Holocaust Commemoration in Tashkent
On January 30th, a solemn ceremony commemorating the memories of victims of Holocaust was held in Tashkent. Held in the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, the event was organized by the Israeli Embassy in Tashkent, with support the UN in Uzbekistan.
The gathering opened with welcoming remarks from Alisher Kurmanov, the Senator of the Uzbek Parliament who called on all youth to never forget this painful memory and irreversible damage Holocaust brought to the human kind and to do everything as future diplomats to prevent every possible outbreak of racism and xenophobia.
Speaking to the youth and diplomats, Helena Fraser, the UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan said “It is very appropriate that we are here at the University for future Uzbek diplomats, together with the diplomatic community of Uzbekistan, to remember the terrible episode of human history that is the Holocaust, and to remind ourselves that we, as current and future diplomats, must also set a high example when faced by barbarity.” She went on to say “…in this spirit, let us also do our utmost to support the Uzbek government’s fifth national development priority focused on inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance.”
The event continued with a photo exhibition “Beyond duty” is devoted to the diplomats from 21 countries, who in spite of personal danger and instructions of their headquarters saved Jews during the World War II and later were recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem - the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
Opening the exhibition, the German Ambassador Gunther Overfield spoke of the value of the names, pictures, stories in the exhibition and said “Honouring the memories of these heroes will always be important. The pictures in this exhibit are the proof that we should defend the dignity and the rights of others every single day, and this event today is the perfect indication that it’s indeed possible to stand up against injustice.”
Speaking to the youth, Ambassador Israel to Uzbekistan Mr. Edward ShapiraIt’s concluded that it’s a right place and time to pay an honour to the Uzbek people for its hospitality and humanity towards Jews and other refugees who found here shelter and safety during World War II. Among hundreds of thousands, there was a family of my mother, who always kept warm feeling to the years spent in Ferghana. In spite of different religions and origins of the refuges, Uzbek people showed great solidarity and extended a helping hand. People of Israel and the State of Israel will always remember it and will be grateful to the people of Uzbekistan.
Representatives of Uzbek governmental bodies, heads of diplomatic missions, international organizations, Jewish community and mass media and over 100 students attended the event.