Remember. Acknowledge. Act.

ICEJ Worldwide

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3 May 2016
Remember. Acknowledge. Act.

Jews and Christians gathered together in Stuttgart, Germany, earlier this year to mark the International Holocaust Memorial Day. Many dignitaries from Jewish and Christian communities and political representatives came together in a time to, as the event’s theme suggests, “Remember. Acknowledge. Act.”

Gottfried Bühler of ICEJ-Germany spoke at the event. Honouring the many victims of the Holocaust, Bühler also emphasizing the importance of taking a stand for Israel and the Jewish people today. Speaking out against the BDS movement and the labelling of Israeli products from the disputed territories, Bühler said: “For many Jews, this is a painful reminder of the Nazi slogan, ‘Don’t buy in Jewish stores’.”

Hope and help for the persecuted

Dr. Dan Shaham, Israeli consul general for southern Germany, commended the unique friendship between Germany and Israel after the “unparalleled disaster” of the Holocaust. He called this development a “sign of hope” for many nations and people, but also urged the audience to remember our continuing duty to help those who need it most. In that context, Dr. Shaham highlighted the plight of persecuted Yazidi and Christian communities in the Middle East.

Josef Aaron, a German-born Holocaust survivor who now resides in Jerusalem, recounted the horrors he went through. Even after arriving in Israel at the age of ten, Josef was homeless for eight months, keeping himself alive from other people’s garbage. “What helped me through every trial was my faith in God, who was and is always with me.” He invited everyone to visit Israel, which he described as “the most beautiful country in the world.”

German pastor Jobst Bittner challenged the audience to carry their personal responsibility in the fight against anti-Semitism. Before lighting memorial candles, he encouraged them to always let their light shine. “Even the smallest light can diffuse darkness.” Six memorial flames were lit on an illuminated Star of David. 

 

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