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Holocaust: The Courage to Remember 

IGNCA hosted an exhibition - 'The Courage to Remember' on the Nazi Holocaust in association with Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, in November. It was inaugurated by Shri Shri Ravi Shankar in the presence of Israeli Ambassador in India David Danieli on November 7, 2004. Dr. L.M. Singhvi, President of IGNCA Trust presided over the function.

The exhibition was about the period between 1933 and 1945 when Nazi Germany embarked on a campaign to annihilate the Jewish community in Europe. While it is impossible to ascertain the exact number of Jews who perished during the Holocaust, statistics indicate a total of over 5,860,000 perished. Six million is the round figure accepted by most authorities.

The atrocities against Jews were in the form of hate campaigns, crippling legislations, killing punishments for crimes not committed and meaningless mass killings at synagogues and Jewish residences. Most of the cruelties have been documented.

This exhibition was a reminder to the society about the ills of intolerance. It is a brute wake up call to people not to forget that tolerance, mutual understanding and love are the call of the day.

One of the survivors of the Holocaust Sol Teichman, 74, was here on the occasion. He had lost his mother, sister and three brothers in the hate killings. 

The exhibition, since its opening at the Palais Palffy in Vienna in 1988 has been shown in 16 countries in six continents and throughout North America. This is the first exhibition on Holocaust produced by a Jewish institution to be officially shown in Soviet Union and China. In Japan over 1000, 000 citizens viewed the exhibits. This exhibition utilizes more than 200 historic pictures from Nazi era. 

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Museum of Tolerance is a $ 55 million world-class human rights laboratory and educational centre meant to inform visitors on racism and bigotry. It helps understand holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts. This is the first time the exhibition is traveling to India. Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. 

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar said India has faced several problems. Great gurus have made sacrifices, people have given their lives in struggles. But we do not have a museum or an exhibition of this kind. We should draw inspiration from such sacrifices and pass it on to the next generation. The younger generation takes pride in saying that they are aggressive. If we show them our past path, they will change and take pride in being compassionate, he aded.

Dr. Singhvi said human history has been shaped by great civilizations. No group or community or pepole suffered as much as Jewish people.This suffering has given us a gift - understanding the value of human rights. We must cherish this. 
The Israeli Ambassador said "India is a symbol of Tolerance to Jews. No country can live without memory. This exhibition is a small sanctuary where we recount history to those who do not hear it from the surviors. Holocaust will be recounted and passed on from gereration to generation" he said.

Rabbi Cooper in his address said the exhibition is a reafirmation of the Jewish faith, "In remembrance is the roots of redemption . In forgetting is the ruin." He said it was necessary to look back, so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. 

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