In the Wake of Rising Incidents of Anti-Semitism, Series of Moving Events Commemorating Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Features Panel Discussion, Holocaust Survivor Speakers, Films, Concert and Reading of Names of Those Who Perished

In the wake of rising incidents of anti-Semitism, Holocaust Museum LA, the oldest survivor-founded museum in the United States, presents a moving commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Jan. 26-28. 

Recognized by the United Nations, International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27) commemorates the tragedy of the Holocaust and marks the day that Auschwitz was liberated.

In conjunction with the consuls general of Israel, Germany, Poland and Italy; the Jewish Legislative Caucus; and a range of community and arts organizations, the museum will feature multiple days of panel discussions, films, musical performances, survivor speakers and the reading of names of those who perished. 

Schedule of events:

Jan. 26
11 a.m. (PST)
Holocaust Education and Legislation: A Holistic Response to Anti-Semitism
In anticipation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Holocaust Museum LA welcomes Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY); Senator Henry Stern; Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel; and Dr. Hillel Newman, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest, for a discussion on combatting anti-Semitism. Consul General Newman will make opening remarks followed by a discussion with California legislators Stern and Gabriel, joined by the Museum’s Vice President of Education and Exhibits, Jordanna Gessler, to discuss a combined approach of education and legislation to effectively combat anti-Semitism. Following the discussion, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney will share remarks about the importance of Holocaust education and her role in sponsoring the Never Again Education Act.

Jan. 27
7 a.m. (PST)
A presentation by Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles in partnership with Holocaust Museum LA and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

11 a.m. (PST)
Virtual concert with German pianist Moritz Ernst (in conjunction with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany)
Ernst, the acclaimed artist who specializes in performing the works of artists banned by the Nazis, will play a program including composers Ludwig von Beethoven, Arnold Schoenberg and Brahms among other composers.

4 p.m. (PST)
Panel discussion of the film: “Finding Matilda: Uncovering the Life and Death of a Jewish Lithuanian Poet” (presented by the Vilna Shul Boston)
Matilda Olkin was a gifted poet and college student at the University of Vilnius. She and her extended family were killed in an isolated location in northern Lithuania in the beginning of Holocaust in 1941. The film, “Finding Matilda: The Anne Frank of Lithuania” by college student Kyle Conti, follows the search for the mass grave. Like Anne Frank, Matilda kept a diary that was discovered after her death. The film traces the life and death of Matilda and her family through the lens of the scientists tasked to use testimonies and documents, historical photographs and geoscience to find the isolated mass grave where they were placed after their brutal killing. 

The panel will include the science team: Dr. Richard Freund of Christopher Newport University, Dr. Phil Reeder of Duquesne University and Dr. Harry Jol of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The science team will be joined by Matthew Shaer who wrote an extensive account of Matilda’s story for Smithsonian Magazine and Dr. Susan Cardillo, University of Hartford director, and Kyle Conti, editor and student filmmaker. 

A link to view the film in advance will be provided upon registration.

6 p.m. (PST)
Screening of “Volevo Solo Vivere (I Only Wanted to Live)” by Mimmo Calopresti, in partnership with the Consulate General of Italy, Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles, Shoah Foundation, Museum of Tolerance, AJC Los Angeles, ADL Los Angeles and the Milken Community School
Nominated for the prestigious David Di Donatello Award for best documentary, “Volevo Solo Vivere” chronicles the Holocaust as experienced in Italy, from the racial laws Mussolini enacted in 1938 through the German invasion in 1943 and the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. The experiences are made personal through the use of testimony from the institute’s archive. Nine Italian citizens, all survivors of Auschwitz, share their stories; their testimonies are woven among personal and historical photographs and additional archival footage.

Reading of the names of Holocaust victims presented by the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles.

Jan. 28
11 a.m. (PST)
Holocaust survivor talk with Joseph Alexander
From Kowal, Poland, Joseph Alexander was sent to 12 different concentration camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, he was sent from Auschwitz back to the Warsaw Ghetto to clean up the destruction’s aftermath. As the Polish Home Army advanced toward Warsaw, Joseph was sent to camps in Germany and then on a death march. He was liberated by American troops in 1945. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 where he married and had two children.

4 p.m. (PST)
Italian language holocaust survivor talk with Ann Signett
Born in Rome, Italy, in 1928, Ann Signett and her family fled to the mountain town of Alvito after Italy allied with Nazi Germany and anti-Jewish laws promulgated throughout the country. They spent several difficult months living there and concealing their Jewish identity. They were finally liberated by British troops and after the war returned to Rome. Ann married an American provost sergeant and settled in the United States in 1947.

For more information and to register for the Jan. 26 panel, visit

For more information and to register for the Jan. 27 events, visit

For more information and to register for Joseph Alexander’s talk, visit

For more information and to register for Ann Signett’s talk, visit

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