Steven Spielberg to Speak at UN for International Holocaust Memorial Day

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 5:00pm

USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg will deliver the keynote address at the UN’s Holocaust Memorial Ceremony on the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust on Jan. 27.

The Holocaust Memorial Ceremony is hosted by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, which encourages Holocaust remembrance and education and promotes genocide awareness through educational activities, special events, and academic materials. In 2005, the UN General Assembly designated January 27 as an international day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, known as International Holocaust Memorial Day.

The ceremony will be held at the General Assembly Hall at UN headquarters in New York City. The program is centered on the theme “Journeys Through the Holocaust” and will include a video message from the United Nations Secretary-General and remarks by the President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly, the Permanent Representatives of Israel and the United States to the United Nations and Holocaust survivor Rena Finder, one of the survivors saved by Oskar Schindler whose testimony is in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.

Cantor Shmuel Barzilai of Vienna will recite the memorial prayers and the 92nd Street Y’s Woodwind Quintet will perform.

Spielberg will speak about the importance of remembering the Holocaust and other genocides, and preventing future genocides, through the educational use of survivor testimonies – like the 52,000 testimonies collected by the USC Shoah Foundation. This year marks the foundation’s 20th anniversary.

USC Shoah Foundation is a long-standing  partner of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. Last year USC Shoah Foundation announced the launch of its educational website IWitness at one of the events held to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day at UN headquarters in New York.