Today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will speak at the orthodox synagogue in Manhattan, in which commemorative events will be held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Such events take place in many countries around the world. Yesterday, at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, the speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, stated that "Russia and Israel share a common aversion to the falsification of history, glorification of supporters of fascism and Holocaust denial."
Not long before that, in Moscow's Helikon-Opera Theater in the framework of International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 71st anniversary of the Red Army's liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, a large memorial evening-requiem was held, organized by the Government of Moscow, the Russian Jewish Congress and the Holocaust Center. The event was attended by war veterans and former prisoners of camps and ghettos, witnesses of those terrible events, public figures and statesmen, diplomats, cultural figures, ambassadors and representatives of Jewish communities.
"When the Red Army entered the Auschwitz death camp they found only a few thousand surviving prisoners there, that is, those whom the Nazis were not able to kill. At the suggestion of Russia, this day is recognized as the World Day of Remembrance for Victims of the Holocaust. There is virtually no Jew in the world whose family was not destroyed, looted, killed, humiliated. Half of my father's family and half of my mother’s family died in the Holocaust," President of the Russian Jewish Congress Yuri Kanner said.
"71 years ago Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz. It is no coincidence that we honor and remember this day. I would like to remind that Russia, the Soviet Union, was one of the initiators of the adoption of the document in the UN, thanks to which today we remember the millions of Jews who died during World War II. And our main task is to build a bridge between the memory of the previous generations and the young, so that no one forgets the grief that befell the Jewish people. Our main task is to prevent this ever happening again, under any circumstances," the chairman of the Moscow City Duma Alexey Shaposhnikov stated.
"The most important thing is to remember this. A memory is a guarantee that it will not happen again. It is necessary for us to think that soon, unfortunately, there will no longer be those who lived in and survived the Holocaust among us. And then it will be our biggest test to continue the memory of it, to continue it in our hearts, to teach young people, for young people to teach their children. This is the only guarantee that this will not happen again," Israel's ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz said.
The evening started with a minute of silence. The host of the event, the TV journalist Vladislav Flyarkovsky, called on everyone present to stand and remember all the innocent victims.
The evening program was brought together into a single line of drama and documentary chronicled by musical numbers, prepared by the soloists, chorus and orchestra of the theater artistes of the Helikon-Opera. Photographs of prisoners and footage were interwoven into one performance of the terrible tragedy of the 20th century, which claimed the lives of many millions of people.