On the morning of 27 January 1945 the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps still held some 7,000 prisoners. Over a million people deported to Auschwitz perished there. It is estimated that six million Jews were exterminated in the death camps.
The Council of Europe was the moving spirit behind the introduction of a Day of Holocaust Remembrance and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity. Education ministers from member states took the decision in October 2002. While Germany and France have chosen 27 January, the day when Auschwitz was liberated, Holocaust Day varies in other countries according to the respective historical experience.
The Council of Europe also helps teachers with their Holocaust Remembrance Day preparations by making available teaching material for raising pupil awareness of those dark times and exploring the topics of genocide and crimes against humanity so as to promote prevention, understanding, tolerance, and friendship between nations, races and religions.
A conference on La Shoah par balles by Pierre-Philippe Preux, organised by The Centre européen du résistant déporté and the Council of Europe, will take place at on Sunday 27 January, 2 pm, at the Council of Europe’s European Youth Centre in Strasbourg.
The conference will cast light on a still little-known aspect of the Holocaust, the murders between 1941 and 1944 of almost one and a half million Jews from Ukraine who were shot by Einsatzgruppen (mobile execution units) of the Waffen SS, the German police and East European collaborators.
The commemorative event will begin with a song performed by pupils from Landau (Germany). Pierre-Philippe Preux’s lecture will be followed by a guided tour of two exhibitions: l’Art et la Shoah by Francine MAYRAN, an artist and psychiatrist, and l’Enfant cachée, by Hellen Kaufmann, from the association Anonymes, Justes et persécutés durant la période nazie.
Anyone wishing to attend the lecture should register, and the number of places is limited (please bring an identity document):firstname.lastname@example.org
About 10-15 European workshops of a duration of 3-5 days are organised every year. The themes of these workshops are closely linked to priority concerns and projects of the Council of Europe in particular in the field of education.