After two consecutive years of declining attendance, in 2017 the Shoah Memorial had the immense pleasure of welcoming 257,239 visitors to Paris and Drancy, a record since its re-opening in 2005.
The success can be ascribed to a better climate combined with an outstanding program, including ground-breaking exhibitions such as Holocaust and Comics, an unexpected theme that drew a new public, and Drancy: Gateway to Hell. Drawings by Georges Horan-Koiransky at the Drancy Shoah Memorial as part of its fifth anniversary. The variety and quality of our activities also played a part. Over 60,000 people, including 2,236 school groups, took guided tours or visits of remembrance, listened to testimonies, participated in workshops or attended events in the Edmond J. Safra Auditorium. In addition, the Shoah Memorial signed an unprecedented number of agreements with school districts to set up teacher training programs.
Our commitment extends beyond our walls. The Shoah Memorial holds students’ workshops in schools in France and internationally, relying on branches in Italy and the United States to organize seminars and travelling exhibitions. This precious work allows us to foster ties with new publics and institutions beyond our borders.
We are particularly happy that the memory of Simone Veil was honoured during the recent ceremony transferring her and her husband’s remains to the Pantheon. A founding member of the Shoah Memorial, this courageous woman helped to modernize her country, combated anti- Semitism and campaigned to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. Her spirit is present in our work every day and guides us to the future.
Lastly, I would like to thank the dedicated, conscientious team that tirelessly works to preserve and transmit the history of the Holocaust: the staff, volunteers, donors and, of course, Holocaust witnesses who do us the honour of coming to share their stories. They have earned all my affection and admiration.
Éric de Rothschild
President of the Shoah Memorial