At the extraordinary 75 Years Yom Hashoah UK Ceremony on 20 April, I was asked to say a personal message to Dad, Sir Ben Helfgott, my Aunt, Mala Tribich, and all of the The Boys, the Holocaust Survivors and the Refugees who joined in from their homes…
Yom Hashoah was established by you… and led by you.
We demonstrate that no matter how great the challenge, our commitment to remember will endure.
Our technology and forms of remembrance will adapt but the most important lessons we learned from you will continue to be taught –
The universal lesson that within and between societies we must cherish tolerance to one another.
And our particular lesson that we Jews also need to able to properly defend ourselves and our Nation State.
We shall never forget.
Nor shall we let the world ever forget because we understand the truth that those who cannot remember the past ARE indeed condemned to repeat it.
You taught us that we must be rigorous about the historical record.
That we must resist blurring fact and fiction in pursuit of an engaging story, and we must take care not to abuse the memory of the Holocaust to make our own political or ideological arguments.
We owe you an extraordinary debt of gratitude.
The virtual ceremony is perhaps a metaphor for the future:
We stand together with you to remember, even though we are not side by side in body.
You can see today that we will continue your Mission even without you by our side.
You will always be with us, as we continue to always remember…
- Maurice Helfgott, 45 Aid Society, UK Holocaust Survivors and Successor Generations