PRIME Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will address a first-ever Australia-wide online event commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD) and the liberation of Auschwitz.
For the first time, a national coalition of Shoah organisations will join forces on January 27 to mark the day, which falls on the anniversary of the camp’s liberation 76 years ago.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) of Melbourne, Sydney Jewish Museum, Adelaide Holocaust Museum, Queensland Holocaust Museum, Holocaust Institute of Western Australia and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants have collaborated to deliver the virtual event.
Morrison and Frydenberg will join a speaker lineup that includes Opposition Senate Leader Penny Wong, Justice Michael Kirby, Gideon Reisner, CEO of Stand Up, and John Gandel, chair of Gandel Philanthropy and ambassador for universal Holocaust education in Australia.
During the event, Sydneysider Olga Horak will relate her horrific experiences of the Shoah. Born in 1926 in Bratislava, she was transported to Auschwitz in 1944 and in January 1945, aged 17, to Bergen-Belsen. The volunteer guide at the Sydney Jewish Museum is her family’s only survivor.
“To me, it’s important to arrange dialogue between people, to respect other people’s tradition, to understand other people’s culture, to respect each other,” she reflected to The AJN.
Holocaust survivors from NSW, South Australia, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland will participate in an online candle-lighting ceremony, which will feature the survivor symbolically passing the light to future generations of their family, to ensure that the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust are never forgotten.
JHC CEO Jayne Josem said, “Commemorating the tragic events of the Holocaust is absolutely paramount as its lessons are frighteningly relevant and real today. We are so proud to be part of this groundbreaking event, uniting Holocaust survivors, inspiring thought leaders, community members and museums across Australia.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry stated, “This online event will illuminate ways that we can all be a light for humanity in the darkness, through the inspiring words of Holocaust survivors and leaders in society … Join us to heed the action to shine our own light on intolerance and injustices that continue to prevail.”
The commemoration will take place on Wednesday, January 27 at 7pm. Register at fanforcetv.com/programs/internationalholocaustremembranceday