Speaking at the 80th-anniversary commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder called on attendees to draw strength and courage from the Jewish fighters who battled against the Nazis for a month.
"Everyone here today must see these brave young men and women as inspiration when we face our own challenges ahead," Ambassador Lauder said. "Let us draw strength from them, let us draw courage and let us remember them."
"In the shadows, you could see the outlines of where the streets of the ghetto once were. Even though it was so silent, in my mind I could hear the screams, the machine guns, the explosions, all in an overpowering silence. A silence still haunts me,"World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder
The commemoration took place at the Square of the Ghetto Heroes of Warsaw and was attended by prominent figures including Polish President Andrzej Duda, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, an affiliate of the WJC, also participated in the event.
"I first came here in the 1970s, more than 50 years ago," Lauder said. "Part of the ghetto still lay in ruins. I stood where I am standing now. It was at night and there was a full moon...In the shadows, you could see the outlines of where the streets of the ghetto once were. Even though it was so silent, in my mind I could hear the screams, the machine guns, the explosions, all in an overpowering silence. A silence still haunts me."
The WJC has been a significant contributor to the ceremonies since they were initially held in the devastated city of Warsaw and has collaborated with the Mayor of Poland and the POLIN Museum to take the Daffodil Campaign global.
In January 2022, leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the WSJ launched its seventh annual #WeRemember campaign.
The campaign was a way to educate people about the Holocaust and preserve its memory, especially as antisemitism continued to surge worldwide. The campaign’s core action is people from around the globe sharing the message “We Remember” on a sheet of paper, taking a photograph and then uploading it on social media using the hashtag #WeRemember.
The campaign further incorporates colorful illuminations, shining them onto notable monuments worldwide, including the Old City of Jerusalem walls, the Reichstag in Berlin and other landmarks across Israel, Europe and North America.