Our vow to 'never forget' is more important now than ever

Opinion: President Rivlin writes in his editorial that when him and dozens of world leaders gather in Jerusalem on Thursday, the main goal is to make sure the memory of 6 million slain Jews is neither forgotten, nor besmirched by those trying to instill hate

President Reuven Rivlin|
This Wednesday is a unique one, filled with emotions, memories and promises. During the coming days, I will personally welcome dozens of world leaders who answered my invitation to come to Israel and take part in a special ceremony marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This event is meant to solidify our promise that we will not let anyone forget the horrors that befell the Jewish people.
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  • Auschwitz will forever be perceived as a symbol of the atrocities of the Holocaust and of the unprecedent cruelty that marked the time when millions of Jewish men, children and women were led to their death. They were slaughtered by the Nazis while the majority of the world's populace stood by in silence.
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    טקס אזכרה במלאות 63 שנים לחללי "מבצע קדש"
    טקס אזכרה במלאות 63 שנים לחללי "מבצע קדש"
    President Reuven Rivlin
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Now, 75 years after the liberation the extermination camp, a historical gathering of world leaders is set to take place in Israel's capital during this trying time for all of humanity.
    Anti-Semitism has been rearing its ugly head once again all over the world. The number of Holocaust survivors dwindles fast, while attempts to re-write history and distort the facts about the Holocaust have grown rapidly.
    The willingness of the world's leaders to join me in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in these tough times is both noteworthy and deserving of great appreciation. We will once again affirm our commitment to make sure the memory of that dark time is not forgotten, and its legacy is passed on to future generations.
    Each one of the attending world leaders bears his or her own historical background and national identity. Yet, we all stand together in our shared vision to keep that sacred promise - "never again." In order to fulfill that promise we all must fight relentlessly against the resurgence of anti-Semitism, racism, and Holocaust denial.
    We must recognize that anti-Semitism is not only spreading, but has actually been legitimized in the public sphere, academia and centers of power around the world.
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    ריבלין ומקרון בבית הנשיא
    ריבלין ומקרון בבית הנשיא
    Rivlin meets with President Macron
    (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
    It's our responsibility to fight this evil wherever it might pop up, without mercy and hesitation.
    The vow, "never again," must be taught in academic institutions and acted upon in security and law enforcement agencies. We must act to minimize the incitement online, and to advance the study of the Holocaust regardless of political affiliations.
    In these trying times, we must unite to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and fight anti-Semitism wherever it might be. We must do so for the future of our children, and all of humanity.
    The memory of a nation, and of the whole world in fact, is comprised of moments in space and time that have been eternalized by our memories and commemoration.
    The link between Auschwitz in 1945 and Jerusalem in 2020 is the connection between the memory of the Holocaust and our promise to keep that same memory intact.
    We have made a promise to look toward the future with the painful lessons of the past in mind. To hold hands and fight together against anti-Semitism, racism and hate that threatens to gnaw at the foundation of so many democracies around the world.
    This is the decree we must abide by, and this is the call from the President's Residence in Jerusalem to the rest of the world.
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