Victims of the Holocaust remembered in Armenia

On the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust UN Armenia Office, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jewish Community participated in a solemn ceremonyto pay tribute to the memory of the victims. The UN Resident Coordinator Bradley Busetto and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Manassarianplaced a wreath at the Holocaust Memorial in Aragast Park followed by prayers and a candlelight vigil.

The event continued in the National Library of Armenia with an exhibition of posters featuring documentary fragments of the history of the Holocaust and the WWII, award winning posters on the topic, as well as publications from the UN Reference Library and the National Library stocks. In the events hall of the National Library where media and a youth audience from schools and universities of Yerevan was gathered, UN, MFA and Jewish community representatives spoke about the mass killings of primarily Jews, political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, Sintiand Roma, homosexuals, disabled persons and Jehovah’s witnesses.

In his speech, UN Resident Coordinator Bradley Busetto stated: “While honoring the memory of the victims, this international day of commemoration is our opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the international community to taking action against anti-semitism, racism, and intolerance, and to preventing similar violence in the future.”

Seventy years have passed since the liberation of the Auschwitz Birkenau, the German NaziConcentration and Extermination Camp, a place where the Nazis introduced the monstrous concept of “industrialized murder”.While speaking about these tragic events and crimes against humanitythe Rabbi Gershon Meir Burshtein, and the Chairwoman of the Jewish Community RimmaVarzhapetyan-Feller highlighted the lessons of tolerance that especially the youth should learn. Speaking and telling about these inhuman acts of genocide and annihilation can prevent the modern day crimes and attempts of genocide, hatred, discrimination and xenophobia.

As the theme of this year’s observance was “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”UN HQ films onliberation of Auschwitz Birkenauthrough testimonies of survivors and veterans, as well as on the 10th anniversary of the Holocaust and UN Outreach Programme were also screened. Information materials on Holocaust were available for media and youth.The whole event was concluded by Willy Weiner’s somber music (a prominent Jewish composer in Armenia, chairman of the Jewish Cultural Center Menora).

UN Department of Public Information Yerevan Office jointly with the UN Depository Library located in the National Library of Armenia were the main organizers of the day. To mark this observance through education outreach activity had a goal to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generationspreventing genocides from occurring again.

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