News Americas, Tues. Jan. 28, 2014: The United Nations on Monday paid tribute to the 6 million Jews and countless others massacred in the Nazi Holocaust with a solemn ceremony in the General Assembly Hall.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust to speak of the perils of anti-Semitism and hatred of any kind.
“The United Nations was founded to prevent any such horror from happening again. Yet tragedies from Cambodia to Rwanda to Srebrenica show that the poison of genocide still flows,” he said.
Opening the commemorative ceremony, General Assembly President, Antiguan John Ashe, stressed that the Day underscored the international community’s determination that “such unfathomable horror and unspeakable cruelty” would have no place in this world.
“We will not forget them, we have not forgotten them, and they have not left us in vain. The sheer ferocity and pervasive cruelty of the Holocaust brought to fore a deep and powerful moral imperative that crimes of such enormity must be forever eliminated from this planet,” he said.
Giving the keynote speech at the ceremony, film director, writer and producer Steven Spielberg, whose film, Schindler’s List, about a German businessman who saved over 1,000 mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories, won seven Oscars, stressed that the world cannot emerge from the Holocaust until there are no more genocides, until “the unthinkable becomes impossible…”
“Tragically we are all aware that the Holocaust is with us today in ongoing attempts at genocides all around our planet,” he added, highlighting the UN’s role in bringing home the message.