Rwandan genocide delegation visit Yad Vashem to emulate meaningful memorial


A delegation from Kigali Genocide Memorial Center visited the Int’l School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem to learn how the Rwandan genocide can best be memorialized.
– Head of the Kigali Genocide Memorial: ‘Yad Vashem is exactly what we’re trying to create.’

By Itamar Eichner


The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, held a seminar in conjunction with the Israeli Foreign Ministry on the Rwanda genocide which occurred in 1994 earlier this week.

“Yad Vashem is exactly what we are trying to create,” said the head of the Rwandan delegation Gerta Honorah. Honorah is also the head of the Kigali Genocide MemorialSeveral of the members of the delegations were themselves survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

The Rwandan delegation was taken on a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, met with Holocaust survivors, were shown the work being done by the Holocaust Archive and Conservationists, and met with the head of the museum and top researchers in order to see firsthand the education work the institution has carried out over the years.

Rwandan genocide survivors in a Yad Vashem seminar – Photo: Miryam Elstar

Holocaust education was stressed in the seminar, particularly so that the Rwandans can use the educational tools developed by Yad Vashem to help build and strengthen the collective memory of the Rwandan genocide, and so that the Rwandan delegation can use Yad Vashem as an example of how to build an effective and meaningful memorial and center of learning.

The Yad Vashem seminar is a continuation of a partnership which began in 2005, when the Holocaust museum first hosted survivors of the Rwandan genocide who were trying to re-build Rwandan society. The first delegation included Rwandan intellectuals, judges, and journalists amongst others.

Yad Vashem representatives have also travelled to Rwanda to discuss the Holocaust and about how it is memorialized in Israel.

The Rwandan genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government. An estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed during a 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994.


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