by: Kate Norman
Friday, 27 January 2023 | Today the world marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate the six million Jews and other people murdered by the Nazis during World War II.
The international commemoration takes place each year on January 27, the same date in 1945 in which the infamous Auschwitz death camp was liberated by the Red Army.
Last night, two towers in Tel Aviv lit up to commemorate the somber occasion, with one tower spelling out “#weremember” and the other in the shape of a candle. The Jewish people have harnessed the phrase “We remember” in order to remember the horrors that their forefathers experienced at the hand of the Nazis and to ensure that it never happens again.
Yesterday, Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) and Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial center, unveiled a new exhibit at the UN headquarters in New York City that commemorates the victims of the Holocaust.
The exhibit contains the “Book of Names” compiled by Yad Vashem, which includes the name and known information of 4.8 million Holocaust victims as well as blank pages to honor the other 1.2 million victims who were never identified.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres toured the exhibition yesterday alongside Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan and Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan.
At the opening ceremony for the exhibit, Guterres thanked Yad Vashem for bringing the display to the UN.
“To give the millions who perished an everlasting name,” Guterres said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post. “Six million men, women and children are lost forever, but their names will never be forgotten.
“This exhibit is a call to action, a call to remembrance as we have to find new ways to carry the torch of remembrance,” Guterres continued. “It’s a call to reflection, to see in each of those perished human beings with hopes and dreams. Let us keep the memory of the past alive and never let others forget.”
Dayan noted that two of his great uncles, Nachman and Aryeh, were listed in the book as victims of the Holocaust.
“The Nazis sought to erase the memory of every Jew everywhere,” Dayan said. “We cannot revive even one of the millions that they murdered, but we can and do restore the stories of the victims. We gather every shred of testimony about their values and their achievements.
“We painstakingly study the horrible process and events in which their lives were violently stolen,” the Yad Vashem chairman continued. “We do this because the victims deserve no less. We are helping to prevent horrors that could even remotely resemble the Shoah [Holocaust].”
Ambassador Erdan noted his own family’s tragic appearance in the book, with his grandfather’s wife and seven children being murdered by the Nazis “for [the] sole reason of being Jewish.”
Erdan pointed out that “Holocaust denial and distortion are on the rise.” In the face of the rising spread of misinformation, the Israeli ambassador issued a call to action.
“There are those working to erase the memory and lessons that must be learned from our horrific atrocity,” Erdan said. “They question the right of the Jewish people and the Jewish state to protect ourselves. Even here at the UN such bigots can be found.
“Platitudes are not enough,” the ambassador continued. “The time for action is now. The Jewish people demand action. We must not allow evil to prevail. I expect the international community to stand behind Jewish people as we defend ourselves.”
“This is the fundamental lesson of the Holocaust,” Erdan concluded. “The UN, which rose from the ashes of the Holocaust, bears a responsibility to actively combat anti-Semitism.”
The Book of Names will remain on display at the UN headquarters until February 17, the Jerusalem Post reported. It will then be moved to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, just ahead of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April 17.
Posted on January 27, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 27, 2023)
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