Speech of The King of Spain, Don Felipe VI, in the Holoucaust Commemoration

Felipe VILast January 23rd 2020, in the city of Jerusalem, took place the World´s Leaders meeting commemoration of the Shoa.

In this meeting the actual King of Spain, Don Felipe VI, addressed the following speech that I have wnated to share with you all.

It is a great honor – which causes me humility – to address you tonight, as we meet for the V World Holocaust Forum tomorrow. It is an outstanding meeting of world leaders committed to memory, with a just cause and a moral obligation.

Thank you President Rivlin. And thank you for your wise words, which are always a source of inspiration.

I am sure that each of us here would have thoughts to express in this historical event. I will only try modestly to condense some of them, with the hope that you feel represented.

75 years later, the world does not forget, the world still remembers and promises to be vigilant. This is what this impressive meeting here today has decided to proclaim firmly and clearly.

Our great Jewish thinker Moisés Maimónides, born in Sefarad, in the city of Córdoba, wrote in that Middle Ages, following in the footsteps of other great thinkers: “All the great evils that men cause each other, be original in ignorance” . Undoubtedly, Humanity has suffered its darkest hours when millions of innocent lives from many areas of life and countless communities were abruptly vanished by blind, perverse and ignorant hatred.

It is that there is no greater evil than that derived from ignoring that all women and men are equal and that every human being has been the recipient of the greatest dignity. There is no greater irresponsibility than feeling superior to others, when people believe they have the right to discriminate, to accept intolerance or promote resentment towards others for political gain, political extremism or racial hatred.

We can find the remedy to such malicious and immoral contempt of the dignity of the “other”, first and foremost, in the example of those who suffered from their murderous enmity. (…) And tomorrow in Yad Vashem we will have the honor of meeting some of the survivors of the death camps.

For decades, these men and women have enlightened us about the importance of keeping alive the memory of their terrible experience. Forgetting the Shoa would not only be a dishonor to the memory of millions of victims, but it would also be extremely dangerous.

However, we well know that despite the profound effort of those who gave us – or even give us today – their personal testimony (or that of their relatives), of the powerful inspiration that this means for us, just remember, unfortunately, no It’s enough. We also know that barbarism can grow when you least expect it, even in the midst of advanced technology and culture. We are never fully safe from it, and to varying degrees, we still see today how it hits hard in different parts of our world.

It is clear that we cannot look the other way. We must persevere in the implementation, teaching and life itself according to the principles and values ​​of the International Declaration of Human Rights.

We have come today, Mr. President, not only to present our respect for the survivors and our disgust for what happened – not so long ago – in Auschwitz-Birkenau and many other places.

We are here also – perhaps primarily – to show our unwavering commitment to devote all necessary efforts in our respective countries, to the fight against ignorant intolerance, hatred and the total lack of human empathy that made the Holocaust possible. Because preventing this disease of civilization is a collective responsibility, but also an individual one. There can be no place for indifference in the presence of racism, xenophobia, hate speech and anti-Semitism.

Sadly, we are witnessing today an increase in the despicable attacks on Jews in different parts of the world. So many times in history, animosity against Jews has proven, shamefully, to be a symptom and a clear example of intolerance and aversion to different ones.

Having a rich and complex Jewish past and a vibrant Jewish community, Spain has decided to create a solid framework of rules and initiatives to relentlessly combat anti-Semitism and all forms of xenophobia and racism. There are, of course, many other nations – both here and others – that are making similar efforts and moving forward.

But although I remain optimistic, I know – we all know it – that we will always need to persevere together so that those words, so often repeated, “never again”, remain our guide and our perennial principle.

Never again, Leolám lo Od.

Commemoration of Yom Hashoa in Madrid

YOM HASHOA 2017 MADRIDThe emotional act was celebrated before the Holocaust Memorial, which was erected 10 years ago by the architect Alberto Stisin and the author of the work Samuel Nahon, representing the will to defend freedom and human rights.

The installation of the laurel wreath by the Deputy Mayor of Madrid, Marta Higueras, Daniel Kutner, Israeli Ambassador and Eva Benatar, a relative of the survivor of the Shoah, began the ceremony accompanied by the choir singing of the CJM.

Then the children of the Talmud Torah (Jewish school) have read in Spanish and Hebrew the poem ‘Every man has a name’, which appeals to the honor of the dignity of the Jewish people in the Holocaust and has continued to read testimonies Of Jews who lived the years of repression.

In the presence of councilors, government delegates, presidents of Jewish organizations, Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish Community of Madrid, Raphael Benatar, Secretary and Spokesperson of the Jewish Community, stated that “Nazism was the closest thing to Nightmare that we can try to imagine as hell on earth, so, despite the passage of time we have an obligation to remember never to forget.

He also stressed that “the Jewish community will continue to stand firm against anti-Semitism, but faithful to the values ​​that our heroes, the survivors have left us: love, unity, work, study, memory and above all a bit of resentment and vengeance” .

