ADC commemorates Yom HaShoah

April 23, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission has marked Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In a statement the ADC said: “Today, we commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, 72 years after the end of World War II. We mourn for the six million Jews who perished at the hands of Hitler’s demonic regime and his collaborators, and the millions of non-Jews — Poles and Russians, Roma and the disabled, political opponents and homosexuals —brutally slaughtered under the Nazi onslaught. Today is a fitting opportunity for wrenching reflection and remembrance of humanity’s darkest chapter, a period where man’s cruelty reached its nadir.

The Holocaust stands as an example of the horrifying depths to which mankind can plummet, and its terrors and sufferings must never be brushed aside or forgotten. We honour the heroism and resilience of all those who resisted Hitler’s genocidal ‘Final Plan’ and surmounted the worst terrors imaginable. In the Talmud it is written: “He who saves one life has saved the world”. And so, we honour the courage of the Righteous Persons for their extraordinary courage, risking their own lives that others might live. We also pay tribute to the brave soldiers of the Allied nations who, at such great human cost, defeated the Third Reich.

The inspiring determination of the survivors to reconstruct their lives is a shining beacon for the triumph of the human spirit over rage and vengeance. If the timeless lessons of the Holocaust are to be kept alive, we must pledge to challenge the cancer and threat of Jewish hatred that is now surging at levels we have not seen in seven decades. And since the generation of Holocaust survivors is rapidly dwindling, the burden of bearing witness and combating the evil of Holocaust denial has now been passed on to us.

We must also take up the responsibility of protecting human rights around the world, and make the fight  against any manifestation of racism, tyranny and bigotry, among our highest priorities. In the Jewish tradition we are called on to remember (zachor) and not to forget (lo tishkach). We cannot allow history to be forgotten or rewritten. As we say every year, it is our burden to be ambassadors of hope, memory and tolerance, and to realise the promise of ‘Never Again’.”

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