Bearing Witness Through the Voices of our Survivors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located at the Asper Jewish Community Campus, visitors enter the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre by walking through a replica of the boxcar doors which sealed the fate of so many of those transported to the death camps during the Holocaust.

Registration is now open for our 18th Annual Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium

 

 

 

Statement in Response to the Shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

 

The Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada strongly condemns the unprecedented attack on the Congregation Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and expresses its deepest condolences to the victims, their families and friends. Sadly, the world is witnessing a frightening increase in antisemitism—the “longest hatred.” Some eighty years after Kristallnacht, we are reminded of the continued fragility of civil society,  . The massive pogrom in November 1938 left approximately 1400 synagogues reduced to rubble, 1750 Jewish-owned businesses vandalized and looted, and at least 100 dead. The passivity of the non-Jewish population in response to these events was interpreted by the Nazi regime as a signal that the public was prepared to accept even more radical measures against the Jews.

Today, we are comforted by the outpouring of sympathy and solidarity from our friends in the non-Jewish community both here and abroad, and their clear condemnation of antisemitism. The more than 2000 people who attended the vigil last week at Congregation Shaarey Zedek represented the rich Winnipeg mosaic of faiths and cultures. Eighty years ago, most of the world chose to be bystanders. Today, we know that we are not alone.

The key to fighting hate and ignorance is education. Holocaust education plays an essential role in teaching about the dangers of antisemitism and the importance of pluralism and human rights. We must also ensure that a robust curriculum embracing diversity—learning about our neighbour’s culture and religion is mandated throughout our educational system.

Save the Date for our 2019 Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium

 

Our 2019 Symposium will feature Shoah survivor Max Eisen and Roma Educator, Amy Komus. As a first-hand witness and a survivor, Mr. Eisen has been long devoted to educating others about the Holocaust, encouraging understanding, and teaching about the dangers of hatred and discrimination in society. A survivor of a forced death march during the Holocaust, Mr. Eisen participates annually in the International March of the Living between the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps held on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Mr. Eisen has received many acknowledgments and awards for his tireless efforts including most recently, an Honorary Doctorate from Trenton University. His autobiography, By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, was published in 2016.

In the afternoon, we are pleased to announce that local educator Amy Komus will be speaking about the Roma Genocide. The subject is particularly timely, as the genocide was officially recognized by the Canadian government in 2018. It is estimated that between 220,000 and 500,000 European Roma and Sinti were murdered during the period of the Holocaust – victims of racist persecution by the German Nazis and their fascist allies. But this genocide is still largely unknown. Roma and Sinti were murdered in extermination camps and died of hunger and disease in forced labour and concentration camps. Many more were deported and exploited as forced labour on farms, construction sites and in industry. For decades after the war the survivors were not recognized as victims of the Nazi persecution and received little or no compensation or restitution for their lost property. 

 See https://fffholocausteducationcentre.org/2018/09/16/save-the-date-2019-holocaust-human-rights-symposium/ for more details and registration information.

New! See our Events page to view videos from our three 2018 International Holocaust Remembrance Day events: "Italy During the Fascist Era

At a Glance

Donations & Tribute Cards

We gratefully welcome donations to help us to continue to offer our valuable programming to students and adults alike.

Purchase Book

Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors

Belle Jarniewski’s book documents the experiences of more than 70 Canadian survivors before, during and after the Holocaust.