VIDEO - The United Nations General Assembly marked the International Holocaust
Remembrance Day on Friday in a ceremony attended by hundreds of Jewish community representatives, international envoys and survivors.
The event began with a moment of silence held in memory of Shoah victims and concluded with the "El Male Rachamim," a Jewish prayer.
Mordecai Paldiel, former head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem,
and Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor
spoke at the ceremony, and a recorded video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
In his speech, Prosor stressed the importance of remembering the Holocaust.
"Today, on behalf of the six million, we say loudly and clearly: nothing—nothing—can break the 5,000 year-old chain of Jewish history," he said.
Prosor on Friday (Photo: Shahar Azran)
"(…) Every year, from this very podium, the Iranian president denies the Holocaust while threatening to carry out another one," he said. "Every day, Hamas
teaches anti-Semitism to the next generation of children in Gaza, telling them that the Holocaust is 'a lie made up by the Zionists.' Similar messages echo across the Arab world.
Ceremony at General Assembly (Photo: Shahar Azran)
"Our duty has never been clearer," he continued. "The hands of time threaten to cloud the world’s memory. It is our responsibility to rescue the history and lessons of the Holocaust – just as the men and women that we honor today rescued its victims. It is on us to teach the values of tolerance – to educate our children so that they live together as one human family."
The International Holocaust Remembrance Day has been held on January 27 each year since 2006, marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz
death camp. It was moved up two days this year so it can be observed on Friday.
Several events meant to commemorate the Holocaust are to be held at the UN's headquarters over the coming week, including exhibitions and a screening of "The Rescuers," a documentary.