23rd January 2020
It isn’t Shabbat yet but I will wish you Shabbat Shalom anyway. In fact I wish you “Shalva” which means serenity, a calm state of mind.
75 years ago Soviet soldiers liberated the last remaining prisoners of Auschwitz, surely the epitome of evil, the most foul of human behaviour of all time. Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January, 1945. There were 7,000 survivors in the camp, mostly sick and dying. An estimated 1,300,000 men, women and children were deported to Auschwitz between 1940-1945. Of these, at least 1,100,000 were murdered.
Today, 46 dignitaries from all over the world have answered Yad Vashem and President Rivlin’s call to recognise this day as more than the Official International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he wanted to invite them to Jerusalem, to show them that we are here and as long as Israel thrives “Never Again” is more than a trite response.
The list is long but incomplete
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum will take place at Yad Vashem and Israel’s President Rivlin will host 40 of the world leaders at a dinner and discussion at the President’s Residence.
The list of world leaders attending include:
US Vice President Mike Pence
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
President of France Emmanuel Macron
President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen
Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette
Governor-General of Australia David Hurley
President of Russia Vladimir Putin
Prince Charles of Britain
King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander
King Felipe VI of Spain
King Philippe of Belgium
President of Italy Sergio Mattarella
President of Slovenia Borut Pahor
President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
President of Hungary János Áder
President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos
Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven
President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zolenskyy
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades
President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen
President of Finland Sauli Niinistö
President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev
President of Romania Klaus Iohannis
President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš
President of Albania Ilir Meta
President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili
Speaker of the Latvian Parliament Ināra Mūrniece
President of Moldova Igor Dodon
Minister of State of Monaco Serge Telle
Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus
President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željko Komšić
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski
President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović
President of the European Council Charles Michel
President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
Vatican Representative Kurt Koch
Andrzej Sebastian Duda the Polish Prime Minister chose not to attend. Poland, the home of Auschwitz, chose not to attend.
Chef Shalom Kadosh presented a magnificent but simple meal at the President’s Residence and the leaders chose to distance themselves from politics. All, that is but Macron of France who chose to follow in the footsteps of Chirac. He decided to walk through the Old City rather than follow the security route then shouted angrily at the Secret Service personnel who were protecting him claiming that St Anne’s Church was French and they should “Get out”. He then took the opportunity to meet with Abbas in the PA! Oh well, not everyone understood the purpose of Holocaust Memorial.
“The good times started in Windermere’: Children rescued from concentration camps and taken to the Lake District recall their joy as they meet the young actors playing them in touching new BBC drama about The 732 child survivors who were rescued and rehabilitated by The Central British Fund (CBF) now known as World Jewish Relief, taken to the glorious beauty of Lake Windermere to revive and learn to live again.
The Windermere Children, airs at 9pm on BBC Two on January 27, Holocaust Memorial Day. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/windermere-children-cast-overwhelmed-at-meeting-holocaust-survivors/
No more news from me for a while. Today I am getting a new hip!!! I am very confident, I have an exceptional surgeon and most of our friends have already either been to him or are going!!
Looking forward to a new lease of life.