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‘Let Us Forever Keep Memory space of Past Alive — and Never Let Others Neglect Either, ’ Says Secretary-General, at Holocaust Remembrance Event

And this exhibition is really a call to reflection:   to see in each child, girl, and man who perished, a human being with hopes and dreams — not a faceless, nameless victim.   And it is a call to all of us:   the world today is not immune to the poison of hate — the hate that says another person is less than the equal, less than human. This exhibition is a call to action:   some 1  million victims remain unidentified, and we are racing against time.   This is a call to remembrance:   as fewer and fewer can bear direct witness, we will have to find new methods to carry the torch of remembrance forward.   Within families and across generations.   Within classes and across geographies. First robbed of their names, then of the lives.   No cemeteries, simply no headstones, no traces stay.   The 6  million Judaism children, men, and females are lost forever.   However memory — and their own names — shall certainly not be forgotten. Together, let us stem the tide of human cruelty and fight antisemitism and all forms of racism wherever and whenever it manifests itself.   Let us forever keep the memory of the past in existence — and never let other people forget either. It is an honour to be with all of you. Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the exhibition “Yad Vashem Guide of Names”, in New York today: Among the first actions the Nazis took in their marketing campaign of discrimination, exclusion plus ultimately annihilation of European Jews was to target names. Seeing this exhibition, I was reminded of the words of the poet Benjamin Fondane, who had been murdered at Auschwitz, and who I would like to estimate in closing, and I quote:   “Remember only that I was blameless and, just like you, mortal on that day, I, too, had had a face marked by rage, by shame and joy, quite simply, a human face. ” I am going to never forget my first trip to Yad Vashem many years ago — and I was even more impressed when I saw the particular renovated and expanded museum complex that I visited as Secretary-General. I wish to thank Yad Vashem regarding bringing this deeply shifting exhibition to the United Nations, which goes to the heart of your vital mission:   to give the millions who seem to perished “an everlasting name”:   a “yad vashem”. In the 1930s, German Jews were required to adopt an additional name:   For a man it was “Israel”, for women “Sarah”.   And when a prisoner found its way to Auschwitz, their name has been erased and replaced having a number burnt on the forearm.


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