UN marks International Day of Commemoration
Monday, January 29, 2007
The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution condemning Holocaust denial
The resolution, co-sponsored by 103 countries, comes on the heels of a December conference in Iran questioning whether the Holocaust really took place. The United States submitted the resolution on January 23rd and Canada, Australia, Israel, Turkey, Russia and the European Union lobbied to garner majority support for it. The resolution was passed by consensus, without a vote; Iran dismissed it as a political ploy.
Reacting to the resolution, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said the international community has spoken with one voice in condemning the Holocaust denial conference organized by the Iranian government in Tehran six weeks ago. And the statement added:' Holocaust denial is a form of anti-Semitism and bigotry, and the civilized world will not abide it.'
In a statement commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz , U.S. President George Bush declared: 'Remembering the victims, heroes, and lessons of the Holocaust is particularly important today as Holocaust denial continues, urged on by the Iranian regime, which perversely seeks to call into question the historical fact of the Nazis' campaign of mass murder'. The U.S. leader went on to say: 'We must continue to condemn the resurgence of anti-Semitism, that same virulent intolerance that led to the Holocaust, and we must combat bigotry and hatred in all their forms, in America and abroad'. Auschwitz was liberated on January 27th, 1945.
Diplomats from 33 nations joined Holocaust survivors in lighting memorial candles at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Museum director Sara Bloomfield said commemoration is critical as the last survivors and witnesses pass on. At the ceremony she said: ' The victims of the Holocaust were abandoned by the world, we cannot abandon them again'.
Today, the world body marks its International Day of Commemoration of the Holocaust.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad refused to meet a former prisoner of Auschwitz
On August 31, 2006 Mr. Noah Flug, president of the Auschwitz International Committee of former prisoners of Auschwitz, sent an invitation to the Iranian leader to visit the death camp. Flug also requested that the Iranian authorities will allow him to participate in the conference on the Holocaust in Tehran. In our IsraCast studio, Noah Flug talked to David Essing about why he sent his letter to the Iranian president.
'I would like to invite you to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp together with members of the Auschwitz International Committee' - that extraordinary invitation comes from Noah Flug, the president of the umbrella organization of Holocaust survivors to Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
In his letter to the Iranian leader, Flug wrote that Ahmadinejad has repeatedly cast doubt that 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. In addition, Ahmadinejad had even written German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the Allies may have invented the Holocaust at the end of World War II in order to shame Germany. Flug tells the Iranian president: I have come to the clear conclusion that you are lacking in knowledge of the subject and I would like to hope that you express yourself in this way as a result of your lack of knowledge, rather than malice. Perhaps the time has come for you to add to your knowledge of the subject. At Auschwitz, Flug said he would be able to show President Ahmadinejad how the Nazi extermination machine operated, killing over a million people, Jews and also non-Jews. Flug also called on the Iranian leader to permit him to attend the conference on the Holocaust in Tehran. Needless to say, the Iranian President did not answer this letter.
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