nCa News and Commentary
The embassy of Israel in Turkmenistan in cooperation with the UN system in Turkmenistan arranged a gathering on 27 January 2023 to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day (The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust 2023).
The event was hosted jointly by Ambassador Itzhak Carmel Kagan and the UN Resident Coordinator Dmitry Shlapachenko.
Azim Ashirov of the embassy of Israel anchored the event.
Ambassador Kagan said in his speech, “The scale of the disasters and losses that befell the Jewish people were monstrous. Six million souls, a third of the Jewish people at that time, were exterminated by the Nazis and their local assistants during the Holocaust. Huge human and spiritual treasures have disappeared. A rich irreplaceable culture was lost, a huge human potential was destroyed.”
He said, “Today, when the whole world remembers the terrible massacre of 6 million souls, the question arises: did the world really learn the lessons of the Holocaust and prevent further genocides and massacres? Unfortunately, the answer is no.”
Ambassador Kagan said further, “Seventy-eight years after the horrors of the Holocaust, despite progress, technology and the flow of information, the world does not stop at the organized killing of men, women and children. Unfortunately, there is also an increase in crimes motivated by racial and national hatred, including anti-Semitism.”
“International Holocaust Remembrance Day is the day the world should stand by the words “never again”. This is the day when world leaders and ordinary citizens must make a commitment to prevent a repeat of genocide. Neither the destruction of the Jewish people, nor the destruction of other peoples. This is the day the world must come together to keep weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of the dark regimes,” he added.
In his speech, Kagan also praised those who helped save the lives of the Jews during that painful period in the history of the mankind – the Righteous Among the nations – particularly the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara and the Swedish diplomat Raoul Gustav Wallenberg.
Ms. Nelli Azriel, the Representative of the Jewish Families said in her speech, “Every person on earth knows what war is, any war that destroys the brightest and most precious thing – the lives of children, their parents, relatives and beloved ones. These are always tears, hunger, devastation and sacrifices, incommensurable with this evil. This burden, like an unhealed wound, is always with us, always stirs our souls and minds. This will be remembered from generation to generation.”
For Nelli Azriel, the pain is very personal. She said, “I am also a victim of this crushing war. My father died, I grew up as an orphan, I had no brothers or sisters. But I survived. I graduated from school with a gold medal, entered the Turkmen State University, received a higher education and has been a lecturer at a university all my life.”
“Here, in Turkmenistan, I have found a second homeland and friends. But the memory of those millions of tortured, burned alive, shot dead is alive and sacred in every family even after many years,” she said.
Ms. Durjemal Navbatova of “30 Under 30” Initiative said in her speech, “As a participant in the “30 under 30” program, I had the opportunity to visit Yad Vashem in November 2022 as one of more than a million visitors each year attempting to comprehend the enormity of the Holocaust. It was so touching, it was overwhelming. When I visited, it made me feel like we belonged to them and they belonged to us. I realized once more how strong and resilient are the Jewish people.”
Navbatova said, “The Holocaust is an example of what hatred can lead to. We have to be totally active; we have to have our eyes open. We have to stand in the way of all injustice and all hatred. Encouraging society to reflect on the lessons of the past can ensure that future generations develop the knowledge and skills to effectively confront these challenges.”
“As an educator, it is my commitment, as well as that of other educators, to combat rising anti-Semitism through youth work and activities that preserve Holocaust memory. All (related resources accompany the texts and may include photos, video testimonies, documentary footage, documents, artifacts, and works of art) discoveries should be introduced in schools and universities, as well as through museum visits, because every country’s future is dependent on its youth. The “Vessels of Light” Symphony and the new “Book of Names” are both massive 2- meter installations completed for 2023. — That much we remember, and that much we are connected,” she said.
She concluded, “As the prisoner of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Nobel laureate Eli Wiesel (1928–2016) said, “To forget the innocently killed is like killing them again.”” —– #WeRemember
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nCa Commentary by Tariq Saeedi
With a distance of nearly 80 years from the Holocaust, we have hopefully obtained the macro vision now.
If we are still looking for lessons in the Holocaust, we are not doing justice to those who perished. The biggest lesson is that the Holocaust happened at all.
This is a picture of some of the children that survived. What are they showing?
They are showing the tattoos – the tattoos that marked them for death. — The pain on their faces is the wound on our hearts. This is one of the pictures that should haunt us, always.
The real lesson from the Holocaust is that it happened. Branching out any further is akin to diluting the guilt.
The real lesson is that it is mindset versus mindset, ideology versus ideology.
The real lesson is that a warped ideology can mesmerize the masses. It can do so because it is fashioned to appeal to the current trends.
The real lesson is that the authors and promoters of warped ideologies know how to rebrand and repackage their poisonous products to appeal to the masses.
Rebranding and repackaging of hatred. — Enough already. #WeRemember /// nCa, 27 January 2023
Here are some pictures from the event held in Ashgabat on 27 January 2023: