Last February 10, 2017 (Friday), the UST History Society, along with the United Nations Information Center-Manila (UNIC) and the Embassy of Israel to the Philippines, held the Holocaust Commemoration 2017 with the theme “Always Remember. Never Forget. Never Again.” in the Main Building.
The United Nations designated January 27 as the International Remembrance Day to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945. The UN General Assembly adopted the Resolution 60/7, which became the framework of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day that condemns “without reserve” all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief. Moreover, it is to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring in the future.
According to Deputy Chief of Mission Embassy of Israel Hadass Nisan, the reason for having a Holocaust Commemoration Day is not only about the issue of the jews itself but of human beings.
“When we think of Nazi Germany, we think of evil people. But what should we actually remember that they were just people and it happened to them not because they are cruel at the first place but because something happened to them as a society.”
Nisan recalled that Israel has its Holocaust Commemoration Day where sirens will start ringing at 10 a.m. for two minutes. “[Everyone] should stop and stand up for two minutes. Even if you are driving a car, you [should] stop the car in the middle of the road, you get out of the car and stand.”
Nisan said educating the children about the holocaust—not from its terrors and cruelty committed but the idea that it happened—would prevent such catastrophe to happen in the future.
UNIC-Manila National Information Officer Teresa Debuque said UN created a Holocaust outreach program which mandates member states of the UN to develop an educational curricula about the holocaust and to mobilize civil society for education and for raising awareness.
“Always remember that what happened to a society started in the purpose of one person,” Nisan said.
This commemoration at UST was done in partnership also with the UST Central Student Council, UST UNESCO Club, Artlets Student Council, Asian Studies Society, and TomasinoWeb.