Ghana, together with the Embassies of Israel and Germany, in collaboration with the United Nation’s Information Centre, have marked the International Holocaust Memorial Day with speakers urging world leaders to act decisively on terrorism.
The theme for this year’s memorial ceremony was “Liberty, Life and the Legacy of the Holocaust Survivors,” which marks the 10th anniversary for the commemoration of the Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
Ambassador of Israel, Sharon Bar-li noted that there is a current rise of anti – Semitism, bigotry and racism, alluding to recent attacks in France and Nigeria, as examples.
She observed that, though, the International Community condemned the atrocities, racism and anti- Semitism of past years, it is yet to take a resolute stance against such acts in recent times.
Bar-li said hatred being nursed by fundamentalist on ethnic minorities and hundreds of thousands due to their religions or their opinions are common enemy which the world needs to fight against.
She pointed out that “the history of the African continent and its people is tragically no stranger to genocide and similar atrocities in past and present times.
“Upon visiting the castles at Cape Coast and Elmina, one cannot help, but see the connecting lines of the dehumanizing of the Africans who were sold into slavery”
German Ambassador Rüdiger John indicated that Germany will not renounce its historic and moral responsibility for the Holocaust, saying recent terrorist attacks in Paris showed that anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance are still alive.
He urged world leaders to stand firm against those developments.
But Dr Robert Rozett from the Yad va Shem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel noted the Holocaust presented a lot of experience for the world to draw lessons from, such acts of impunity, adding that the world has no excuse with regards to learning from the historic event.
“We must put an immediate end to racism, and strive to build a society as well as keep reminding ourselves that acts of this nature should not be allowed in any part of the world,” he said.
Dr Rozett also addressed about 600 students of the Department of History and Political Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi on the Holocaust and the significance of commemorating the day worldwide.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated January 27 of every year, the day in which Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated, as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
UN member-states are enjoined to observe the day in memory of victims of the Holocaust, while parliaments across the world, UN Information Center representatives, Jewish communities and civil society organizations also commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance day.
The lecture marking the Day in Ghana was attended by governmental officials, Members of Parliament, the Judiciary, religious and traditional leaders, members of the diplomatic corps and the media, among others.