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holocaust remembrance day in tbilisi, georgia

Marine Solomonishvili, President of International Foundation LEA& the Council of Jewish Women in Georgia and the Jewish Information Center in Georgia, describes events held on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 28 January 2013. 
 
An event was held at the Conference Hall of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia,  organized by International Foundation LEA & the Council of Jewish Women in Georgia & the Jewish Information Center in Georgia, which included a meeting, a memorial ceremony of candle lighting, and an exhibition. At the meeting there was an exhibition of the artwork of Marine Solomonishvili, on themes of Holocaust, and Marine introduced a film about the painters of the Holocaust.
 
She spoke about individuals from Georgia who have been honored by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Among the Nations”: Mr. Sergey Metreveli and also about the history Saint Grigol Peradze, who said: “Citizenship is a sacrifice. It implies burning oneself for lightning others”.
 
Among the participants inthe Memorial ceremony  of candle lighting were Mr. Jamie McGoldrick , UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia; Mr. Philip Dimitrov , Ambassador , Head of Delegation of the European Union to Georgia; Mr. Yuval Fuchs , Ambassador of Israel to Georgia ; Mr. Ortwin Hennig, Ambassador of the Germany to Georgia; Mr. Plamen Bonchev , Ambassador of the Bulgaria to Georgia ;Dr. Oliver Reisner ,Attache Delegation of the EU to Georgia; Mr. George Psiachas ,First Counselor ,The Deputy Head of Mission; Mr. Fabrizio Bovino Embassy of Italy  to Georgia; Mrs. Patrycja Prześlakiewicz-Rohozińska, Culture and Information Assistant ,Embassy of the Republic of Poland; Mr.Avi Ofir, Jewish Agency for Israel “JAFI” representative in Georgia;  Mr. David Zohar, American JDC representative in Georgia; Mrs.Tamar Kintsurashvili, Deputy National Security Council of Georgia; Mr. Beqa Mindiashvili, Tolerance center at  Public Defender office of Georgia; Mrs. Maka Khvichia, representative of the Ministry of Reintegration; Bishop of the Baptist Church Ilia Osepashvili; Rabbi Avishai Batashvili, Sephardic Synagogue of Georgia, Rabbi Avi Melech Rozenblant, Ashkenazi Synagogue of Georgia. The Rabbis read a memorial prayer.
 
This memorial ceremony focused on those who risked their own lives to save tens of thousands of Jews, Roma and Sinti and others from near certain death under the Nazi regime during World War II in Europe. Many of these heroes were recognized and honored.  This year’s United Nations’ Holocaust Remembrance Events were built around the theme of “Rescue during the Holocaust: The Courage to Care”.
 
The Jewish leaders spoke about their gratitude that there was no Jewish genocide in Georgia, and that people continue to enjoy friendly relations, while unfortunately there is resurgent anti-Semitism in some countries. This is a day of remembrance for those 6 millions of Jewish men, women and children, as well as thousands of other victims  whose lives were brutally cut short by the ideology of hatred of the Nazis and their allies. It should remind us that hateful words have the ability to translate into hateful actions. We can at least ensure that by remembering their suffering in our history lessons, such events shouldn't be repeated today and in the future.
 
Participants said future priorities in the field of prevention of anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination in the world countries. The Holocaust is a permanent reminder for humanity that even a little intolerance can result in destruction. The Holocaust is an everlasting reminder for all of us to actively combat intolerance toward racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or any other groups.
Each participant at the meeting was encouraged to think about moral values, courage, and capacity to turn compassion for others into decisive and heroic action in their time of need.
 
Also participating in the event were representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, the Georgian Government and the Public Defender’s Office, representatives of  women’s organizations and youth NGOs, members of the Jewish community and other religious/ethnic organizations, as well as local media.