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Desk of Esther

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017

The voice of the Holocaust survivors is getting weaker. Every moment we have with them is precious, therefore, please encourage children, youth and in fact everyone to take every opportunity to meet with them. 

January 30, 2017

Esther pic s


29 January, 2017

Dear Friends,

internationa Holocaust rem. day pic1International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. The resolution came after a special session was held earlier that year on 24 January 2005 during which the United Nations General Assembly marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust.In addition to the main ceremony at its New York headquarters, the UN also held Holocaust memorials in more than forty seven countries around the world.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is also marked annually on 27 January in the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden and the EU.

internationa Holocaust rem. day pic290 year old Auschwitz survivor, journalist Noah Klieger was the main speaker at the ceremony on Friday (27/1) and addressed the General Assembly. He was accompanied to the podium by Israel's Ambassador to the UN - Danny Danon and his grandson, Yuval, an officer in the Israeli Navy.

Addressing the General Assembly, Klieger recalled three dreams that he had in Auschwitz: "To survive this hell on earth, to tell as many people as possible what the Nazis did to the Jews and to help to regain the land from which we were driven into exile. My dream came true and our historic Jewish homeland has been restored."

He then went on to implore the world to continue to tell the story of the survivors and called on the UN to adopt a resolution encouraging member states to educate the next generations about the horrors of the Holocaust.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said "We remember our history as painful as it may be, so that we learn from it and never let it repeat itself. And we remember the bravery of the survivors. Those brave souls who are slipping away from us as they implore the next generation to heed the lessons of this darkest of periods with two simple words: Never again"

internationa Holocaust rem. day pic3Marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (Portugal) said that it would be a dangerous error to think of the Holocaust as simply the result of the insanity of a group of criminal Nazis.

“On the contrary, the Holocaust was the culmination of millennia of hatred, scapegoating and discrimination targeting the Jews, what we now call anti-Semitism,” he emphasized, adding that tragically and contrary to the international community's resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive. I have attached his full speech for your convenience – it is important to read it, as he gives a very comprehensive analysis on Anti-Semitism and the necessity to combat it, as well as a glimpse at the Jewish Community in Portugal.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein (Jordan)  said the day of remembrance for the victims of the Nazi Holocaust forces the world to contemplate the horrors to which bigotry, racism and discrimination ultimately lead.

“The sadistic brutality of the atrocities inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, persons with disabilities, political dissidents, homosexuals and others was nourished by layer upon layer of propaganda, falsifications and incitement to hatred,” he said, adding that they were denigrated and smeared; one after another, their rights were refused, and finally, even their humanity was denied".

internationa Holocaust rem. day pic4A new social media campaign initiated by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) encourages people from all over the world to upload photographs of themselves holding a paper with the text "We remember." The campaign's intention is to raise awareness amongst international youth about the Holocaust. President Reuven Rivlin also took part in the campaign.

My dear friends, the voice of the Holocaust survivors is getting weaker, in a few years' time they will no longer be with us. Every moment we have with them is precious, therefore, please encourage children, youth and in fact everyone to take every opportunity to meet with them. Hearing their personal testimonies provides feelings and insight that books, films and documentaries lack. 

Please share this with WIZO members, family, friends, colleagues and social network lists. 


Warm regards,


Esther Mor,
President, World WIZO

Photos credit:

Emblem – un website

Secretary General  - Wikipedia

Niah Kinger, grandson and Danny Danon

President Rivlin - ynet