The Embassy of Israel together with the German Embassy and the United Nation’s Information Centre on Tuesday 27th January marked the International Holocaust Memorial Day with a lecture addressed by Dr. Robert Rozett from the Yad va Shem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel.
The theme for this year’s memorial ceremony was “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors”, which marks the 10th anniversary for the commemoration of the Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated January 27 of every year – the day in which Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated, as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be observed by UN member states in memory of victims of the Holocaust.
Indeed on every January 27, parliaments across the world, UN Information Center representatives, Jewish communities and civil society organizations commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance day.
The lecture to mark the day in Ghana was patronized by Governmental Officials, Members of Parliament and the Judiciary, Religious and Traditional Leaders, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, the Media among others with the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey representing the Government of Ghana.
In her opening remarks, the Ambassador of Israel to Ghana, H.E. Sharon Bar-li indicated that, there is a current rise of anti –Semitism, bigotry and racism, alluding to recent attacks in France and Nigeria as examples. She is however of the opinion that, though the International Community condemns the atrocities, racism and anti- Semitism of past years, it is yet to take a resolute stance against such acts in recent times.
Ambassador Sharon Bar-li identified hatred being nursed by fundamentalist on ethnic minorities - “Jews, Christians, Yazidies, Kurds and hundreds of thousands of Muslims due to their religions or their opinions” as a common enemy which the world needs to fight against.
She further noted that “the history of the African Continent and its people is tragically no stranger to genocide and similar atrocities in past and present times. Upon visiting the castles at Cape Coast and Elmina, one cannot help but see the connecting lines of the dehumanizing of the Africans who were sold to slavery”
On his part, H.E. Rüdiger John, the German Ambassador to Ghana in his opening remarks indicated that Germany will not renounce its historic and moral responsibility for the Holocaust. Referring to the recent terrorist attack in Paris, where four Jews were killed, Ambassador Rüdiger was also of the view that, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance are still alive. He thus, called for the world to stand against these developments.
Dr. Robert Rozett, the Keynote Speaker stated that a lot of lessons needed to be learnt from the Holocaust experience adding that the world had no excuse with regards to learning from this historic event. Dr. Rozett further stressed - “We must put an immediate end to racism and strive to build a society as well as keep reminding ourselves that acts of this nature should not be allowed in any part of the world”.
Prior to the commemoration lecture, Dr. Robert Rozet addressed about 600 students of the Department of History and Political Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on the Holocaust and the significance of the commemoration of the Holocaust Memorial to the world.
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