Remembering the Holocaust at AF Bengale

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The Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War is often considered as one of the darkest periods of human history. George Santayana’s oft-quoted adage states that people who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Keeping these words in mind, Alliance Française du Bengale organised several events on January 29, 2019 to commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. These events were collectively called Torn From Home and were organised in collaboration with the Indian Pluralism FoundationAmerican Jewish Committee, and Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

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The Holocaust resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews, Slavs, ethnic Poles, Romani people, mentally and physically disabled individuals, Serb civilians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and asocials (including political dissidents and homosexual men) by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a memorial day which is organised every year on January 27  to mark this horrific tragedy. This date corresponds to the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, by the Red Army in 1945. The goal is to spread peace and harmony whilst similtaneously fighting racism and xenophobia.

Some of the attendees at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at AF Bengale

Some of the attendees at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at AF Bengale

Within the framework of Torn From HomeAF Bengale organised a screening of Night and Fog – a black-and-white French documentary fim directed by Alain Resnais which depicts the lives of prisoners in concentration camps. There was also a panel discussion by a group of eximious speakers comprising of Prof. Hari Shankar Vasudevan, Armenian Father Makarian, Navras Afreedi (Professor at Presidency University), and Owaiz Aslam (Secretary of Indian Pluralism Foundation). The discussion shed a light on ethnic violence and racist ideologies throughout the world from the beginning of the 20th Century to the current day. This session was moderated by Arjun Hardas (India Representative of the American Jewish Committee). Dr. Michael Feiner (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kolkata) and Friso Maecker (Director of Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan in Kolkata) graced the evening with their presence.

Some of the panelists for the discussion

Some of the panelists for the discussion

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...