An exhibition about people displaced by the Holocaust opened on Monday at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, as part of events being held around the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The United Nations General Assembly designated Jan 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops on Jan 27, 1945.
The context, places and reasons for fleeing home have changed since the 1940s, but the suffering and longing to return home have not.
Vanno Noupech, China representative of the UNHCR
Since 2005, commemorative events honoring the memory of Holocaust victims have been held all over the world at the end of January, said Ravit Baer, the Israeli consul-general in Shanghai.
Five other consuls-general — from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy — also spoke at the event.
Each of them shared a story about a person from their nation who has been recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, an honor granted to those who helped to save Jewish lives during World War II.
Together with Baer, they lit six candles in memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The exhibition, After the Holocaust: Displaced Persons and Displaced Persons Camps, which opened on Monday and runs until March 10, looks at the history of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and its aid and relief to Holocaust survivors during and after WWII.
It also looks at the role of the displaced persons camps where Holocaust survivors were located and the reconstruction of their religious, cultural and daily life there.
The exhibition was shown last year at the UN Headquarters in New York, the Vienna International Centre in Austria, and Stockton University in New Jersey.
In Shanghai, new content has been added to the exhibition about Jewish refugees' experiences in the city, where over 20,000 found a safe haven.
According to Vanno Noupech, the China representative of the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, the exhibition will contribute to preserving and promoting the history of refugees in China and draw more attention to the Holocaust, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and China's important support during this period.
"I hope that this outreach and engagement with the Chinese public will also inspire more interest and attention to the millions of refugees around the world today for whom history is tragically repeating itself.
"The context, places and reasons for fleeing home have changed since the 1940s, but the suffering and longing to return home have not," he said, pointing out that the number of people forced to flee their homes today has reached over 100 million.
The need to protect, shelter and help refugees and the communities who host them has grown exponentially and is today heightened by global food insecurity, new conflicts, climate change and growing inequalities fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
"China's attention and support can play a critical role in providing humanitarian relief and addressing global forced displacement."
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