Bearing Witness Through the Voices of our Survivors




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Buy "Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors" by
Belle Jarniewski


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11th Annual Yom Hashoah Commemorative Service

Statement by the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre on Recent Polish Legislation 

Monday, February 12, 2018 - The Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre was established by a community of Holocaust survivors more than 20 years ago. Their intention was to protect and share the history of their experiences during the Shoah—the Holocaust with students of all ages and with the community-at-large. Many of our survivors have been interviewed and have recorded their stories in both video and written format. Graciously, they have also shared their  artefacts. Each one of these precious possessions tells a story—of loss, of suffering, and of courage. Many of our Winnipeg survivors originate from Poland. Some were protected and hidden by courageous, outstanding individuals, whose acts of bravery have been gratefully noted, by those whom they saved, by the local Jewish community and by organizations such as Yad Vashem. However, we must recognize that there were also very difficult stories that we cannot ignore: of those who were bystanders and of those who actively participated in the persecution and murder of their former Jewish neighbours and friends. This was not limited to Poland.

It is therefore, with tremendous concern and disappointment that, as Director of the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, I note the recent decision by the President of Poland to sign into law, the amendment to the act on the Institute of National Remembrance. This amendment brings with it the possibility of a government-imposed fine or up to a three-year term of imprisonment to persons, both within and outside of Poland, who “ascribe to the Polish People or to the Polish state responsibility or co-responsibility for the Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.”

No reasonably thinking person should use the term, “Polish death camp.” Death camps on Polish soil were of course Nazi German camps on occupied-Polish soil. Nor was there any Polish political collaboration with Nazi Germany. In fact, Nazi Germany looked upon the Polish people as one of the groups it wished to eliminate. The law is merely a thinly veiled attempt at historical revisionism.  It endangers freedom of research for scholars, freedom of speech in general, and sadly—one must ask if our Shoah survivors and their freedom to share their own memories are included in this legislation.

I urge the President Duda to annul this amendment. I would ask him, in the name of all Jewish Shoah victims and survivors, including my own family, to safeguard not only the precious legacy of the brave Poles whose stories are preserved as Righteous Among the Nations, but to also face the more difficult chapters of Polish history during World War II.

Belle Jarniewski
Director, Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018:
Italy During the Fascist Era

Please join us for three programmes to mark
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2018.

Admission for all events is free and all are welcome.

Holocaust Symposium


New: Our 2018 Symposium will take place on
March 14, 2018 at the University of Winnipeg
Duckworth Centre.

Holocaust Symposium


Check out our many useful links on our Educators and Students page, which is updated with information from international sources.

New! Mina Rosner's book, I am a Witness in PDF

See information about our annual essay Holocaust and Human Rights essay competition in Mina Rosner's memory on our Educators and Students page



Synagogues in Germany: A Virtual


January 29-March 4, 2017 Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery

600 Shaftesbury Blvd

In honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Freeman Family Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada and the University of Manitoba,with the generous assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany, are pleased to announce the Canadian premiere of Synagogues in Germany: A Virtual Reconstruction, a large and interactive German multimedia exhibition. It will be installed at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, where it will run from January 29th to March 4th, 2017, before going on to tour the rest of the country.

The exhibition is the result of more than twenty years of architectural research at Darmstadt Technical University dedicated to reclaiming some of Germany's lost Jewish heritage. Work on the exhibition began following the 1994 firebombing of a Lübeck synagogue, the first racist attack on a Jewish house of worship in Germany since 1945. Scholars have created elaborate 3D digital reconstructions of more than 25 of the more than 1000 synagogues destroyed on Kristallnacht. Along with associated placards, photographs, text panels, books, and three documentary films, these reconstructions speak to the nature and significance of cultural loss as an instrument of genocide. They also visually document the extraordinary architectural variety and historical importance of the buildings the Nazis destroyed, and in so doing contribute to commemorative work ongoing in the wake of the Holocaust by providing a source for reflection on what the historical destruction of Jewish culture means today.


The exhibition will be open weekly: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m; Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Other evenings for group visits can be arranged, as can guided tours. A complete schedule of exhibition-related events, themed tours by experts, and general tours for the public, will be made available later in January 2017. Admission is free.


The exhibition and related programming have been made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany / the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), the German Consulate General-Toronto, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Manitoba, the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, Kuehne + Nagel, and Hapag-Lloyd AG.


For more information about the exhibition, including information about how to arrange group visits and guided tours, please contact the organizers at:


Oral Histories of Winnipeg Survivors -

Second Generation Project 1988 to 1989:

USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive

The 49 digitized files of the Winnipeg Second Generation Group's interviews are now integrated into the USC Shoah Foudnation's Visual History Archive. Access is available online to a sampling of the VHA collection including these files ; however the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada is now a full acess point centre.  Stay tuned for more information about the VHA.


