Written by LUIS ANDRES HENAO – Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Holocaust survivors around the world have come together to deliver a message about the dangers of uncontrolled hatred and the importance of memory at a time the rise of global anti-Semitism.
In a video released Thursday to commemorate Yom Ha-Shoa – Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel – 100 Holocaust survivors asked people to stand with them and remember the Nazi genocide to avoid a repeat of the horrors of the past.
The video for the “100 Words” project was published by the New York Conference on Material Claims of Jewish Claims against Germany, also known as the “Claims Conference.” The group represents the Jews of the world in negotiations on compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs, and ensures the well-being of Holocaust survivors around the world.
“The world is full of differences – from the pandemic to the crisis in Ukraine – in days of remembrance like Yom a-Shoah, it is so important to stop and reflect,” Claims Conference President Gideon Taylor said in a statement.
“The call to action that these survivors made today is not only a memory, but also a call to action, a reminder that we should not be bystanders. We can all speak in our own way, and we can choose not to repeat our collective history. “
The project comes at a time when Russia faces widespread disgust and accusations of war crimes for attacks on civilians during its invasion of Ukraine. It is also happening at a time when Holocaust survivors – now in their 80s and 90s – are dying, and research shows that the younger generation lacks even a basic knowledge of the Nazi genocide that killed a third of the world’s Jews. .
“If we don’t remember them, we kill them twice because we forgot them. And we forgot about the tragic travesty that was visited by millions of people, ”said Ginger Lane, a Holocaust survivor who was buried with her brothers and sisters by non-Jews in an orchard near Berlin.
“It’s important to remember because it’s part of our heritage and our heritage that we pass on to the younger generation,” said Lane, whose mother was killed in the Auschwitz death camp and who has set herself a lifelong mission to educate. others.
“Holocaust denial, we know it has always existed, but it seems to be on the rise, and … a huge number of young people don’t even know what the word Holocaust means … These young people are eager to move forward with their lives. But their lives today are shaped by the past. And they need to know what happened in the past. “
The study includes 50 states Millennials and Generation Z people in the U.S. in 2020, researchers found that 63% of respondents were unaware that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and 48% could not name any death camps or concentration camps.
The statement “Project of 100 words” of Holocaust survivors said:
“Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day
We all survived the Holocaust
We are here to give a voice to the six million Jews killed
We remind you that uncontrolled hatred can lead to actions, actions to genocide
Just over 75 years ago, one-third of the world’s Jews were systematically killed
More than 1.5 million children died among them
in the name of indifference, intolerance, hatred
Hatred for what they feared
Hatred for what was different
We must remember the past, otherwise it will become our future
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we ask the world to be with us and to remember. ”
Annual memory known as Yom HaShoa is one of the most solemn in Israel’s calendar when the nation stopped during a two-minute siren on Thursday morning. According to the Jewish calendar, Holocaust Remembrance Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the most significant act of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Although the uprising eventually failed, Israel remembers it as a symbol of strength and the struggle for freedom in the face of destruction.
It means “resilience, perseverance, strength. This is a hallmark of the Holocaust, the very concept of survival, of everyday problems, of fighting to the end, ”said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference.
“And for some, unfortunately, the end was the gas chamber. For other people, the end was the Warsaw Ghetto, where a very small group of people who were not well equipped lasted almost a month, ”Schneider said.
“And that’s why it’s such an important day in Israel and around the world for the Jewish community, because it symbolizes the struggle of certainly the Jewish people, but of any nation facing this type of incredible adversity.”
Claims Conference is working with its partners, including the American Jewish Distribution Committee or JDC, to get the most out of Holocaust survivors from Ukraine as far as possible. Thousands were killed and more than five million fled Ukraine began on February 24 since the Russian invasion.
The video statement included Holocaust participants from Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, the United States and Ukraine.
“Survivors from different countries and languages have very different experiences of persecution – some were in concentration camps, some were in ghettos, some fled, some went into hiding,” Schneider said.
“And yet they come together to speak in one voice of hope for the future.”
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