International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Windhoek – An International Day of the Commemoration was held in Windhoek at the State Archives of Namibia from 27 January – 12 February 2010. The event was hosted by the United Nations Information Centre in Windhoek, the South African Holocaust Foundation and the National Archives of Namibia to coincide with the commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and others who perished in genocides.

The official opening evening on 27 January 2010, embraced a packed foyer at the National Archives, a strong ambiance of reconciliation and forgiveness, but not forgetfulness hung like a heavy blanket over the proceedings. The observance was addressed by both Germans and Jews, most notably was the German Ambassador, Egon Kochanke, and the Israeli Ambassador, Ilan Baruch. The Herero Genocide of the 1904 and the Rwandan Genocide were also remembered during the ceremony.

The Minister of Education, Nangolo Mbumba in his keynote address, emphasized that despite the killings of the past “we as people are inherently good.” He implored the audience to embrace the lessons learned and to break the vicious cycle of violence from ever happening again. He said remembering was not enough because it did nothing to ensure that such horrors never happen again? It is a national and international responsibility to protect the citizens of the world from massive violations of human rights or genocides.

The international day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust serves to remind us South Africans and Namibians that we too have been subjected to the evils of a racial State, which resulted in gross human rights abuses and untold sufferings.

The event consisted of several components, the exhibition and documentary film about The Holocaust: Lessons of Humanity, another exhibition- Wasted Lives and facilitated workshops for pupils of various schools from Windhoekand Swakopmund.

The exhibition was open to the public on weekdays from 10H00 to 16H00 from Thursday 28th January to Friday 12th February 2010. School tours have been organized on a daily basis during this period.