Thanks to the generous support of our followers, the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC) has had a very successful start to the fall season providing educational opportunities and impactful programming to advance Holocaust awareness and tolerance. Our important messaging is reaching a wide cross-section of the local community, including students, teachers and many others across Hong Kong. Below are selected details:
Educational Project with St Stephen’s College and Yad Vashem
In October, HKHTC presented an acclaimed international exhibition — Stars Without a Heaven: Children in the Holocaust — a special project organised with St Stephen’s College (SSC) and in cooperation with Yad Vashem. HKHTC is delighted by the strong turnout at the exhibition held on the SSC campus in Stanley. The college’s 900+ students attended the exhibition throughout the week. On October 19, the exhibition began with an opening officiated by Ms Ahuva Spieler (Consul-General of the State of Israel in Hong Kong and Macau), Ms Carol Yang (SSC Principal), Ms Rachel Friedmann (Principal of Carmel School), Dr David Deutsch (Yad Vashem’s Head of International Seminars), Dr Roland Vogt (HKHTC Chairman), and Mr Glen Steinman (HKHTC Former Co-Chairman). Under the auspices of the joint 'HKHTC-Elsa High School student ambassador programme', the event featured three Elsa High School students engaging in a very meaningful and memorable dialogue with SSC students about Holocaust awareness and its relevance today.
Special Lecture on the Shanghai Ghetto
On October 22, HKHTC Executive Director Mr Simon Li gave a special lecture to around 300 high school students at St Stephen College’s main hall. The lecture was about of the almost 20,000 Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII. It focused on helping the student audience understand what happened to so many Jews who were forced to board the first ship available from their homes in Europe bound for anywhere they could go — the choices were highly limited because most countries would not accept Jewish refugees. A remarkable collection of letters, diary entries, poems, and short stories were composed by these refugees in the years after they landed in China. Simon was joined by Elsa High School's ambassadors Hannah Davidson and Tahlia Goldberg who read excerpts from Shanghai Ghetto refugee Shoshana Kahan's diaries.
Zoom Seminar on the Righteous Among the Nations
In cooperation with EDiversity, an established local parent-initiated NGO promoting diversity in education in Hong Kong, HKHTC presented an evening webinar on the Righteous Among the Nations — these are non-Jewish people who risked their own lives during the Holocaust to help save the lives of Jews. The online event was conducted in Cantonese.
Throughout December, the HKHTC education team co-hosts with Yad Vashem a series of online training workshopsfor educators on two important themes of Holocaust education: historical context and personal stories of survivors. The series highlights the importance of the Holocaust to general education and the challenges faced by educators. We will cover the issues of relevance, representation and education.
At the 21st annual Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival, 14-29 November 2020, HKHTC will once again support Holocaust-related films. Building on the success of last year’s attendance when hundreds viewed HKHTC-supported screenings, this year we are supporting three strong films—The Albanian Code, Chichinette, and Holy Silence—which will be screened online. We are confident that this year’s Holocaust-themed films will once again attract a diverse audience and we appreciate the excellent efforts of HKJFF to organise this year’s festival despite COVID. Please visit www.hkjff.org for more details.
Next month in the annual Hong Kong Book Fair (December 16-22), HKHTC Executive Director Simon Li will present “Strange Haven: Forgotten Stories of Jewish Refugees Who Escaped to Wartime Shanghai from Nazi Europe” (猶太人逃難戰時上海: 猶太大屠殺歷史被遺忘的那些事). The Hong Kong Book Fair is a major event attended by roughly one million people each year. We are delighted that our talk last year attracted a standing room only crowd, further underlining the importance and universality of HKHTC's messaging. By presenting in Cantonese, we aim to continue to connect with local members of the Hong Kong community, including many who previously had no significant exposure to the Holocaust. HKHTC is grateful to the Consulate of Israel in Hong Kong & Macau for arranging the talk. Further details will be circulated soon.
In January 2021, HKHTC will host the annual United National Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Hong Kong. Please stay tuned for more details.
March of the Living will commemorate the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht tonight with a message of unity and hope through a unique international campaign. Titled “Let There Be Light,” March of the Living will invite individuals, institutions, and houses of worship around the world to keep their lights on during the night of November 9 as a symbol of solidarity and mutual commitment in the shared battle against antisemitism, racism, hatred, and intolerance. As part of this virtual initiative, people from all over the world will be able to add their voices to the campaign. Individuals of all religions and backgrounds are invited to write personal messages of hope in their own words at the campaign website: www.motl.org/let-there-be-light
Finally, as always, HKHTC continues to be very active teaching about the Holocaust in partnership with local Hong Kong schools, universities, and community organisations.
Thank you again for your interest and support. We sincerely hope you can join us at our future events.