Monday, 10 Aug 2020 - 20 of Av, 5780

Marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, World Jewish Congress President addressed more than 200 survivors, delegates from more than 50 countries and political leaders

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Ronald Lauder said that while Nazi Germany carried out the shattering evil of Auschwitz, the apathy and indifference of the nations of the world contributed as well. “The United States organized a conference in Evian, France, in July 1938, to discuss the Jewish refugee crisis. There were a lot of lovely speeches, but America did not let any additional Jewish refugees in, and every other country in attendance followed its lead. There were 32 countries and none of them, except for the tiny Dominican Republic, wanted any more Jews,” he said.

He also asked countries to stop casting votes in favor of what he called “the UN’s constant and shameful fixation on Israel.” Lauder pointed out that in just the past seven years, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 202 resolutions condemning countries around the world. Of those 202 resolutions, Israel was condemned 163 times, and the rest of the world, only 39.

 

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder exhorted world leaders to act decisively to stop the spread of anti-Semitism, by passing laws to imprison hatemongers and to educate children so that they know where hatred can lead.

Marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lauder addressed more than 200 survivors, delegates from more than 50 countries and political leaders, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin,  Polish president Andrzej Duda, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“The world did not care. That’s when [Hitler] knew that he could build this factory of death,” he said.

He also asked countries to stop casting votes in favor of what he called “the UN’s constant and shameful fixation on Israel.” Lauder pointed out that in just the past seven years, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted 202 resolutions condemning countries around the world. Of those 202 resolutions, Israel was condemned 163 times, and the rest of the world, only 39. “It’s clear as day that this kind of obsessive anti-Zionism is nothing but antisemitism,” he said.

Lauder said that while Nazi Germany carried out the shattering evil of Auschwitz, the apathy and indifference of the nations of the world contributed as well. “The United States organized a conference in Evian, France, in July 1938, to discuss the Jewish refugee crisis. There were a lot of lovely speeches, but America did not let any additional Jewish refugees in, and every other country in attendance followed its lead. There were 32 countries and none of them, except for the tiny Dominican Republic, wanted any more Jews,” he said.

During the ceremony, four survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp recalled their suffering and warned about the ominous growth of anti-Semitism and hatred in the world.

“We have with us the last living survivors, the last among those who saw the Holocaust with their own eyes,” Polish President Andrzej Duda told the dignitaries at the commemoration.“The magnitude of the crime perpetrated in this place is terrifying but we must not look away from it and we must never forget it,” Duda said.

Most of the 1.1 million people murdered by the Nazi German forces at the camp were Jews, but other Poles, Russians and Roma were imprisoned there.

“Distorting the history of World War II, denying the crimes of genocide and negating the Holocaust as well as an instrumental use of the Auschwitz for whatever purposes is tantamount to desecration of the memory of the victims,” Duda, who did not attend the World Holocaust Forum ceremony last Thursday at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem because he was not allowed to speak. “Truth about the Holocaust must not die.”

He thanked President Rivlin for his presence at Auschwitz.

Rivlin recalled the strong connection that Israel shares with Poland, which welcomed Jews for centuries. It became home to Europe’s largest population of Jews — and later the center of Germany’s destruction of that community.

“The glorious history of the Jews in Poland, the prosperity of which the Jewish community has enjoyed throughout history, along with the difficult events that have taken place on this earth, connect the Jewish people and the State of Israel, inextricably, with Poland and the Polish people,” Rivlin said while standing alongside Duda at a news conference.

 

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