On December 8, the President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Dr. Michael Mirilashvili and the EAJC General Director Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov held a meeting with the Chairman of the Board of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Complex Dani Dayan. During the meeting, the parties outlined plans for the future and discussed a number of important areas of joint work, including the issue of study and preservation of the memory of the Holocaust and World War II.
Dani Dayan was appointed Chairman of the Board of Yad Vashem by the Israeli Government in August 2021. He previously served as Israel’s Consul General in New York. Prior to joining the US diplomatic service, Dayan was a member of the Yad Vashem public council.
As the leaders of the EAJC noted during the meeting, the Congress pays special attention to studying the Holocaust and supporting former prisoners of ghettos and concentration camps, preserving memory and combating Holocaust denial. The EAJC is active in public diplomacy, encouraging state leaders to formulate a clear and consistent policy of preserving historical memory.
Leaders of the EAJC and Yad Vashem also discussed educational and cultural projects of the EAJC, launched in close cooperation between the two organizations in recent years.
One of them is the The Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union at the Yad Vashem memorial complex, which began its work in May 2016. The Center aims to initiate and promote innovative research in the Jewish history during the Second World War in the territories that were part of the USSR at the time of the Nazi Germany invasion on June 22, 1941.
At the meeting, a book by one of the Center’s researchers, historian Aaron Schneier, “Captivity”, was presented. The book tells about the fate of Soviet prisoners of war and examines the issue of service and the role of Jews in the Red Army before, during and after WWII. Separate chapters of the book talk about anti-Semitism and its causes in the pre-war years, as well as during the war in the rear and at the front.
The promotion of the Holocaust history in culture was discussed as well. One of the projects designed to fulfill this task is the movie “Sobibor”, the international release of which was supported by the EAJC. The film is based on real events that took place during the Second World War in the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland.
Another project, supported by the EAJC, won and award at the Moscow Jewish Film Festival in October this year. The animated movie “263 Nights” was awarded in the category “Best Documentary Short Film”. It reveals the story of 26 people hiding from the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Minsk in a dug basement for 263 days.
The EAJC pays considerable attention to educational projects about the Holocaust. These are online resources for perpetuating the memory of the victims of the besieged Leningrad (“Memory of the besieged Leningrad”) and a collection of educational materials about the history of the Holocaust (“SHOA”).
On the personal initiative of the EAJC President, Dr. Mikhail Mirilashvili, EAJC has been providing support to a number of associations of veterans and invalids of the Second World War in Israel and on the territory of the former USSR.
The International Public Organization of Jewish Former Juvenile Prisoners of Ghettos and Nazi Concentration Camps has been a member of the EAJC for many years and is engaged in medical and socio-psychological support of former prisoners, as well as preserving and transmitting the living memory of the Holocaust to the younger generation.
Yad Vashem Board Chairman Dani Dayan supported the initiatives of the EAJC leaders and expressed readiness to continue active cooperation between the Yad Vashem memorial complex and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.