For a month, UNESCO headquarters in Paris welcomes large-format portraits of hundreds of Holocaust survivors. Among them, Rachel Jedinak, Ginette Kolinka, Yvette Lévy, and Elie Buzyn.
Lest We Forget, by Luigi Toscano
from January 18 to February 12, 2021
on the gates of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
On the occasion of January 27, International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, which marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination and concentration camp by the Red Army, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris is hosting the exhibition “Lest We Forget” by German-Italian photographer Luigi Toscano.
The exhibition, which is the world's largest hanging of portraits documenting the stories of survivors of the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes, consists of two hundred photos that will be displayed in the public spaces of the UNESCO building, as well than on the outside grilles. The photos will be on display from January 18 to February 12, 2021.
The exhibition was created with the support of UNESCO, the permanent delegations of Austria, France, Germany and the European Union to UNESCO, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) , the World Jewish Congress, EUNIC and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Paris. Due to the restrictions related to COVID-19, the exhibition will be inaugurated virtually on Monday, January 25, 2021, via an online event punctuated by the speeches of the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, the Federal Minister of the European Union and the Constitution Karoline Edtstadler, German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, alongside artist Luigi Toscano.
On Sunday January 17, Crif accompanied the four French survivors photographed for this exhibition, Rachel Jedinak, Ginette Kolinka, Yvette Lévy, and Elie Buzyn, so that they discover their photo. Among the portraits presented is also that of Evelyn Askolovich, photographed in 2018 for Luigi Toscano, on the occasion of the Berlin exhibition.
"Lest We Forget"
For his project, Luigi Toscano has met and photographed survivors of the Nazi persecution since 2014. He has already met more than 400 survivors in Germany, the United States, Austria, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, the Netherlands Bas, in France and Belarus.
The artist exhibits large-format portraits of survivors in central places accessible to all - parks, public places or house facades. As such, portraits and survivors find direct access to the everyday lives of passers-by - regardless of their origin, age or professional background.
Over a million visitors have already seen the exhibition, including in Berlin, Kiev, New York, Washington D.C. and Vienna. “Lest We Forget” gives a human and emotional face to the memory of the atrocities of the Shoah, and fights against all forms of exclusion, positioning itself in favor of tolerance, democracy and human rights.
Since the start of the project in 2014, the fight against oblivion has become even more urgent. Seventy-six years after the liberation of the concentration camps, the crimes committed under the Nazi regime cannot be forgotten. Jews in Europe are once again afraid to practice their faith, according to a recent study by the European Commission, and nearly 40% of them consider leaving Europe. While one in three Europeans say they know "little" about the history of the Holocaust, one in twenty has never heard of it.
The exhibition was set up in Paris thanks to the support of UNESCO, the permanent delegations of Austria, France, Germany and the European Union to UNESCO, Crif, and the World Jewish Congress.
Replay: watch the openning ceremony of the exhibition