The UN Office (UNO) in Almaty observed Holocaust Remembrance Day in two locations.
On 29 January, UNO co-organized a memorial ceremony in Astana at Kazakh National University of Arts with the Embassies of Israel, the United States, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Hungary and the Netherlands.
“Witnesses to the Holocaust are getting fewer in number, and it is our duty to keep the memory and to pass it to the children to prevent recurrence of this tragedy in future” noted Israeli Ambassador Eliyahu Tasman.
Special prayers were said, classical music performed live and excerpts from Holocaust victims’ poems recited by students in English, Russian, Hebrew, Polish, German, and Hungarian. Additionally, photographs taken during the war were displayed at a special exhibition in the foyer.
The commemorative event culminated with the presentation of a documentary film about Anne Frank, who hid in the Netherlands for 25 months before being arrested in August 1944 and sent to Auschwitz where she died in March 1945.
In Almaty, UNO organized commemorative events to honour those who risked their own lives to save tens of thousands of Jews, Roma and Sinti from the Nazis. On 3 February, a screening of “The Rescuers” was organized at “Mitsva” Association of Kazakhstan.
Jointly commemorating the International Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the World Interfaith Harmony Week the message “Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care” rang true.
Candles were lit in memory of holocaust victims and after the film the moral courage of twelve diplomats who saved Jewish lives during World War II was discussed.
Eduard Kaukin, who as a young boy survived the horrors of the death camps said “I am extremely grateful to these brave diplomats who helped to save lives of so many people. I only regret that there were not more such courageous diplomats in those difficult times”.
Anastasia Borovikova, a student, added that “bravery of the twelve diplomats, who risked their lives and careers should become a shining example to the young generation”. She also pointed out that World War II and the conflict in Rwanda were important reminders that our world permanently needs peace.