March of the Living Torch of Hope: Never Means Never

  (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER)
(photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER)

Historic Torch of Hope lit at the main March of the Living memorial ceremony at Birkenau by grandchild of a survivor, and Founder of International March of the Living UAE Chapter, Eitan Neishlos, together with  H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, Founder of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai and the Founder of the first Holocaust Memorial Gallery in the Arabic and Islamic World.

Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, President of March of the Living, “After the Abraham Accords, we have the opportunity and the obligation to educate more people about the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from that time in history. The delegation from the UAE, and the establishment of our presence in the region is an important first steps to further the future of Holocaust memory and education.”

Full speech by Eitan Nieshlos

I, Eitan Neishlos, son of Hanoch and Hana, representing the third generation, stand here, at the Gates of Hell, and light a torch of remembrance; a torch of hope – carrying this torch forward, for the next generation. I stand here in memory of the members my own family – from both my mother’s and father’s sides – who perished in the flames of the Holocaust. 

I stand here as the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, Tamara Ziserman of blessed memory, whose story and memories we discovered after her death in this very shoebox; memories which I carry with me today. My grandmother was saved, because of the sacrifice of a Christian family, the Khodosevichs. They chose not to be bystanders to inhumanity. 

They chose to be upstanders. And for their bravery, they paid with their lives.

So, as I light this torch, the torch of the third generation, I take responsibility for passing on the flame of memory. I call on all my generation, the generation of the grandchildren, the third generation, DO NOT be bystanders to history. Do not turn a blind eye to hatred. Do not be silent in the face of evil.

Be upstanding. Be strong. Be courageous wherever racism or bigotry are found. It is now on us. Incumbent upon us. Incumbent upon our generation and ALL generations to come, to keep their memories alive. To the millions of souls lost in this unfathomable human atrocity; this is my solemn pledge. Never means Never. Never Again, and Never Forget.

  (credit: YOSSI ZELIGER) (credit: YOSSI ZELIGER)

Together, with my brother, His Excellency Ahmed (Obaid) Al Mansoori, of the United Arab Emirates, Founder of the first Holocaust Memorial Gallery in the Arabic and Islamic World. We are lighting this torch today, just over a year after the Abraham Accords were signed. Sending a message to our peoples, to our region, and to the world. We are standing strong and united against hate in all its forms. May this be the message that our generation sends far and wide, of what we can achieve when we work together. 

May this be our legacy.A legacy of solidarity. A legacy of hope.

אל תירא מפחד פתאום ומשואת רשעים כי תבוא (משלי ג, כה);

(Proverbs 3:25) Be not afraid of sudden terror, or of the darkness of the wicked when it will come.

  (credit: YOSSI ZELIGER) (credit: YOSSI ZELIGER)

Full speech by H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori 

I stand here, Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, as a faithful Muslim, as a humble servant of God, and a devout follower of his last book, the Honorable Quran and the Sunnah of his last Prophet, peace be upon him and upon all the prophets.

I stand here side by side with my Jewish brothers and sisters. I stand here solemnly, as together, we look into the very eyes of evil.

Yet, I stand here in hope. Inspired. Encouraged. I stand here today, knowing that we can, and we will overcome the darkness of the past, and of today, to ensure a future of joy and blessings for all peoples, nations and countries. 

The train tracks we see, were a junction of death. This generation, stands at the same junction of death– BUT we choose to protect life and prevent these atrocities from ever happening again, we choose life.

As the Children of Abraham, brought together by the Abraham Accords – we say, Never means Never. Never means Never.

May the memory of the victims of the Holocaust be a blessing for all.

“Whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved the lives of all people”