Sandy Koppell, Women’s League UN NGO
There were four days of most remarkable programming at the United Nations commemorating the Holocaust in January 2013. This program, an annual event begun in 2006, encourages awareness and reminds the world of the threat that genocide poses. The UN also disseminates information internationally. This year’s theme was “Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care.”
At the conclusion of the program, a memorial ceremony was held in the General Assembly. There were video remarks by Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General, as well as remarks by representatives from Israel, Sweden and the Congo. Professor Ethel Brooks, a sociologist at Rutgers University who is Romani, shared her perspective on the impact of Nazi terror on Roma and Sinti families. Professor Mordecai Paldiel of Yeshiva University, a former director of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, marked the 50th anniversary of that program. Cantor Chaim Berson chanted the El Maleh Rachamin and Ani Ma’amim, and a string quartet performed music by composers who lost their lives during the Holocaust.
Not only does the UN sponsor this program, but it also produces programs throughout the world to commemorate and educate all people about the Holocaust, so that genocide should not reoccur.
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