A survivor of Auschwitz, accompanied by his grandson, an IDF officer, stressed the importance of never forgeting the horrors of the Holocaust.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convened on Friday to hold the annual International Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony, where Noah Klieger, who survived the notorious Auschwitz extermination camp, was the keynote speaker.
Accompanied to the podium by his grandson Yuval, an officer in the IDF, who was dressed in uniform for the event, Klieger, 90, told the assembly that he held on to three dreams during his tortuous internment.
“To survive this hell on earth, to tell as many people as possible what the Nazis did to the Jews and to help regain the land from which we were driven into exile. My dream came true and our historic Jewish homeland has been restored,” Klieger stated.
He stressed the importance of continuing to tell the story of the survivors and called on the UN to adopt a resolution encouraging member states to educate the coming generations about the horrors of the Holocaust.
“We remember our history, as painful as it may be, so that we learn from it and never let it repeat itself,” said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
The survivors “implore the next generation to heed the lessons of this darkest of periods with two simple words: Never again,” Danon said.
“Noah has made it his lifelong mission to use the beautiful power of the spoken and written word to educate and warn about the evil humanity can inflict upon the world. He is a hero in so many ways. Not only did he survive Auschwitz, but he then immigrated to Israel, enlisted in the IDF and fought bravely in our War of Independence. To this day Noah continues to fight. His willingness to speak the truth is an inspiration to all of us, and his presence reminds us that the Holocaust cannot be denied or forgotten,” Danon told the Assembly.
Educating for a Better Future
The ceremony included a special addresses by Secretary-General António Guterres; UNGA President Peter Thomson; and Ambassador Michele Sison, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN.
In addition to the main ceremony at its New York headquarters, the UN also held Holocaust memorials in more than 47 countries around the world.
“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 and discrimination targeting the Jews – what we now call anti-Semitism,” asserted Guterres.
“History keeps moving forward, but anti-Semitism keeps coming back. There is also a new trend of Holocaust revisionism, with the rewriting of history and even the honoring of disgraced officials from those days,” he warned.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day was designated by the UN in 2005 as an international day of commemoration and has become a fixture in the political and educational calendars in scores of countries the world over.
The theme chosen by the UN for the Holocaust remembrance and education activities in 2017 is “Holocaust Remembrance: Educating for a Better Future.”
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News