UNESCO and Yahad-In Unum join forces on Holocaust and genocide education

22 September 2017

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Founder and President of Yahad-In Unum, Father Patrick Desbois, have signed a partnership agreement to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations in the field of Holocaust and genocide education.

“Through this partnership, UNESCO wishes to acknowledge and lend its support to the outstanding work of Patrick Desbois and Yahad-In Unum in identifying, documenting, and preserving sites where Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime were assassinated,” said Ms Bokova. “This initiative is about bringing dignity to the victims and strengthening prevention. With the spread of violent extremist ideologies, and genocide and atrocity crimes still being realities in several parts of the world, such initiatives have never been so urgent and important.”

The organizations will work together, mostly in the Latin America and Caribbean region, to present the traveling exhibition The Holocaust by Bullets, displayed for the first time at UNESCO Headquarters in January 2015 and placed under the patronage of UNESCO. They will also join efforts to organize an international symposium on Holocaust education and research that will take place in 2018 at the Holocaust Museum of Guatemala, created by Yahad-In Unum in Guatemala City.

Yahad-In Unum is a Paris-based humanitarian organization founded in 2004 by Father Patrick Desbois, a Catholic priest who devoted his life to researching the Holocaust, fighting against anti-Semitism, and furthering relations between Catholics and Jews. Yahad is dedicated to identifying and commemorating the sites of mass executions of Jews and Roma by Nazi killing squads in Eastern Europe during World War II. It is also active in various parts of the world where genocide and atrocity crimes have occurred, such as Guatemala, Iraq and Syria.   

The partnership will build on UNESCO’s mandate for peacebuilding and tolerance through historical awareness and understanding, and its programmes to educate about the history of the Holocaust and genocide. It will especially contribute to deepen its action in the Latin America and Caribbean region and strengthen public and education stakeholders outreach on issues pertaining to the prevention of genocide.