International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry joined by several international organizations call on identifying causes and solutions to prevent future genocides and to remember the Holocaust.
In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, human rights advocates and organizations gathered in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, for a memorial service commemorating the victims of the Holocaust and a panel discussion. The event was aligned with the global campaign #WeRemember launched by the World Jewish Congress, and joined by many world leaders and institutions among them Pope Francis, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the European Commission, UNESCO, and others. January 27th was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2005 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In remembrance of the 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, murdered in the Holocaust, a special candle lighting ceremony took place, accompanied by a heartfelt performance of the song “Shema Israel”, originally interpreted by Sarit Hadad, acclaimed Israeli singer. The theme of the panel discussions was “End Genocides. Demand and Defend Your Human Rights,” and concerned citizens engaged in dialogue on the Holocaust, Rwandan and Armenian genocides — what happened, why they happened, and how they still matter. The international organizations in attendance were the International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Citizens Commission of Human Rights, Youth for Human Rights International, and United for Human Rights with the mission to raise awareness on the heinous acts that happened during the Holocaust and help put an end to racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitic views in modern day society.
Keynote speaker and moderator of the panel, Isabelle Vladoiu, Secretary-General of IUBCCI and director of CCHR DC, delivered an introduction to the Holocaust, exposing the systematic and state-sponsored persecution and murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime, the cruelty with which these horrific acts were done, unveiling also the aftermath of the Holocaust, where hundreds of thousands of “liberated, but not free” Jews had to live in the same camps where they suffered.
At the end of last year a concerning report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) revealed that nine out of 10 European Jews said that anti-Semitism increased during the past five years, and a shocking recent CNN poll exposed that one in 20 Europeans surveyed had never heard about the Holocaust.
“Today for International Holocaust Remembrance Day we stand united, and humbly commemorate millions of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust,” said Ms. Vladoiu. “But, today we must think beyond remembrance. We must make sure that new generations are educated so that they can apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world and prevent future genocides.”