International Holocaust Remembrance Day: A Survivor’s Plea

rabbi arthur schneier speaks at the united nations

by Rabbi Arthur Schneier

The urgency of purpose that spurred the establishment of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust 15 years ago is more manifest than ever. In our time of societal, economic and political upheaval, demonization of “the Other”, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism are flourishing.

On 24 January 2005, I was humbled to be asked by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, and with special permission from then Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to recite Kaddish—the mourner’s prayer—at the opening of “Auschwitz: The Depth of the Abyss”, an exhibition of photos and sketches depicting scenes from that hell on Earth. I scoured the display in hope and fear, thinking I might find my own grandparents among the doomed souls deported from Hungary who perished at Auschwitz.

Read the full article as published in the UN Chronicle.

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Rabbi Arthur Schneier is Senior Rabbi, Park East Synagogue; Founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation; Former United States Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations General Assembly; and Member of the High-Level Group and Ambassador of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.