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World Holocaust Forum and the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

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HRH Prince Charles Addresses the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem Articles: Live: live?clip=5a94117623eec6000c55 7fec Replay: ...
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This video is Charles' entire speech to the Forum.

Shoshana Chen, a survivor's daughter: "It's not enough to say never again. Paris Jews are afraid to walk in the street."

[Haaretz of Israel, The New York Times, The Times of Israel, and the Chicago Tribune are all covering in detail the World Holocaust Forum going on in Yad Vashem, in remembrance of the liberation of concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. So much US attention is focused on the Impeachment proceedings that I felt it imperative to compile this article, LEST WE FORGET.]

Not many Auschwitz survivors remain as the 75th anniversary approaches. The afternoon ceremony recalled the Jan. 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in occupied Poland where 1.1 million people perished, by Red Army troops. However, it also pointed contemporary connections to the resurgence of Antisemitism across Europe and North America. This was the largest political gathering in Israel's history; Jerusalem was crowded with police officers; some schools closed, and the main highway from the airport closed because of the many motorcades of arriving heads of state.

Vladimir Putin called for vigilance to spot 'the first sprouts of hatred" and he hinted at a deal to free an Israeli woman, while Ukraine's leader gives up his seats to Holocaust survivors and Vice President Pence urged a battle against a 'rising tide of vile anti-Semitism.'

Putin: "We certainly all bear responsibility to make sure that the terrible tragedies of the past should never repeat themselves. We have to make sure that future generations remember the horrors of the Holocaust. We have to be vigilant not to miss when the first sprouts of hatred, of chauvinism, of xenophobia and anti-Semitism start to rear their ugly head."

Charles, Prince of Wales joined the group of European leaders in Jerusalem on Thursday morning at the hillside memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, a demonstration of resolve to fight anti-Semitism.

Prince Charles called the Holocaust's lessons "searingly relevant to this day. Hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart, still tell new lies, still adopt new disguises and still seek new victims," and that the language used too often "turns disagreement into dehumanization. Real violence ensues, and acts of unspeakable cruelty are still perpetrated around the world against people for reasons of their religion, their race or their beliefs," Charles said.

According to Times of Israel coverage, Charles apparently chose to snub Vice President Pence. Buckingham Palace denied that there was ever any intended snub. Check out the footage here and see what you think. and

As he arrived for the event in Jerusalem, Charles shook hands with the event's organizer, Moshe Kantor, then walked by Pence, looking him in the face, before continuing on to shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Pence stood silently as the prince walked by and patted him on the arm. The US vice president's office played down the encounter, noting the two men had just met before entering the hall, and that they shook hands following Pence's speech at the ceremony. "Shortly before the Yad Vashem memorial event began, the prince and Vice President Pence had a warm and friendly chat, which is why they did not greet each other again in the room," a statement from the office of the Prince of Wales said.

Netanyahu said Israel was "eternally grateful" to the Allied powers defeating Hitler, but noted quite accurately that during Hitler's rise, "when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world largely turned its back on us." He called Auschwitz "the ultimate symbol of Jewish powerlessness. Today, we have a voice, we have a land, and we have a shield," the Israeli armed forces. "The tyrants of Tehran that subjugate their own people and threaten the peace and security of the entire world, they threaten the peace and security of everyone in the Middle East and everyone beyond."


The Chicago Tribune's coverage focused on Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, having been invited to this forum but ultimately chosing not to attend over what he interpreted as snub in that he had not been given a speaking slot, though Putin was. The two nations; have been engaged in a bitter dispute for months, with each accusing the other of trying to rewrite - and weaponize - history: Putin depicts USSR as saving the world from Nazism, hoping to ignore its own 1939 nonaggression pact with Germany, and has framed Poland as more a perpetrator than a victim of the Holocaust.

Duda argues that the Soviet agreement with Germany paved the way to war (and extermination of the Polish Jews), and that Putin is reviving old Stalinist propaganda as a modern-day cudgel. "I am sorry to say this, but President Putin is knowingly spreading historical lies," Duda said in an interview with Israeli public television that aired Tuesday.

To this armchair American amateur historian/pundit, I think there is truth to both of their points of view, but I lean to the point of view of the Polish President. What was the Non-Aggression pact for, anyway? To further parse who is more truthful would require a great deal more scrutiny on my part.

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