NEW YORK, NEW YORK: December 13, 2020 – Gideon Taylor, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), announced International Holocaust Survivors Night, which was held globally on December 13, 2020.
Every year during Chanukah, the Claims Conference honors Holocaust survivors. This year’s event was virtual with livestreaming from New York, Berlin, Moscow, Montreal, Jerusalem and dozens of other cities.
“In spite of the limitations from the global pandemic, we are committed to honoring Holocaust survivors this Chanukah during the Festival of Lights. Our focus this year is on really hearing survivor voices – they are a living example of how light can conquer darkness, an example we sorely need as we wrap up this year.” -Gideon Taylor, Claims Conference President
This year’s virtual event included live performances from Steven Skybell, Tevye from National Yiddish Theater and Folksbiene’s hit Broadway show, the Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof; and Daniel Kahn, singer/songwriter from the Yiddish band, The Painted Bird. There were remote greetings from Ministers in Germany and Israel, with contributions of impactful Chanukah memories from Holocaust survivors from across the globe. The event also included a livestream of the menorah lighting at the Kotel in Jerusalem which is dedicated to Holocaust survivors.
The webcast was held on Sunday, December 13th at 16:30 in Israel (9:30 am EST). Thousands of survivors, caretakers, family and friends from around the world attended.
Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference
Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, former United States Special Ambassador to the European Union under President Carter, and Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues under President Clinton, currently, Claims Conference Special Negotiator with the German government
Meirav Cohen, Minister of Social Equality, member of the Blue and White alliance, Israel
Ambassador Colette Avital, Holocaust survivor, former Israeli diplomat and MK, currently serves as the Chairperson of the Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel and Claims Conference Board Secretary
Olaf Scholz, Federal Minister of Finance, Germany
Dr. Rolf Bösinger, State Secretary of Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Berlin and president of the Chabad Jewish Education Center
Rüediger Mahlo, Claims Conference Representative in Germany
Roman Kent, Auschwitz and Lodz ghetto Holocaust survivor. Member of the Claims Conference Leadership Council and the negotiating delegation. Chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants. President of the International Auschwitz Committee
Sidney Zoltak, Holocaust survivor from Poland, hidden child; Co-President of Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants
Charlotte Knobloch, Kristallnacht survivor from Germany who lived with Catholic farmers in Franconia, who pretended she was their own illegitimate daughter. President of the Jewish community of Munich and Upper Bavaria
Marian Turski, Lodz ghetto and Auschwitz survivor, member of CC negotiations delegation, historian and journalist who served as a columnist for the communist weekly Polityka and presides the Council of the POLIN Museum.
Serge Klarsfeld, Nazi Hunter, Holocaust survivor and President of the Association Fils et Filles de Déportés Juifs de France
Oleg Mortkovich, Holocaust survivor from Russia who survived in hiding, Chairman of the Moscow Public Organization of Jewish Former Prisoners of the Ghetto and Nazi Concentration Camps and President of International Union of Public Associations of Jews-Former Prisoners of Fascism
Max Arpels, Holocaust survivor from the Netherlands who survived in hiding; Chair of the World Union of Jewish Child Survivors
Dirk Adler, Holocaust survivor from Austria who survived in hiding in the Netherlands
Salo Muller, Holocaust survivor from the Netherlands, survived in hiding in the Netherlands, pushing German railways to pay for deportations
Herbert Rubinstein, Holocaust survivor from Germany survived the Holocaust in Chernowitz; Former president of the Jewish community of Düsseldorf
Eva Pusztai-Fahidi, Holocaust survivor living in Hungary, survived Auschwitz, Buchenwald and death march, and testified as witness in trials against camp guards
Shraga Milstein, Shraga Milstein, 87, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. Addressed the UN General Assembly on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27
Lea Zajac de Novera, Holocaust survivor from Poland, survived the Pruzany Ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp; Author of Historias de Mi Mochila (2010); Star of award-winning documentary, Lea and Mira (2016); Resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Walter Breindel, Austrian Holocaust survivor living in England, fled Austria at age 4 with his mother and baby brother
International Holocaust Survivors Night (IHSN) was started by the Claims Conference in 2017 as the only date on the calendar to honor those who survived the Holocaust and serve as a living testimony of strength for their sacrifice and continued contributions to the world. Initial ceremonies were held in Israel, the United States, and Germany, expanding in subsequent years to include Russia and France.
Claims Conference Executive Vice President, Greg Schneider said of the event, “This year, more than ever, survivors have shown us what it is means to be strong. Faced with isolation and quarantines, they still managed to inspire the rest of us with their resilience. We ask everyone to join us for an hour to as we honor survivors around the world during this virtual event. Help us honor their sacrifices and perpetuate the light that each one brings to the world.”