Exciting news, Hello Joburgers! Sandton’s oldest shopping destination, Benmore Centre, has had a makeover of…
Hello Joburgers, The Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre (JHGC), situated on Jan Smuts Avenue just across the road from the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, invites Jozi locals and visitors to be amongst the first to see its world class permanent exhibition. Joburg joins many of the great cities across the world that have their own centres of genocide remembrance.
This expertly curated exhibition explores the history of genocide in the 20th century with a focus on the case studies of the Holocaust and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Visitors explore history and moral choices through the voices of various role players, including victims, perpetrators, resisters, rescuers and bystanders. The exhibition includes collections of photos, testimonies, poetry, art, multimedia, timelines and artefacts with contributions from survivors and families based in Joburg. The exhibition urges visitors to reflect on lessons from history and connect them to their own lives.
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Tali Nates, founder and director of the JHGC, said at the opening: “This is a place of learning, where people of all ages, from all walks of life, come together to learn from the histories of the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. In this space, people gain knowledge, share their stories, experience thought-provoking films, exhibitions and lectures. Our Institute teaches the consequences of prejudice, racism, and ‘othering’, antisemitism, homophobia and xenophobia and the dangers of indifference, apathy and silence.”
The award-winning building was completed in 2016 and after many intensive years of fundraising, planning and designing it is now officially open to the public. The centre houses the permanent exhibition as well as a temporary exhibition space, the Hall of Light, which hosts various changing exhibitions. It has venues for workshops and public events, a memorial garden, a coffee and gift shop and resource centre which has an extensive collection of over 1,500 books and DVDs related to the Holocaust and other genocides. The centre offers a full programme of events, films, plays, lectures and more and training is offered to schools, educators, corporates and NGOs.
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The JHGC focuses on human rights issues including xenophobia, racism and the promotion of social activism. It seeks to raise awareness of the evils of genocide and serves as a memorial to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, all victims of Nazi Germany and the more than 800,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. More than 14,000 people including learners and educators are visiting the centre each year.
The JHGC along with its sister centres in Cape Town and Durban, form the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation. The three centres are associated with over 300 organisations and institutions worldwide engaged in Holocaust and genocide education and remembrance.
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There is no charge to visit the centre which is fully funded by donations. It is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm and Sundays 09h00 to 15h00. Guided tours are offered too!
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Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!