the homepage of the Institute’s website. These testimonies were culled from the Institute’s Visual History Archive of more than 50,000 testimonies; the archive contains more than 1,100 testimonies of rescuers and aid providers interviewed in 29 countries and 23 languages.

The exhibit honors those who made decisions, large and small, to risk their lives, as well as those of family and friends, to save thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Whether acting individually or as part of an organized network, they came from a wide variety of religious and cultural backgrounds and countries around the world. Their acts demonstrate the power of choice when confronted with injustice, and serve as examples of the importance of preserving human dignity and human rights. “Rescue is a crucial topic in understanding genocide survival and appreciating the difficult choices that people make in extreme circumstances,” said Amy Marczewski Carnes, Associate Director of International Programs for the Institute and curator of the exhibit. “The testimonies in the exhibit underscore the complexity of rescue during the Holocaust while also acknowledging the rescuers and aid providers whose actions during the war allow the voices of the survivors to continue to resonate today and into the future.”

Playlist Reference: 
UNESCO 2013 Rescue Clip Reels