Posts Tagged ‘holocaust’

Patrick Desbois, French priest who uncovered Nazi killings, awarded Lantos prize

November 10, 2017

Father Patrick Desbois speaks after being awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2017. (Chris Kleponis)

Father Patrick Desbois speaks after being awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2017. (Chris Kleponis)

Father Patrick Desbois, a Roman Catholic clergyman, whose work has uncovered millions of previously unknown victims of the Nazi genocide was awarded the Lantos Foundation’s Human Rights Prize. The Lantos Human Rights Prize is an annual award given by the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, an organization founded by Tom and Annette Lantos, who were both Holocaust survivors. For more on the award see: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/lantos-human-rights-prize.

Father Patrick Desbois, who teaches at Georgetown University’s Program for Jewish Civilization, was recognized during a reception on Capitol Hill as a “vital voice standing up for the values of decency, dignity, freedom, and justice.” His scholarly reportage on the Holocaust has focused on the Jews who were killed by mass shootings by Nazi units in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Moldova and Romania between 1941 and 1944. In 2004, Desbois founded Yahad-In Unum, a French organization whose sole mission was to locate the mass graves of Jewish victims from Nazi paramilitary death squads. These regiments were responsible for the mass killings of Jews, often by shooting and primarily in the former Soviet Union.

His first book, “Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews,” was based on that work and the culmination of its discoveries. Desbois has another book — a memoir on his life as an anti-genocide activist and Holocaust scholar — due for publication in 2018.

Other than uncovering unknown truths about the Nazi’s killing operation, Desbois has also been working on collecting evidence of the Islamic State’s massacre of the Yazidi people in parts of Iraq and Syria. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/02/09/collecting-human-rights-prize-yazidi-lawmaker-calls-trumps-travel-ban-unfair/]

Source: French priest who uncovered Nazi killing sites awarded Lantos rights prize | The Times of Israel

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate 1986, dies at the age of 87

July 3, 2016

ASSOCIATED PRESS Holocaust survivor and writer Elie Wiesel died on Saturday aged 87.

Activist and writer Elie Wiesel, the World War Two death camp survivor who won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize for becoming the life-long voice of millions of Holocaust victims, has died, Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said on Saturday 2 July 2016.  Wiesel, a philosopher, speaker, playwright and professor who also campaigned for the tyrannized and forgotten around the world, was 87.

The Romanian-born Wiesel lived by the credo expressed in “Night,” his landmark story of the Holocaust – “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

In awarding the Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee praised Wiesel as a “messenger to mankind” and “one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world.” Elie Wiesel went on to receive another 6 human rights awards, including one named after himself.

Source: Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor And Nobel Laureate, Dead At 87

Essex county (USA) proud of students for winning award with human rights video

April 24, 2015

An example of how (making) film can teach young people to become human rights defenders. This comes Essex county in the USA.

The Speak Truth To Power student video competition encourages school students to become engaged in human rights. The video contest is sponsored by New York State United Teachers and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and is based on Kerry Kennedy’s book Speak Truth To Power. Students who participate in the contest must choose one of the individuals identified by the RFK Center Human Rights and create a three- to five-minute short film. The contest is looking for student films that utilize creative storytelling to teach others about a human rights issue. The format is open to documentary, stop motion, narrative, digital photo essay or other innovative explorations that involve filmmaking components.
Two Bloomfield Tech students, Christopher A. Rodriguez and Julio Villegas, won the first place in the video contest with a five-minute film about genocide and focused on Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Elie Wiesel. This feat was proudly reported in the local media on 21 April:

“Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Vocational Technical School District …… are all very proud of Chris and Julio for winning the top prize in the RFK Human Rights Center’s student film contest. ……..It was important to share their film with our Essex County audience to raise awareness of this emotional issue and to highlight the exceptional work of our students”.

The first public premiere of the film was made Tuesday, April 21st during the afternoon celebration in Newark. In addition, the will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on Thursday, April 23rd.

Elected and school officials shared their pride about the students’ accomplishment:

I want to thank our students for their courage and their hard work,” Essex County Vocational Technical School Board President Father Edwin Leahy said. “Every time you speak the truth, you don’t get a crowd like this. You have to continue to do what is right even if you don’t have a lot of support”.

Today is an amazing celebration of education,” said Bloomfield Tech Social Studies Teacher Jennifer DaSilva, who gave the students’ the assignment. “Both students have flourished in our Diaspora class. Their film is extraordinary and helps raise awareness about the tragedies taking place in the world today”.

Also sharing words of encouragement were Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Freeholder Patricia Sebold, Sheriff Armando Fontoura and Chief of Staff Phil Alagia.

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND ESSEX COUNTY VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL DISTRICT HOST STUDENT FILM SCREENING – Montclair.

Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg a “touching” experience

November 14, 2014

November 11, 2014 - 141111  -  Canadian Journeys gallery opened at the Canadian Museum For Human Rights Tuesday, November 11, 2014. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Free Press of 13 November 13, 2014 asks and answers the question: “Was nearly seven weeks worth the wait?” as the $351-million national museum has now pulled back the curtains on all 11 of its exhibits. Spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry would like to request just one thing — come for a visit first. “Before we were open, there were different ideas out there about our content — some were accurate, and some weren’t. Some were misconceptions that evolved into bigger misconceptions. Now, the content is there for full exploration by all the visiting public. People can come and see it and judge it on its actual merits,” she said.

The touchscreens in all of the galleries are fully operational and allow users to get a quick snapshot of whatever topic they’re researching or drill down further to get a full in-depth story.

The emphasis seems (understandably?) to be very  much on the Canadian scene (Galleries such as Canadian Journeys, Protecting Rights in Canada). There is one gallery devoted to the Holocaust.

Both the Turning Points for Humanity and Breaking the Silence galleries are full of innovative technology that helps get stories across. In the former, for example, a screen is activated when a visitor stands on a certain part of the floor. A story is told when a visitor points to it on a screen. In the latter, a study table of 19 human rights stories enables visitors to touch parts of a map or run their finger along a timeline.

The Actions Count is a feel-good gallery that recounts children and youth-led initiatives to combat issues such as bullying. The Rights Today gallery shares stories of human rights defenders such as Buffy Sainte-Marie (whose Academy Award is in a display case).

[Finally, the travelling exhibition, which should be active for about a year, is focused on peace and Canadians’ historic role in promoting peace around the world through organization, negotiation or intervention.]

 

home page of the museum: https://humanrights.ca/home

via: Museum a touching experience – Winnipeg Free Press.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/canadian-human-rights-museum-in-winnipeg-opens-after-14-years/

Canadian human rights museum in Winnipeg opens after 14 years

September 19, 2014

Human rights museum a journey into light

(The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is set to open later this month – today is the ‘soft opening’ Photograph by: JOHN WOODS , THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Light and dark is the dominant theme repeated during the 800-metre climb through 10 permanent and one temporary gallery in the new Canadian Human Rights Museum, through the constant play between translucent alabaster walkways and dark concrete and steel, through the juxtaposition of horrid abuses of human rights and the [Canadian]  human rights defenders who have played a role in addressing those wrongs. “If you think about the great promise of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, it is to inspire the next generation of human rights defenders,” said museum CEO Stuart Murray.

Its critics, and there have been and remain many, argue that its makeup was wrong-headed; its origin and focus too centred on the Holocaust; its handling of the Holodomor and aboriginal issues too offhanded. It would be too heavy on the dark, too light on the light, they said.

When it comes to the topic of human rights, individuals and communities are incredibly passionate about it,” said Murray. “It may have been their own experience or the experience of a parent or a grandparent. Their desire, of course, is to have their story front and centre. What I think we’ve been able to do … is reach out to other human rights experts and academics to ensure we were bringing balance…..I think we’ve come close, but I’m very realistic. The public will decide.”

Questions remain: Was it worth $351 million, and those $21-million annual operating costs? How can Winnipeg be the right place for a national museum? Will it draw the 250,000 annual visitors being touted by museum proponents? Does Canada even need such a monument?

Human rights museum a journey into light.

see previously: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/a-white-elephant-or-a-quintessentially-canadian-museum/

Early human rights defender Helen Bamber dies aged 89

August 22, 2014

Helen Bamber dies

(Photograph: Helen Bamber Foundation/PA)

Many newspapers, including the Guardian of 21 August, carry the news of the demise of human rights defender and early member of Amnesty International, Helen Bamber. She died aged 89. Bamber was a psychotherapist who began helping victims of torture and atrocities aged 20 when she started working with survivors of the Holocaust.

She used her vast experience to work with actor Colin Firth on his film The Railway Man, an account of a British officer captured by the Japanese during the second world war and made to work on the Thai-Burma railway.  Firth said his encounter with Bamber was life-changing and the compassion she showed had touched him for life. He said that even in old age and ill-health Bamber continued to be determined to do all she could to help those affected by slavery, torture and human rights abuses: “Her courage, wisdom and pragmatism were formidable – and what she did worked.”

Actress Emma Thompson, who is president of the Helen Bamber Foundation, said: “Not only is she a great listener and an incredible interpreter, but she never lets her imagination run dry…She resists institutionalism. She knows which borders should be crossed and melds them together.”

via Human rights campaigner Helen Bamber dies aged 89 | World news | The Guardian.

for contributions: https://www.justgiving.com/HelenBamberMemorialFund/