Isaac Revaah, a survivor of the Holocaust, and saved by the hero Sebastián Romero Radigales, Spanish Consul in Athens, was present at the event, excited to remember the hundreds of millions who lost their lives 74 years ago.

After the reading of the prayer Malé Rajamim (Lord Merciful) on the part of the Great Rabbi of Spain Moshe Bendahan, and after keeping a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the tragedy, the act finished with the intervention of young people of the Center Ibn Gabirol and the interpretation of the theme “Elí Elí” by the choir.

The Israeli consul recalls the struggle of the Jews in Catalonia for freedom

The Fossar de la Pedrera has become the scene this morning of an act of remembrance of the struggle of the Jews in Catalonia for freedom. The ceremony has been convened by four entities: the Jewish Community Atid, Chabad Lubavitch, the Progressive Jewish Community Bet Shalom and the Israeli Community. The act was carried out just in front of the monument at the entrance of the cemetery which consists of ten stones; One for each Nazi concentration camp.

The Israeli consul in Barcelona, ​​José Antonio Sánchez Molina, was in charge of pronouncing the speech of the memorial. He recalled that today’s meeting was a reminder of “the struggle for freedom and the right to be different,” and against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. “In this trench lies 4,000 people persecuted by the dictatorship, and also the bodies of 7,000 Jews who came to Barcelona to fight for their freedom and for the Republic,” said Sánchez Molina.

The consul explained that the survivors of the Shoah (the Hebrew term for the Nazi Holocaust) were among the founders of the State of Israel, “a state of law where very different religions coexist and where all kinds of orientations are respected, From Jews to Muslims to Christians. Sánchez Molina recalled that Tel Aviv is the only gay friendly city in the Middle East, and that Israel is a consolidated democracy. The event has been supported by ACAI and Israel in Catalonia.

The act has served to recall the Holocaust and the six million murders, among which 1 million and a half were children. He has also used to explain the large number of concentration camps during the genocide, not only those of Jews, also those who imprison people for being homosexual or disabled. He ended up assuring that they will never stop denouncing this cause with the best weapon of all: the word. In a veiled allusion to the motion approved by the Barcelona City Council endorsing the boycott in Israel, the consul has indicated that “today we find a resurgence of anti-Semitism, but it has new forms, it is polyhedral.” “Now it’s anti-Zionism, a boycott of Israel, but do not deceive yourself, it’s anti-Semitism, it’s the same thing, they’ll find us with the weapons of speech, negotiation and dialogue to deal with this offensive,” he added. The consul has asked that it not become “the victims in executioners, and the executioners in victims”.

Spain aided to thousands of Jews to save their lives

ESPANA-AYUDO-JUDIOS-CLANDESTINA-MELILLA_EDIIMA20170409_0114_4There was a few years ago, when the clandestine passage to the land promised through Melilla was consented by Spain, instead of curbing it with a fence, because then what it was about was to help those fleeing from neighboring Morocco : An exodus of at least 5,000 Jews.

A story that until recently was almost unknown even in Melilla itself, as told to Efe the president of the Socio-Cultural Association “Mem Guímel”, Mordejay Guahnich, and the historian who coordinates the Sephardic Project in Melilla (Sefamel), Maria Elena Fernández.

Spain allowed some 250,000 Jews to flee clandestinely from Morocco through Ceuta and Melilla in the middle of the last century.

“Something we have uncovered now to make it known” in Melilla, explains the president of this association on Sephardic Jewish culture.

The regime of Franco was little friend of the newly created State of Israel, but also did not see anything well to Morocco after its independence of Spain and France, reason why it did not persecute these Jews, whom in Ceuta they were even applauded to them when they arrived .

But in Melilla, the other Spanish city in North Africa, “it was a very quiet step” and not even the Jews of the city “knew they had arrived,” explains Mordejay Guahnich.

“That clandestine passage for Melilla was totally secret”, he emphasizes.

The Moroccan Jews arrived at night and on the following day departed for Gibraltar, by boat mainly, from there to continue their journey to Marseilles (France) and finally to the Israeli port of Haifa.

The dates of that exodus and the names of its protagonists are recorded in military archives in Melilla, where “Mem Guímel” has been working, looking at about a hundred declassified documents, although now many have been re-classified.

Through them he has discovered that there were at least 5,000 who passed through the city.

The documents themselves, although detailing names and dates, qualify this step of clandestine, underlines Fernandez.

The historian remembers that as now with the subsahariana immigration on the fence, also then “the pressure was very much” in the border.

Only at that time there was a kind of “tacit agreement” and instead of impeding the passage, the security forces allowed.

“Possibly we did not bother because they were not going to stay here,” he says, and even in those documents there are testimonies of thanking the support of the Civil Guard.

