Delegación de la Unión Europea en El Salvador

Holocaust Memorial Day - #WeRemember

28/01/2019 - 20:00
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On 27 January we commemorate the six million Jewish women, men, and children as well as all other victims murdered during the Holocaust. On this day, 74 years ago, the Allied Forces liberated the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they discovered unspeakable horrors. In order to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, the EU Delegation in Geneva opened jointly with the Israeli Mission at the UN in Geneva the exhibition "Beyond Duty: Diplomats recognised as Righteous Amongst the Nations".

The exhibition honors diplomats who during the Holocaust risked their lives and the safety of their families to rescue hundreds of Jews, ignoring their government's policies and acting in secret. "This exhibition also sends a message of hope, showing that brave men and women didn't let the evil win. To show this exhibition about so many courageous diplomats who stood up for the good, is inspiring and a message to all of us", said EU Ambassador Walter Stevens. The exhibition displays the stories of diplomatic staff of a variety of nationalities acting in various countries to save the lives of those persecuted.

At the exhibition's opening, Director-General of the UN Geneva Michael Møller addressed the audience next to Israeli Ambassador Aviva Raz Shechter and EU Ambassador Walter Stevens. Musical support was provided by the La Châtaigneraie children’s choir from the International School of Geneva, led by Rachel Harris Lindop, which interpreted songs written by Jews during the Holocaust.

"The best antidote against the madness of anti-semitism is knowledge. It is essential that our children learn about the Holocaust to understand what happened - and to never let it happen again", said EU Ambassador Stevens. "This is why it is a particular honour to have the young children with us here today".

They performed amongst others the song "Eli, Eli", a poem in Hebrew from 1942 written by Hungarian Jewish WWII resistance fighter Hannah Szenes, set to music in 1945 by Israeli composer David Zehavi, and "I believe in the Sun" by Howard Goodall, which was discovered in a dark cellar in Cologne in Germany where thousands of Jews hid from persecution from the Nazis.

EU Ambassador Walter Stevens also spoke at the official memorial ceremony organized by the UN in Geneva, besides UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, as well as a Holocaust survivor, Benjamin Orenstein. "The Holocaust and World War Two have defined Europe's modern history like no other event, and the European Union was founded on the desire to say "Never again".  "Antisemitism – as well as all forms of racism – is an attack against the very foundations of our European Union: it is an attack against all of us," said Ambassador Stevens.

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