Registration is now open for our 2017 Symposium:

Save the date: Wednesday March 15, 2017

Keynote Speaker Bill Glied

Survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau

Key witness at the 2015 trial of Nazi Oskar Groening

Registration forms and information

see here

November 21, 2016


WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is deeply alarmed at the hateful rhetoric at a conference of white nationalists held on November 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building just blocks from the Museum.

According to press reports, Richard Spencer, the leader of the National Policy Institute – a white nationalist think tank – that sponsored the conference, made several direct and indirect references to Jews and other minorities, often alluding to Nazism. He spoke in German to quote Nazi propaganda and refer to the mainstream media. He implied that the media was protecting Jewish interests and said, “One wonders if these people are people at all?” He said that America belongs to white people. His statement that white people face a choice of “conquer or die” closely echoes Adolf Hitler’s view of Jews and that history is a racial struggle for survival.

The targeting of Jews was central to Nazi racist ideology. The Germans attempted to kill every Jewish man, woman and child they could find. Nazi racism extended to other groups. By the end of World War II, the Germans and their collaborators had murdered six million Jews and millions of other innocent civilians, many of whom were targeted for racial reasons.

The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a living memorial to the Holocaust, inspires citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by donors nationwide. Learn more at





The Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre

deeply mourns the passing of Zoltan Freeman

May his memory forever be a blessing.


See our Educators Page for important new

links to Online Courses in Shoah Studies from

the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure.



Guest Readers include:

The Honourable Janice Filmon
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Ms. Lori Binder
Head of School and CEO, Gray Academy of Jewish Education

The Right Reverend William G. Cliff
Bishop of Brandon

Mr. Lionel DeRuyver
Curriculum Consultant

Ms. Leah Gazan
Faculty Member University of Winnipeg

Mrs. Sandy Hyman
Chair, Interfaith Round Table

His Excellency, Archbishop Albert LeGatt

Dr. Jeremy Maron
Researcher-Curator, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Mrs. Nafiya Naso
Representing the Winnipeg Yazidi Community

Mrs. Emily Shane
Child of Shoah Survivors and former Executive Director of
Jewish Child and Family Services

Mrs. Evita Smordin
Shoah Educator

Mr. Abdo (Albert) Ibrahim El Tassi – C.M., O.M., LL.D
CEO and Director of Peerless Garments

Sensei Fredrich Louis Ulrich
Former Minister of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple

Dr. Arthur Walker-Jones
Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Winnipeg


Photos from our 15th annual Symposium

on our Events & Programs Page






International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27, 2016    7pm

The Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre


The Canadian Musuem for Human Rights

Invite you to attend a special event

Free admission for this event



Click here for detailed information on presentations in the

Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre led

by educators and Shoah survivors. Online registration now


Educators! Please see our Educators and Students page for

excellent new links to online Shoah education sites. If you were looking for an item has you covered


International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Resource Guide
The IHRA Resources Guide provides quick links to IHRA tools and information in

the fields of Holocaust education, remembrance and research. Translations into

several languages enable these tools to be used in countries around the world.

Includes such topics as:

                       How to Teach about the Holocaust

                       Using Social Media in Holocaust Education

                       Teaching about the Holocaust without Survivors

                       The Holocaust and Other Genocides


The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is pleased to announce

the publication of its new brochure, entitled 'Marking 15 years of the

Stockholm Declaration'.

The Stockholm Declaration is IHRA's founding document and commits

governments to implementing national policies and programs in support

of Holocaust education, remembrance, and research. This brochure

marks the 15th anniversary of this seminal document and aims to highlight

the key achievements in IHRA's history. The brochure was launched by

IHRA Honorary Chairman, Professor Yehuda Bauer, at the recent IHRA

Plenary meetings in Budapest from JUNE 8-11, 2015.

A link to a pdf of the publication is available for download









Click to download the Symposium Guide » (PDF, 38.7MB)

         Now see our 2012 Symposium with Father Patrick Desbois on Youtube! Click on:

       watch?v=VoyprDPOuQ4 and watch?v=WcuTPJiZGOU

        In Remembrance Lies Hope Documentary on     

Our January 26, 2014

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration

March of Memory July 20, 2014

See more photos on our Events & Programs page


       New!! Watch Indifference and the Fragility of Civilization

       on Youtube! Click here for part 1

       Click here for part 2




Museum exhibits and artifacts
Click here »