NEW YORK – The United Nations marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday at a commemoration ceremony inside the General Assembly Hall.Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak, Ambassador Danny Danon and dozens of ambassadors from around the world participated.“On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we tell our children the unthinkable stories of this dark chapter in human history so that no tragedy of its kind will ever happen again,” Danon said in his speech. “As we honor those few brave souls who stood strongly against evil and saved Jews from death, we must not forget those who cooperated with the Nazi evildoers. We will firmly oppose any attempt to distort the truth.”Holocaust survivor Eva Lavi, originally from Krakow, Poland, was invited by Danon to address the ceremony, and recounted her harrowing experience.
“There was no childhood for children my age,” Lavi said in her statement. “Regretfully we saw, heard and understood everything the Nazis were doing to us. Sadistic behavior with babies, old people and invalids, accompanied by laughter and satisfaction. My twin cousins – my age – whom I loved dearly, were caught by the Nazis, brought to Plaszow, and shot by soldiers while running up the hill. It haunts me my entire life.”Lavi noted that she was grateful to be included on Schindler’s List. “I don’t forget who saved me from the Nazi’s hell,” she said during the ceremony. “First, the almighty God to whom I pray and thank every day; second, Mr. Oskar Schindler, and third, my mother, Felicia Ratz.We were on our way to his factory in Czechoslovakia, but were sent to Auschwitz instead. Everyone knows what that name represents. But Schindler managed to get us out of this camp and we continued to his factory.”