The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Shlomit Sufa, has underscored the need for tolerance, peaceful co-existence and intercultural understanding among individuals of diverse backgrounds and opinions.
At a ceremony to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the British Council in Accra yesterday, she explained that humans had to work with the principle of unity in diversity in order to make the world a better place.
“We must collectively and continuously work together as human beings to ensure that the hatred towards other people because of their religion, colour or race is never tolerated or accepted,” she said.
“I would like to emphasise that when we see our fellow human beings in any kind of suffering, we must not look away,” the Ambassador, who is also in charge of Liberia and Sierra Leone, stated.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed worldwide each year to remember the millions of people, mostly Jews, who were deliberately murdered and desecrated prior to, and during World War II in East Germany and East German-occupied areas in Europe.
Consequently, the ambassador noted that as a Jew, memories and the pain of her ancestors during the dark days were still engraved in her memory.
“The same goes for the entire Jewish people.
In our commemoration, I would like to reflect on the issue of hatred in our world.
I ask myself, how did humanity come to a point where genocide was made so legitimate that such a massive effort was made to wipe out a race in the most inhumane way possible,” she asked.
Marking the day on the theme:”Home and Belonging”, the commemoration was characterised by the screening of an animated film titled: “Where is Anne Frank”.
The movie, which was directed by Ari Folman, gave an insight into the life of a family whose members were victims of the Holocaust.
In attendance were members of the diplomatic community, government agencies and students of some junior and senior high schools.
Notable among them were the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ghana, Daniel Krull; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ghana, Charles Abani; Chairperson, National Commission on Civic Education, Kathleen Addy; Ghana Country Director of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Abdourahamane Diallo; and students of Nungua Secondary School, among others.
Additionally, Jewish prayers were said for the departed souls, after which the ritual of lighting a candle to pay tribute to lives lost, a sign that their memory still lived on, was performed.
For his part, Mr Krull called on the world to be vigilant and stand against anything that would make people hate one another.
“Today, as we commemorate the victims, let us remain vigilant and stand together against any type of systematic, state-sponsored disenfranchisement, persecution of a group determined by heredity,
I say ‘Never again’,” he noted.
He added that it was not an easy task to mount the podium and to speak as a German.