Monday, April 10, 2023

INVITATION - “In Conversation" series marking Yom HaShoah


“In Conversation" series marking Yom HaShoah


The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme will begin the “In Conversation” series this month, marking Yom HaShoah. The series brings Holocaust survivors and their families together to talk about family and memory, home and belonging, and what it means to carry the history of the Holocaust so intimately. The theme guiding the Holocaust remembrance in 2023 is “Home and Belonging”. To mark Yom HaShoah in 2023, we turn to the matter of family as a core part of what “Home and Belonging” means and will be holding two conversations – one on the 17 April and the other, on the 18 April.


Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert and her great-grandson Dov Forman,
in conversation with Debórah Dwork



On Monday, 17 April, at 10 a.m. EDT, we will hold an online discussion. Dov Forman and his 99-year-old great-grandmother Lily Ebert will speak about their influential collaborative project on Holocaust education, and what their relationship has meant for them. Hosting the conversation will be renowned Holocaust historian, Professor Debórah Dwork, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
At the peak of the pandemic Dov Forman, then a 16 year-old-student, was stuck miles away from his great-grandmother. They were forced to engage  in conversation online, which they did frequently. Dov saw his online conversations with his great-grandmother as an opportunity to learn as much as he could about her life. He decided to share Lily’s story on social media where it quickly became a sensation. In 2022 Lily and Dov published a book “Lily’s Promise”, a memoir of Auschwitz and its aftermath. In 2021 Dov was awarded the Points of Light, in recognition of exceptional services to Holocaust education. In 2023 Lily was awarded an MBE for her contribution to Holocaust education.


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A conversation across three generations



On Tuesday, 18 April, 2023, a special recording will be screened of a conversation hosted by Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications across three generations: sisters Edith Shapiro and Selma Rossen, Edith’s son, Mark Shapiro, and Selma’s grandson, Alex Rossen. Born in Zlaclov, Poland, Edith was six and Selma was four when the Second World War began. Through hiding in cellars, in bunkers, in attics, and being sheltered by courageous rescuers, Edith, Selma and their parents survived. Today Edith is a retired psychiatrist, and Selma, a retired engineer. Mark is a professional musician and conductor, and Alex is the co-founder of the Zikaron collective, an initiative about raising awareness on the link between state violence and intergenerational trauma.