‘Not Enough to know what we stand for, we must know what we stand against’ – Israel Ambassador at the Holocaust MemorialGuru Maajabu
UNIC Nairobi in partnership with the Israeli Embassy in Kenya brought together 300 students from 15 Kenyan Universities to commemorate the 2016 International Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the United Nations Offices at Nairobi (UNON). The students were joined by over 100 diplomats accredited to UNEP and UN Habitat.
The Director-General of UNON, Sahle-Work Zewde welcomed diplomats and the visiting students before reading the UN Secretary-General’s message for the day. “The core values of the UN – tolerance, justice, respect for diversity, combatting hatred and violent extremism, promoting mutual understanding and dignity for all – are also key elements for building a more peaceful, harmonious world where the horrors and acts of inhumanity such as those perpetrated during the Holocaust could never take place again,” said the Director-General.
In attendance to this somber ceremony was the German Ambassador, Mrs. Jutta Frasch who called for religious and racial tolerance to avoid future genocides.
“It is very good thing,” said the German Ambassador, “that Germany and Israel are now very wonderful partners and friends on all levels. Our lesson has been that we must have the concept of saying sorry.”
The Israeli Ambassador, Yahel Vilan said it is the responsibility of every individual to support racial, ethnic and religious harmony. “Our duty is clear. Being good is not enough. We must know what to do when we face evil. It is not enough to know what we stand for, we must know what we stand against,” said Ambassador Vilan.
he students who joined the first segment of the official event were treated to a special lecture from an expert Dr. Lea Praise from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Tel Aviv. She was brought in specifically to chronicle the horrors of the Holocaust and the need to educate young people for the sole purpose of making sure that never again should mankind ever suffer such atrocities.
Dr. Praise told the students that the event was a time for everyone to pause and remember the millions of people who were murdered or whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust.
Students were invited for questions at the end of the lecture and they asked competent questions that facilitated live debate as they tried to draw lessons that resonate with the Kenyan situation where ethnic tolerance remain a concern.
The ceremony involved the lighting of six remembrance candles led by the UNON’s Director-General Zewde. Each of the 400+ attendees held flowers which together were assembled into one at the end of the ceremony.
Get more photos Click: Holocaust Commemoration at UNON 2016