UNIC Harare participates in students’ videoconference

Harare – On Monday 15th November, UNIC Harare participated in a students’ video conference organized by The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme in partnership with the House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin.

The video conference was held as a follow-up activity of the training seminar held in 2008 for UNICS, in order to commemorate the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom of 9 and 10 November 1938.

Five students from 2 private schools in Harare joined students from 6 other countries where UNICs are present in this event. The students were Tafadzwa Kufazvinei, Ranjeev Gopal and Luke Wilson of St Goerges College and Esinet Okunrotifa and Tinotenda Goboza of Gateway School.  UN Information Centers that participated in this activity were Accra, Ghana; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Harare, Zimbabwe; Kathmandu, Nepal and Yangon, Myanmar.

During the videoconference, holocaust survivor Mrs Margot Friedlander told her story on the holocaust via video link between Germany and New York and local students from 7 countries, including Zimbabwe were given the opportunity to ask her questions about her personal experience.

On Thursday 11 November, the UNIC Information Officer and Library Assistant gave the students a briefing on the Holocaust using educational products such as the Programmes' “Footprints: Learning about the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts” DVD, or its online tool “Electronic Notes for Speakers”.

A video link was then made with Dr. Wolf Kaiser, Director of Education at the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site, and Mrs Margot Friedlander, a Holocaust survivor, and the Holocaust programme in New York.

Dr. Kaiser gave the students a brief overview of Kristallnacht and additional historical background, as needed.  Mrs Friedlander, then a young woman, went into hiding in Berlin after her mother and brother were deported.   She was discovered by the Gestapo and arrested 15 months later and sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp from June 1944 to May 1945.  She married a man that she met in the camp.  Remarkably, she also witnessed the arrival of inmates that had been transferred there from Auschwitz, just prior to the liberation of that camp by the Soviets.  

The students were given an opportunity to ask holocaust survivor Mrs Margot Friedlander questions pertaining to her holocaust experience.

The event was organized as a follow up to the training seminar on the Holocaust and Genocide Prevention organized by the UN’s Holocaust Programme at the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site in 2008 for 24 UNICs.