The United Nations was founded in 1945 with the horrors of the Holocaust just recently concluded. More than 76 years later, the leader of Israel’s Holocaust remembrance center wants to keep the memory of that history alive at the UN. Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan met with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, and during that meeting he offered to conduct educational workshops on the Holocaust for diplomats at the UN and others.
“Having a deep understanding of the cataclysmic events that took place less than a century ago is vital for diplomats today and will help UN personnel fulfill their duties,” said Dayan, according to a recap of the visit with Guterres published on the Yad Vashem website.
The workshops would be “tailor-made” for the diplomats, noted the Yad Vashem press release, to cover not only the history of Holocaust but also “its relevance to the international diplomatic community.”
In addition to making the educational offer, Dayan and Guterres also discussed how both Yad Vashem and the UN are working to preserve remembrance of the Holocaust for future generations. This comes as Holocaust denial remains a core concern as the generation of eye-witnesses is dying out. The Yad Vashem summary of the leaders’ meeting said they discussed “the need to buttress efforts to combat the alarming rise of antisemitism, as well as Holocaust denial, distortion and trivialization in the public sphere.”
Dayan also invited Guterres to return to Yad Vashem. The Secretary-General last visited the Mount of Remembrance at Yad Vashem in 2017 not long after taking the role as head of the United Nations.
The conversation with Guterres extends recent UN-focused connections for Yad Vashem. Just last week, United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel. Prior to her visit, Thomas-Greenfield told reporters in comments published by her office that the visit to Yad Vashem is “particularly important to me as we work to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred across the globe and as we consistently raise our voices to say never again.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 21, 2021)