With more than a million Jews killed and a large number of others facing physical and mental abuse and torture by the Nazis, the people around the world, on January 27, held events on the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
In January 27, 1945, allied forces liberated Auschwitz, the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp. “More than a million inmates, primarily Jews, were brutally and systematically killed in the place where Nazis introduced the monstrous concept of 'industrialized Murder',” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon in his message.
The Embassy of Israel together with the United Nations, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of the United States of America and Alliance Française were organizing a week-long event to mark the UN official day of the 'International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the victims of the Holocaust'.
With Minister for Education Chitralekha Yadav as the chief guest, the inauguration ceremony was held at Alliance Française in the presence high level dignitaries from Nepal.
The event's highlight would be a week-long educational art exhibition "When Words Fail" that will be the first of its kind in Nepal. The artist behind this exhibition, Sara Atzmon, is a Holocaust survivor and has come to Nepal especially for the seminar from Israel. She will be sharing her memories from that dark-age with visitors as well as groups of students that will come to learn more about the Holocaust and lessons that can be learnt in the future.
During this week, 28 January – 04 February 2015, different documentaries on the Holocaust were to be screened at the venue throughout the day.
During the inauguration ceremony, ambassadors from various countries spoke about the tragedies of the Holocaust and the importance of marking the event to keep the memories alive so that such incidents are not repeated again.
Yaron Mayer, Ambassador of Israel to Nepal said, "In Israel and among Jewish communities around the world, the Holocaust is remembered every day because most families are personally linked to it".
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mrs. Atzmon warned, "Such kind of tragedy could occur even today and the lessons learned from the Holocaust are universal…a heavy burden lies on the shoulders of the survivors to act as ambassadors of those who are no longer with us".
French ambassador to Nepal delivered the opening remark followed by ambassador of Russian Federation and Ambassador of Germany to Nepal Meyer. UN Resident Coordinator read the message given by UN Secretary General.
Minister for Education Chitralekha Yadav remembered reading the book “Hitler ra Yahudi” written by late BP Koirala, the first democratic Prime Minister of Nepal who established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1960s, and said she cried and had sleepless nights for a few days. She added, “all of us know a lot about Holocaust and today, we are standing against any kind of atrocities and violence.”
During the ceremony, six candles were lit in memory of six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust between 1939 and 1945.
This is the first ever event of this magnitude being organized in Nepal to mark the Holocaust. The event will be an important milestone in spreading the message of tolerance and fighting against racism.
Nepali renowned musician Kishor Gurung and his band also performed a traditional Nepali adaptation to a song composed by a Holocaust victim during the inaugural event.
The Holocaustwas the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews (1.5 million of these were children) by the Nazi regime and its collaborators between 1930s and 1940s in Europe.