At the beginning, around 1955, Morocco let them leave with a passport, but then realizes that it is losing a lot of people and decides to cut off that migratory flow “of people who went on vacation and did not return”, comments the researcher.

He stops giving passports and it is the Mosad, one of the Israeli secret services, that comes to the rescue of the Hebrews who want to leave at all costs.

They left behind pots on the fire, pretending that they had not left their houses, but in fact they had left alone with what was left in a suitcase.

Other families were divided not to leave all together and not to raise suspicions.

They arrived in groups of 30 to 40 from Casablanca, Tangier or Fez the majority, traveling hundreds of kilometers in buses that left them near Melilla “with great danger, because to be in those moments stopped in Morocco it was equivalent to him to spend several years of jail” , Reveals the historian.

They said they came to weddings, religious holidays or to visit relatives, in a drip that from 1956 to 1962 saw at least 5,000 per Melilla.

“In Melilla there were none left, they spent 24 hours sparingly,” in Fernandez’s words, because their goal was Israel, although afterwards life would take them to some even to America.

“Mem Guímel” has contacted them in Israel, but others have found them in Panama, Venezuela or Argentina.

A misfortune had to come, the tragic sinking of Price in 1961, one of the ships fleeing from Melilla, to break the news of this irregular immigration and unleash the wrath of Morocco, with the consequent conflict with Spain for consenting to it .

The Price is still not clear and that is why Semafel is still investigating his story, as well as the thousands of Jews who once had a pleasant step in Melilla to their dreams.

Segovia: The exhibition ‘The Power of Civil Society during the Holocaust: Bulgaria / 1940-1944 /’

It shows the development of events throughout World War II on the international scene, the impact of events in Bulgaria, the position of the authorities and the firm response of civil society.

From the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Spain, we would like to invite you to our next cultural events that will take place at the Didgotic Center of the Jewish Quarter of Segovia (C / Judería vieja, 12), next April 3 at 18.00hs.

The exhibition “The Power of Civil Society during the Holocaust: the case of Bulgaria / 1940-1944 /” is a sample that represents the development of events throughout World War II on the international scene, the repercussion of the Developments in Bulgaria, the position of the authorities and the firm response of civil society. This exhibition will be accompanied by a lecture by Mr. Marcel Israel.

Yad VaShem asks to Amazon to stop selling Shoa denial books

yad-vashem

http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2017/03/01/actualidad/1488355586_309627.html

The Jewish Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, embarks again on a battle against the Holocaust deniers. On this occasion Robert Rozett, the director of his library – the one who owns the most complete collection of the world on everything published about the genocide committed by the Nazis – has written to the Director General of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, to ask him personally to take measures That prevent the sale on their platform of books that “deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust”, says verbatim. “I have sent an email to his personal account, a letter addressed to him to the company’s mailing address in Seattle and also an email through Amazon customer service, to be sure that our request reaches His destiny, “Rozett admits in conversation with EL PAÍS.

They have not made a list of titles to withdraw – they will do later, they confess – but they have offered their help to the North American online sales giant to identify the publications to be withdrawn and have included in the missive three concrete examples that they would like Amazon to leave To sell immediately on their different websites: Richard Harwood’s well-known book Did six million really died ?, which calls into question that six million people actually died in the concentration camps of Hitler’s Germany during World War II ; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The case against the presumed extermination of European jewry, written by Arthur R. Butz, who maintains that the mass extermination in Auschwitz did not occur and for that reason the allies could not have knowledge of him and by The Leuchter Reports: Critical Edition by Fred A. Leuchter and others, commonly known as the Leuchter Report and conceived to call into question the existence of gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps.

Years ago, when the American company began to take off, Yad Vashem already contacted the company’s management to ask them not to be complicit in the distribution of books that “foment hatred and feed anti-Semitism,” says Rozett, but The firm shielded itself in freedom of expression so as not to withdraw them.

In some countries, such as Germany – where Holocaust denial is a crime – Amazon does not distribute those books. Nor does it in its subsidiaries in Spain, Italy or France but in the United States and the United Kingdom where, for Rozett, there is also a border between legal and correct that should not be passed, although denying genocide Jewish, is not classified as illegal. “It may be legal, but it is not right or is it right to profit from material that encourages hatred? Should you make money at any price? “Asks the director of the Library of Yad Vashem who, like Amazon, defend the sale of such publications for the sake of freedom ..

Therefore, the director of the Library of the Holocaust Museum assures that, even if they do not receive a response from Amazon, they will not cease their efforts to withdraw from the market all those publications that question the organized and large-scale extermination committed by the Nazis. “Especially now that we’re seeing how in the last two weeks there’s a surge in violence against Jews in the United States,” Rozett says.

It refers to the false bomb threats received in February by at least 11 American Jewish centers and the desecration of a Jewish cemetery last week in the suburbs of St. Louis and in the reconstruction of which Muslim activists are also collaborating Defend multi-religious coexistence.