To mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2005, the Embassy of Israel to Rwanda, UN Rwanda and the Kigali Genocide Memorial will host a remembrance ceremony. The event will take place at 9:30 am on 14 February 2017 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
On this day, Rwandans stand with the world to remember and honour the more than six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. As part of the commemoration, Holocaust survivor Professor Daniel Gold will share how he survived the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and how he has rebuilt his life. It is a fascinating and inspiring story of courage, sacrifice, loss and hope.
The Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda, Belaynesh Zevadia, the UN Resident Coordinator and a Government of Rwanda representative will attend the event. Boaz Medina will offer a Kaddish (prayer) to begin the commemoration.
This is also an occasion for survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi to stand with Holocaust survivors, people whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.
“Rwanda and Israel share values, the two peoples suffered from mass murderer. Now we strive to remember the history but to go forward and to lead the world in science and technology and to educate the public about human values,” said Belaynesh Zevadia, Ambassador of Israel to Rwanda.
The event will bring together people from around the world to send a strong message of the importance of fighting genocide ideology. Together, we can all take action to prevent discrimination in our own communities and foster humanity for peace and prosperity.
“The Kigali Genocide Memorial is honoured to host this commemoration. As a place of remembrance and learning, the memorial plays an important role in educating visitors about genocide around the world, including the Holocaust. Together, we stand united in the fight against hatred and division to make Never Again a reality,” said Honore Gatera, Manager of Kigali Genocide Memorial.
On 27 January 1945, Soviet troops finally liberated the concentration camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland. Liberation of Europe came too late for over a 6 million Jews, people with disabilities, Roma and Sinti and other “unwanted” minorities that had been systematically murdered at the hands of the German Nazi Regime. Overall, about 6 million Jewish people were murdered by Nazi Germany during World War II in what became known as the Holocaust.
Current global affairs show that this topic has sadly lost none of its urgency. While we mourn the victims of the past, ethnic killings, terrorist attacks on innocent people and threats of genocide around the world are a constant reminder of our responsibility to protect the victims of these killings targeting specific dehumanised populations – wherever and whenever they occur.
The Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice. This commemoration takes a very special meaning in Rwanda, a country which endured the Genocide against the Tutsi that resulted in the systematic killing of more than one million lives in 1994 and which, despite immense suffering, has engaged in a courageous struggle for reconciliation and renewal.
Following the ceremony, guests have the chance to visit the exhibition “Keeping the Memory Alive”- a poster design competition held by Yad VaShem – the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heros’ Remembrance Authority and its partners.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is run by genocide prevention organisation the Aegis Trust on behalf of Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.
- Date: 14 February 2017
- Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
- Venue: Kigali Genocide Memorial – Peace School
To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, there will be two additional events where Professor Gold will share his inspiring story with young people, mostly students at local universities.
- Ubumuntu Exchange at Kigali Genocide Memorial on 13 February 2017 from 6 pm.
- Meeting with students at the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics (Gikondo) on 14 February from 6 pm.