Thursday, December 14, 2006

Confronting the Holocaust deniers in Tehran


Excerpts From Survivor Testimony "WITNESS TO THE TRUTH" Conference:

Toronto: "To those who deny the Holocaust ever happened I would like them to personally explain to me what happened to my 6-year old brother, who was murdered in Auschwitz, to my 33-year old mother, my 36-year old father and to the one and a half million children who did not survive the Holocaust!"
--Sally Wasserman, survived Dobrowa Ghetto, Poland; 8 year-old orphan when liberated

New York: "The philosopher Edmund Burke said, 'For evil to triumph, good men have to do nothing.' I kept my silence until 10 years ago when a Holocaust denier came to Queens College where I work, to talk about whether the Holocaust took place...[Today] if this monster in human form [Ahmadinejad] manages to convince people that the Holocaust didn't take place, future generations will pay for it."
--Karl Schapiro, survivor hidden under floorboards in barn in Poland

Los Angeles: "It's important that people hear our cries and see our tears-that they know. They took everything away from me but I will not allow them to take my memory and my soul."
--Eva Brown, survivor Auschwitz, Plaszow Camps; who lost 60 members of her family December 13, 2006

On 11 December 2006, fifty Survivors gathered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles to chronicle their experiences during the Holocaust for an historic video conference, "Witness to the Truth," which was widely covered by the international media.

None of the Survivors could believe that 65 years after Auschwitz they were forced to assemble to confront Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who held a two-day conference in Tehran, for the purpose of denying the Holocaust.

With palpable anguish and disbelief, these Survivors, now in the last years of their lives, were forced again to validate their experiences. But there was no alternative -- they had to retell their accounts in order to refute the President of Iran, an individual who wants to obliterate Israel, who has called the Holocaust "a myth" and who is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons.

We are about to celebrate Chanukah, a festival commemorating a time when Light extinguished Darkness. We must do the same in our time. We must confront the darkness that now emanates from Iran.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is producing an important DVD, "Witness to the Truth" in order to share the courage and tenacity of these fifty Survivors, who each told their stories in 5 minutes, with schools and universities in North America and abroad.

It is vital for the younger generation to hear the words of these Survivors so that they can be empowered to stand up to the deniers of the Holocaust. Please partner with us and contribute generously and help us to produce the "Witness to the Truth" DVD. We're counting on your support.

Happy Chanukah to you and your family.

Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean

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Pastorius said...

It is just stunning to me that so many in the world are willing to tolerate or ignore this conference. The Reuters news piece the other day which called David Duke, "a U.S. Academic" is completely beyond the pale piece of moral equivalence. Reuters has neither retracted, not apologized for it as of yet.

minuses said...

A new initiative that challenges Muslim communities living in the West on their attitudes to integration in the face of fundamentalism and extremism in their communities was launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday.

The Muslim Charter, written by Islam and Shari'a law expert Sam Solomon and sponsored by London member of the European Parliament Gerard Batten, is designed to enable Muslims from all strands of belief to openly state that they reject extremist interpretations of religious texts that promote, or excuse violence, and bring Islam into conflict with the modern world.

Groups purporting to represent Muslims were encouraged to sign the charter to affirm that they reject violence and discrimination against non-Muslims, and that they value the freedoms of the West and want to live as law-abiding citizens.
The 10 article charter calls on the Muslim community to issue a fatwa prohibiting the use of violence or threats to their followers.