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29/01 2012

Two students from ORT schools network in Kazan and Chernovtsy took part in an International Conference devoted to Holocaust Remembrance Day

Two high  school students of ORT schools network from Kazan and Chernovtsy took part in the 12th Annual International Conference of students "The Holocaust: Memory and Prevention".

January 25, 2012 in Moscow, at the Holocaust Museum on Poklonaya Hill the XII Annual International Conference of students "The Holocaust: Memory and Prevention" was opened. It was attended by 20 high school students and their supervisors from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (from Kaliningrad to the Urals). The conference was held under the auspices of the Russian Center and the Foundation "Holocaust" and the Museum of Jewish Heritage and Holocaust on Poklonaya Hill.

The plenary meeting devoted to the sources of the Holocaust history, the methods of its fixation and analysis was headed by moderator, Professor of Russian State Humanitarian University, Co-chairman of the Russian Center "Holocaust" Ilya Altman. It were presented two papers, including the report of the eleventh grade student from Kazan ORT school # 12 Mark Naiman, "Requiem for the nearest and dearest", in which he addresses the issues of culture of the Holocaust memory in the memoirs of the former ghetto and concentration camps prisoners.

"Only few among us, who are young, remember that War, even though almost all have relatives who was at the War. I have dedicated my work to my grandmother, who miraculously survived in the ghetto in Khmelnyk when she was a child "- said Mark. "The information had to collect the crumbs: the grandmothers stories, my mothers memories about what my grandmother told her, and, unfortunately, did not tell me, the newspaper articles, official certificates and documents, preserved in the family archive. In addition to the text of the report, I have prepared a presentation in which I have tried to reflect the collected sources. I am thanked to my family, especially to my older brother, who had already graduated from our school for help. And I am very grateful to our Jewish History and Traditions teacher Sophia Borodova. Participation in the joint program of the Ministry of Education of Israel and the Jewish Agency "Masa Shorashim", which ORT implements in our school, in largely motivated me to writing of this work. During that trip I was able to visit my grandmothers hometown Kamensk-Podolskiy. And I realized that I would like to continue working on the theme of the Holocaust, not only on the materials related to the history of my family. I want to expand my research and to write about unknown towns and places. I have not thought about what I do in the future, perhaps, I would like to be an ecologist. Unfortunately, this profession is a very long time to be actual and in demand on our planet. But I will continue my Holocaust researches, which is no less important for me than the future professional activity".

The next plenary meeting, which focused directly on the Shoah history, Alexandra Abramova, the eleventh grade student of Chernovtsy Jewish School # 41 (ORT) has presented the work Holocaust with "Romanian tinge": a strategy for survival. Alexandras supervisor in her research became her mother, a teacher of Hhistory and Tradition of Jewish people, Natalia Abramova, who, together with Alexandra, came to Moscow for the Conference.

Talking about what inspired her daughter to work on this theme, Natalia said: "In our school it pays a great attention to the education of tolerance and respect for history and roots and the culture of other nations. I have been teaching Jewish history and traditions for 15 years. Since her early childhood, Sasha turns in this environment, travels with me on trips, which I arrange for high school students. She began seriously interested on that theme since the 7th grade, to sit with me in archive where I was collecting the material for my research work, she tried to interview. Last year she received an award from the Mayor of our city for the victories in the national and international competitions on the Holocaust history. In preparing her report for the conference in Moscow, Sasha used as a source of 4 interviews with participants and witnesses of the events, the materials of rather wide school database (photos, videos, white papers), collected by several generations of our students. In addition, she consulted with experts from the National University of Chernovtsy. In her research Sasha had given the most attention to the analysis of human behavior in situations of moral choice. She is generally very interested in social psychology, history, and not as a "cabinet" sciences, but in terms of communicating with people. Perhaps Sasha finds herself in journalism. In this participation in the project of the World ORT "School of leaders" helped Sasha very much. During visits to the UK and Israel Sasha not only improved foreign language skills, but also greatly developed communication ability. As mother I noticed, as she became more sociable. For the "School of leaders" Sasha was preparing a project on the Holocaust and the history of the Jewish community in Bukovina. Now she has definite plans to continue the research".

January 26, 2012 members of the International Conference of students took part in a ceremony devoted the Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was held with conjunction with the Foundation and the Center "Holocaust", the Movement "The World Against Nazism" , with the participation of the Council of Europe and the Moscow Government in the Memorial Synagogue at Poklonaya Hill.

The following persons attended and spoke there: Alla Gerber, the President of "Holocaust" Foundation, the Chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee of the Federation Council, Boris Spiegel, the President of the Russian Jewish Congress, Yury Kanner, the Ambassador of the State of Israel Dorit Golender, the Ambassador of Germany Ulrich Brandenburg, extraordinary ambassadors and cultural attaches of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey. The Council of Europe was represented in the hall by the large delegation.

But the participants noted that a very special impression on them made a meeting with Eva Schloss, who took a tragic way of the Europe Jews, running through Auschwitz, and after the war became the adopted daughter of Otto Frank, father of Anna Frank, a symbol of the Holocaust victims. The most striking and touching moment for all participants was the meeting of Ms. Schloss with former soldiers who set at liberty of Auschwitz in late January 1945.

Traditionally, during the memorial evening the award ceremony was held for the winners of the 10th International Contest "The Holocaust: Memory and Prevention". This year on the contest was registered 1775 teachers and students works received from 12 countries. Anna Abramova was awarded the Diploma of Laureate, and Mark Naiman the Diploma for active participation.

The winners were awarded by the Director of UN Information Center in Moscow Alexander Gorelik, the Head of the Board of Trustees of the project "Restore Dignity" Yuriy Dombrovskiy, the Director of "Evan Ezer" Boris Vasyukov.

Irina Silaeva, Program Manager, ANO "ORT", using materials from the site of the Centre (NPC) "Holocaust"

Photos and Diplomas

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