Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation and the European Jewish Congress (EJC), met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday. The two discussed about future World Holocaust Forums, and using the event as a platform to discuss ethical and moral challenges such as rising extremism, refugees, education, global inequality and more.
“We believe strongly in the need to also focus future World Holocaust Forums on addressing the most pressing moral and ethical challenges of our time and to develop best practices which can help shape a better future for all humanity,” Kantor said.
Pope Francis supported the idea for future World Holocaust Forums to focus on such issues, according to the EJC's statement.
Kantor also thanked the pope for his commitment to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and fighting against the recent rise of antisemitism. In fact, last month, at an event hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Pope Francis condemned the resurgence of antisemitism around the world and said that remembering the Holocaust was vital to ensure that similar atrocities do not happen again.
“If we lose our memory, we destroy our future,” the pope had said.
“The Fifth World Holocaust Forum can serve as an important blueprint for how to create international momentum on a particular issue of global importance,” Kantor explained.
“We hope that the unity and the collective experience felt at the Forum will be a source of inspiration for world leaders to take on these issues for the good of all humanity,” he added.
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum was held on January 23, marking 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Kings and princes, presidents, prime ministers and speakers of parliaments from nearly 50 countries around the world gathered in Jerusalem for a unique event titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism.”
“These are the people those who are willing to take an unflinching look at a painful past, to confront antisemitism and racism today and to commit to educating for the future. They will find us determined allies and committed partners. Together, we will pave a path turning remembrance into promise,” President Reuven Rivlin had said about the Forum's participants.
At the meeting, Kantor also awarded the pope with the 2020 Golden Vision, which rewards personalities “for their outstanding intellectual contribution to a more inclusive world where antisemitism is not tolerated.”