A somber memorial ceremony took place at FJC’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow last week for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day with the participation of Israeli, American and German diplomats, FJC leaders, cultural and entertainment figures, holocaust survivors and war veterans.
As the evening progressed, participants shared personal accounts of connection to the memorial day; made public statements; and reminded the public why it is imperative to continue preserving historical memory. They also toured the new exhibition just opened at the museum called “(Not) A Time for Love” about stories of love in the Holocaust.
“Some may ask why we continue to bring this up year after year. The Torah teaches us to remember what has been done to us. And also we know that the Nazis implemented their plan gradually, stopping to see the world’s reaction. But no reaction followed so they continued on their evil ways. So today we have to speak about it and about the fact that in Europe and America again we see Anti-semitism raising its ugly head,” said Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar at the event.
American and German ambassadors spoke about the need to learn lessons from history, admitting wrongdoing and teaching new generations values of mutual respect and tolerance.
“Today we, Germans, admit it openly, that the worst crime against humanity in history has been perpetuated by our nation. A horrible war was waged by my country. Talking about it I think not only of our past but of our future. No country can exist outside of history. One of the main reasons my country has been able to once again become a respected member of the international community is that we looked honestly into the mirror of history,” said the ambassador of Germany to Russia, Mr. Geza Andreas von Geyr.
The director of FJCR public relations department Mr. Boruch Gorin underlined the importance of the mission of preserving historical memory carried by all Jewish museums in the world including the one in Moscow, where memorial ceremonies have been taking place annually ever since the museum’s opening in 2012.