January 24, 2014
The United Nations Department of Public Information, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has produced subtitles for the Museum film The Path to Nazi Genocide in all UN official languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Beginning January 27, the international day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the film will be made available to educators in 63 countries through the global network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs).
“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the world pauses to commemorate the lives lost during the Holocaust. As we remember, we continue to try to understand and learn from these tragic events,” said Sarah Ogilvie, director of the Museum’s National Institute for Holocaust Education. “By providing a concise overview of the Holocaust and what made it possible, The Path to Nazi Genocide encourages people to consider the roles of ordinary people, institutions, and nations between 1918 and 1945 and what lessons their decisions hold for us today.”
The film, with translated subtitles, will also be available on the website of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, un.org/en/holocaustremembrance (external link), as well as on the Museum’s website, ushmm.org, where educators can order copies of the DVD.
“This latest initiative between the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will enable us to introduce this film as an educational tool in countries where the subject is not already taught in the classroom,” said Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, UN under-secretary-general for communications and public information and the organization’s coordinator for multilingualism. “I very much welcome that the film is being made available in all six official UN languages. It’s really important to try to reach as many people as possible to impart the universal lessons of the Holocaust.”
“The film is not only important because it provides needed information but it also implies that the Holocaust did not need to happen if the world had paid attention to the antecedents and had acted. These are lessons that the world needs to apply to present-day genocidal situations,” says Margit Meissner, a Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer.
In April 2010, Mrs. Meissner shared her testimony with students in seven Latin American countries through a video conference organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme and the UN information centers in Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe de Bogota, La Paz, Lima, Mexico City, and Panama City.
In addition to distribution through UNICs, the film is currently used in Museum programs throughout the United States, including training programs for law enforcement, lawyers, judges, and members of the military. Hundreds of teachers and Holocaust centers throughout the United States integrate the film into their classrooms to encourage understanding of the lessons and legacies of the Holocaust. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme will also incorporate it into a pilot training program it is developing for a Model UN simulation on the Holocaust and genocide prevention.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Visit ushmm.org for more information.
The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established in 2006 by General Assembly Resolution 60/7 to encourage Holocaust education and remembrance to help prevent genocide. Visit un.org/en/holocaustremembrance for more information.