By The Nation
This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Embassy of Israel will hold an online Holocaust remembrance ceremony on January 27 at 10am on the Facebook page of the Embassy “Israel in Thailand”.
The ceremony will start with opening remarks by Meir Shlomo, the ambassador of Israel, followed by a message from United Nations Secretary-General António
The ceremony also includes the screening of “Whose child are you?”, a documentary testimony of a Holocaust survivor, Tswi Herschel, who was born in 1942 to a Jewish-Dutch family in
a small town in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. As the family had to move to Amsterdam, as part of deportation of Jews to Ghettos, concentration camps and eventually extermination camps,
Tswi's father contacted non-Jewish Dutch friends and asked for help for his newborn son. A Protestant Dutch family took in baby Tswi, caring for him and raising him as their own child.
Tswi’s parents were deported to the extermination camp of Sobibór, where they were murdered shortly after arrival. Tswi's grandmother, his only surviving relative, took him from his foster family after the war. Tswi grew up, got married and had two daughters. In 1986, Tswi and his family immigrated to Israel. Since 1991, Tswi is sharing his personal story with young people and adults around the globe.
The ceremony ends with a closing performance by Thai-Italian opera singer, Monique Klongtruadroke. “Shtiler, Shtiler” (hush, hush) is a lullaby composed by 11-year-old Alek
Volkoviski with lyrics in Yiddish by Shmerke Kaczerginski. It was one of the best-loved songs of the Vilna ghetto in Lithuania, where the lullaby was first performed in 1943, shortly before the ghetto’s liquidation. The poignant lyrics chronicle the murder of more than 70,000 Jews in Ponar, a forest near Vilna, and lament the pain and suffering of the ghetto inmates.
The Holocaust happened more than 70 years ago and is commemorated annually in ceremonies around the
globe. Ambassador Shlomo said: “The real issue which I believe should really worry us all is the lack of knowledge, and dare I say even ignorance, about the Nazi era and the Holocaust in particular. A deficient knowledge of the history of the human race is a
perfect breeding ground for racism, discrimination and hate – and maybe the next genocide… As hard and as challenging as it is – the only effective antidote to racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination is education.”