Remembering the Holocaust: Honoring lives lost, survivors, heroes

As the world marked the close of Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday (April 24), Israelis gathered for a final ceremony at the Ghetto Fighters' Museum at Kibbutz Mordei HaGeta'ot - the Kibbutz of those who survived the ghettos.

The Jewish Community held its Annual Holocaust Remembrance at MUN yesterday and used the occasion to warn people about the growing trend of nationalism in the world.

Sunday's ceremony included six Holocaust survivors lighting six torches while the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead, Kaddish, was recited.

In his comments on Sunday, Trump said the mind "cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss" experienced by the world's Jews. As the war went on, the Germans expanded the complex, building gas chambers and crematoria at Birkenau where Jews from across Europe, as well as Roma, Soviet POWs and others were murdered.

The speech contrasted with the White House's statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, which mourned the Holocaust but omitted any mention of Jews.

Among them, he said, was U.S. President Donald Trump's "determined answer to the slaughter of the Syrian children by chemical weapons". "They were murdered by an evil that words can not describe, and that the human heart can not bear", he said.

One of the march organisers, Mike McNally, said: "The concept behind this event is to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish community to commemorate the Shoah (Holocaust), remembering those who perished and to pay tribute to the survivors, retelling their stories (keeping the memory alive) for generations to come". They recorded 361 cases compared with 410 in 2015, which had already been the lowest number in a decade.

"For example, some two weeks ago a French presidential candidate denied France's responsibility for the deportation of its Jewish citizens to the Nazi concentration and death camps", he said. This year as education minister I announced a new programme to provide funding enabling the Holocaust Educational Trust to deliver its "Lessons from Auschwitz" Project to Northern Ireland's schools and colleges. "What we see today is the return of nationalism, nation first rather than humanity first, and efforts to tear down those structures which provided 75 years of relative peace".

  • Larry Hoffman