A special group of invited guests who included ambassadors and Holocaust survivors gathered Monday evening to join the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in marking the opening of a special exhibit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the International March of the Living.
The United Nations marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day in a special ceremony on Wednesday, February 1, 2018.
But Israel’s guests were able to preview the exhibit, titled “Witness” which is on display at United Nations headquarters, honoring the powerful memories and experiences of the many Holocaust survivors and students who have traveled together on the March of the Living since its inception in 1988.
Tonight, we hosted an event with Ambassadors and Holocaust survivors marking the 30th anniversary of the International March of the Living. pic.twitter.com/o8Tc65sT8m
— Ambassador Danon (@dannydanon) January 30, 2018
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed dangerous attempts to distort the truth and rewrite history,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon told participants in the evening event. “Here, in the United Nations, the organ established precisely because of the greatest tragedy mankind has ever known, we have an even greater responsibility to remember those who perished and to preserve, and protect the truth. Every day, and especially on this day, it is our moral duty to do all in our power to ensure that history never repeats itself,” Danon said.
The evening ceremony included spoken presentations, video tributes and musical performances by past participants of the March of the Living. Students and survivors shared their experiences, and the event featured a special musical performance by celebrated Israeli music artists: Miri Mesika, Amir Benayoun and David D’Or.
“The transfer of the torch of the memory of the Holocaust, and the heroism of the survivors, to the youth is the main message of the March of the Living,” said Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, Chairman of the International March of the Living and special guest of the event. “The exhibition reflects the connection that was made with the youth over various trips and emphasizes the legacy and message of Elie Wiesel: ‘When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.’ This is especially important today as waves of anti-Semitism are rising in the world and neo-Nazi groups are rearing their heads.”
“We should not see the Holocaust as a distant historical event, but rather a perpetual symbol of darkness and darkness,” said Phyllis Heideman, President of the International March of the Living. “The study of the Holocaust and its lessons is the only, and last, hope of all mankind. If we do not succeed in passing the torch of memory to future generations throughout the world, the lesson will not be learned.”