In advance of the first International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, a new exhibit on children in the Holocaust will open at the UN. Yad Vashem’s “No Child’s Play” Exhibit opening January 24, at noon, will be housed in the North East Gallery of the Visitor’s Lobby. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Yehudit Inbar, Director of the Yad Vashem Museums Division, and Melvin Bukiet, son of an Auschwitz survivor and a professor at Sarah Lawrence College will speak at the opening. The exhibit at the UN is a Yad Vashem traveling exhibit and will run through the middle of February. A similar exhibit will open in Spain as well.

Approximately one and a half million of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust were children. The number of children who survived is estimated in the mere thousands.

The “No Child’s Playâ€? exhibit opens a window into the world of children during the Holocaust. Unlike other Holocaust exhibitions, it does not focus on history, statistics or descriptions of physical violence. Instead, the toys, games, artwork, diaries, and poems displayed here highlight some of the personal stories of the children, providing a glimpse into their lives during the Holocaust.

The exhibition tells the story of the struggle of these children to hold on to life. It describes their attempts to maintain their childhood and youth by creating for themselves a different reality from that which surrounded them. In many cases, it was the children who gave their parents the encouragement and hope to continue their desperate daily fight for survival.

On January 27, 2006, Professor Yehuda Bauer, Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem and Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, will deliver the “Remembrance and Beyond” keynote address in the General Assembly Hall at the UN’s session marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Session begins at 10:30