Today, on the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, dignitaries and survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi gathered at the Kigali Genocide Memorial to commemorate the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, to honour all victims of Nazi persecution, and to remember all whose lives have been destroyed through genocide and identity-based violence.
Those gathered had the rare opportunity to hear directly from a Holocaust survivor: Emil Fish, who was among the speakers and had given his testimony to students at the Kigali Genocide Memorial the day before.
MCed by Freddy Mutanguha, Executive Director of the Aegis Trust, the event was opened with a prayer delivered by Rabbi Haim Bar Sela-Habad, followed by a minute of silence.
Speeches were delivered by United Nations Resident Coordinator Dr Ozonnia Ojielo; German Ambassador Dr Thomas Kurz; Holocaust survivor Emil Fish; Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Dr Serge Brammertz; Israeli Ambassador Dr Ron Adam, and the Minister of National Unity & Civic Engagement, Dr Jean Damascène Bizimana.
Poetry was delivered by Dr Deborah Hagit Adler and Fred Mfuranzima, while a moving piece of commemorative theatre, choreographed by Hope Azeda, was delivered by Mashirika.
The commemoration closed with an invitation to all to view ‘SHOAH – How Was it Humanly Possible’, a temporary exhibition which will be open to the public in the Amphitheatre at the Kigali Genocide Memorial for the next three days.