Joy Cowley visits Holocaust Centre
Visit from our NZ Patron: Joy Cowley, OBE
Renown New Zealand children's author, Joy Cowley, visited our buttons recently to meet some of the children that took part in the project.

Award-winning writer Joy Cowley, OBE, patron of the NZ Children's Holocaust Memorial (the "button project") visited on 9 March 2014 for an afternoon tea with the children that took part in the button project and volunteers at the Centre.

Tell us your story
Tell us your story
Your story will be treated as confidential unless you give us permission to publish it.

Preserving the memories of the survivors of the Holocaust is important.

Your story will be treated as confidential unless you give us permission to publish it. Click here to email us

Carol Ratnam on Children of the Holocaust

Children of the Holocaust


My whakapapa is that I am the daughter of Holocaust survivors. My mother was from the big city of Vienna and my father came from a small town in rural Poland – Wierzbnik.

Beata Stoczynka, Polish Ambassador on Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler was a Polish nurse and social worker.

Anna Paquin on Irena Sendler

Although I had knowledge of the Holocaust I had never heard of Irena Sendler until reading the script for this film.


Holocaust Centre of New Zealand

United Nations International Holocaust

Remembrance Day 2015

1.00 pm on Tuesday 27 January 2015

Holocaust Memorial, Makara Cemetery, Makara
237 Makara Road, Wellington

70th anniversary logo web

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, the Wellington Regional Jewish Council, B’nai B’rith, and the Council of Jewish Women invite you to attend this annual commemoration, which this year has the theme “Auschwitz: 70 years later”.

On 27 January 1945 the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp at Oswiecim, 50km west of Cracow in German-occupied Poland. Of all the many Nazi death and labour camps Auschwitz saw the most Jewish deaths, nearly 1 million, out of the total Jewish deaths of nearly 6 million during the Holocaust.

In November 2005 the UN General Assembly proclaimed Auschwitz liberation day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an international memorial day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. The camp itself is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Because 2015 is the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation, the commemoration is getting special attention in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world. As well as the annual ceremony at the Holocaust memorial at Makara Cemetery, first held in 2008, there will be commemorations in Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch.

Auckland will see the “Shadows of Shoah” exhibition, and Wellington the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand’s “Auschwitz to Aotearoa” exhibition, about nine Jewish women who, after experiencing incarceration in Auschwitz, managed to make new lives for themselves and their families in New Zealand.

Auschwitz survivor Paul Seideman has generously endowed an essay competition among secondary school students on a Holocaust topic, and the winner will be presented with their prize at a Parliamentary reception on 27 January. The essay will also be included in a book Auschwitz: 70 years later being published by the Holocaust Centre of NZ on that day, which has many articles on Auschwitz and links with New Zealand. It also has contributions from the ambassadors in NZ of six of the countries (Russia, Poland, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Israel) closely associated with the Holocaust. 

The "Auschwitz to Aotearoa" exhibition will be at Parliament's Exhibition Space at Bowen House on Lambton Quay from 27 January until 20 February. The exhibition can be viewed Wednesdays to Fridays from 10am to 3pm.

For more information visit:


Aubrey Pomerance MA

Chief Archivist of the Jewish Museum Berlin

aubrey-pomerance“Teaching the Holocaust at

the Jewish Museum Berlin”

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand hosted Aubrey Pomerance MA, Chief Archivist of the Jewish Museum Berlin in Wellington on Sunday 14 December. You can listen to his talk online: "Teaching the Holocaust at the Jewish Museum Berlin"



Speaker Series Spring 2014

The Holocasut Centre of New Zealand Spring Speaker Series featured three speakers in September and October:


monicaThursday, 4 September

Dr. Monica Tempian, Victoria University of Wellington
"When others boldly steer their ships/I stand on the harbour still and wracked with pain": the Lyric and Memory of Jerusalem's German-speaking Olim


marco sThursday, 18 September

Dr. Marco Sonzogni, Victoria University of Wellington 
"Writing History's Inferno: Dante's Florence, Levi's Auschwitz and Heaney's Belfast"

Listen to Dr. Marco Sonzogni's talk

davidThursday, 30 October

David Zwartz, Chairman
Wellington Regional Jewish Council
"Early Holocaust commemorations among New Zealand's Jewish community"

Listen to David Zwartz's talk


"Auschwitz to Aotearoa"


"Auschwitz to Aotearoa" is a new exhibition at The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand which depicts the lives of nine women who were all interned in concentration camps in Nazi Europe and later immigrated to New Zealand. Curated by Victoria University of Wellington graduate, Anna Chapman, the exhibition asks the question, "How did these women survive?"


Address given to the New Zealand

Holocaust Centre AGM 10 August

The Seeds of Prejudice in 21st Century New Zealand

Phillip Green is a mediator, arbitrator, adjudicator, and barrister. He is based in Wellington and works in New Zealand and overseas.

Born in 1949 New Zealand, Phillip remembers "an insulated, isolated, comfortable middle class world. And in it, the seeds of prejudice lay, not dormant, but germinating slowly."

Download his address below:
The Seeds of Prejudice in 21st Century New Zealand



Seminar for New Zealand Educators

International School for Holocaust Studies

Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel

12 – 26 January, 2015


More Info


We gratefully acknowledge the very generous support of the following organisations:




In appreciation to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) for supporting this educator training project.  Through recovering the assets of the victims of the Holocaust, The Claims Conference enables organisations around the world to provide education about the Shoah and to preserve the memory of those who perished.



Visit the Centre

The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is open to the public from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm Sunday to Friday, and outside these hours by special arrangement. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

The Centre is closed on Jewish and some Public Holidays

The displays focus on Holocaust and New Zealand

You will see

  • Jewish life before and after the Holocaust.
  • Two parallel Timelines, events in Europe and the New Zealand response to these.
  • The experience of the Holocaust told through the stories of New Zealand Holocaust survivors.
  • A powerful video of a Holocaust survivor telling her story.
  • The story of philanthropists Annie and Max Deckston and the 20 Jewish orphans they brought to New Zealand in the 1930s.

Remember the dead and read the testimonies of survivors

Take time out to read the stories of Holocaust survivors in New Zealand.


Become a friend of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand

We have launched our wonderful new exhibition and learning centre, which has been enthusiastically received. If you have not already visited us we invite you to do so. We are sure you will find plenty to see and do here.

Download application form here