The special event was hosted in honor of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The program consisted of various speakers, including Holocaust survivors who gave their testimony. The first speaker was the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who stated that today was a day of both remembrance and celebration, as January 27 was the day the remaining inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp were finally liberated. The Secretary-General also explained that the Holocaust remembrance is linked with the founding principles of the United Nations, which is shown in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
One notable speaker was Mrs. Marta Wise, who is a Jewish survivor. She was 10 years old when she and her sister were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She is one of the few remaining survivors who were there when the soldiers of the Red Army liberated the inmates. She described the horrible pain and trauma she experienced in the camp, and she explained how she and her sister were put in the medical experiment block of the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, where they were subjected to horrible experiments. Mrs. Wise said that people often asked her where was God during the Holocaust, but she wonders where was man?
Another notable speaker was Her Excellency Samantha Power. She explained that it is often difficult not to lose oneself in the death of millions of victims, and the scale is so massive as to feel unknowable. She stated that nothing will be like the Holocaust, but there are still contemporary atrocities today. She explained the important role we have to play as the upstanders, and that it is even more important with the surge of anti-Semitism in various parts of the world today. The event concluded with special musical performances.
Meeting: Special event on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust on the theme “The Holocaust and human dignity” (27 January) (organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, Department of Information))
Date/Location: Wednesday January 27, 2015, 11:00 – 13:00; General Assembly Hall
Speakers: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon; Her Excellency Ms. Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN; His Excellency Mr. Felix Klein, Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organizations, Federal Government of Germany; Mr. Szabolcs Takács, Chair of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; Mrs. Marta Wise, Jewish survivor; Mr. Zoni Weisz, Sinto survivor; Mr. Haim Roet, Jewish survivor
Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung
Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider