“Let My People Live!”
The First International Forum

The First
"Let My People Live"

27 JANUARY 2005
Krakow / Auschwitz,

Forum's Brochure

This Forum was organised by the WHF together with the European Jewish Congress (EJC), represented by the Chairman of its Board of Governors Dr. Moshe Kantor, the Polish Ministry of Culture and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.

The Forum was attended by over 30 official delegations led by their Heads of state, among them President of Israel Moshe Katsav, President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, French President Jacques Chirac, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Vice President of the United States of America Richard Cheney, representing the Allied Forces.

Participants at the Forum included survivors and liberators of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, as well as delegations of students and youth.


The International Forum “Let My People Live!” held in Krakow in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau was an event of paramount importance, as the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp has become a symbol of not only genocide, racism and xenophobia, but also a symbol of total extermination of the Jewish nation. And it is the struggle against genocide, anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia, which the new educational program declared at the Forum is dedicated to. According to the latest statistical surveys conducted in Europe and the U.S., young people do not know the history of the Holocaust and do not realize the scope of the genocide tragedy of the mid-20th century. Therefore, the declaration of the launch of a new joint project.

“The European Education Program for Teachers on the Holocaust and Its Lessons” within the framework of the Forum “Let My People Live!” is very symbolic. It is very much likely that this international meeting has been one of the last chances for today’s youth to hear about the horrible act of genocide from those who witnessed it. No one has the right to forget the lessons of the past century: shameful abuse of human rights and devastating racism. The problems of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racial intolerance are not only problems of the Jewish nation, but of all world nations.

This global awareness project for training teachers of the Holocaust history has already been supported by the leaders of the European countries, who attended the Forum. The World Holocaust Forum (WHF), the establishment of which was announced at the Forum “Let My People Live!” will promote widespread teacher education about the Holocaust and will be held regularly for assessment and strategic planning of the European Education Program. As Chairman of the Organizing Committee, I express my confidence that in the near future the leaders of other countries of the world, who could not participate in the International Forum in Krakow on January 27, 2005, will join the World Holocaust Forum. The slogan “Let My People Live!” is addressed to all nations of the world: let each nation live on the Earth and do not let genocide ever happen again! The Education Program for Teachers on the Holocaust and its Lessons is the link, which will connect the past with the future. It will not allow us to forget and repeat the horrors of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Our goal is to revive the memory of the past crimes in order to enable future generations to prevent such tragedy from happening again in the future.

Sincerely yours,

Moshe Kantor
Founder of the World Holocaust Forum

1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel ALEKSANDER KWASNIEWSKI
Today we want to jointly testify to the fact that the memory about the reasons and circumstances of establishing Auschwitz-Birkenau still lives and is present in the awareness of our nations. And it continues to be a painful lesson to us.

The day of January 27, 1945 finally put an end to the existence of the Nazi camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. That place was born out of hatred, cruelty and contempt for a human. This was the place where, in the name of insane ideology, people sentenced others to the most horrible fate. The place where the Jewish and Roma nations were to be finally exterminated, where Poles and prisoners from all over Europe were murdered. A stop to criminal activity of the Nazis was the victory of international forces united against the Hitlerite evil that wanted to rule the world.

I am convinced that here in the Cracow-based theatre named after great Polish poet Juliusz Slowacki, on behalf of almost entire humanity, we express the desire that the evil of the past would never again triumph in the world on such a scale.

We wish well all people, we want peace, justice and security. And we know that such tragic events will never again repeat only in the world that remembers and draws proper conclusions from its history. A future free of hatred, racism and xenophobia, friendly to all of us and giving each and everyone a chance for development and cooperation can only be build in the world united by respect to a human being and concern for the well-being of every individual.
Full Speech
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel VLADIMIR PUTIN
Today, six decades later, we see the Holocaust not only as a national tragedy for the Jewish people but as a catastrophe for all of humanity.

The world shuddered when it found out about Auschwitz. Here in the centre of Europe, which had given the world some of its greatest humanists, was a huge factory designed to exterminate people on an industrial scale. As documents from the Nuremburg trials show, almost three million people – 2.8 million people – were forced to tread this sorrow- filled and terrifying road, and 90 percent of them were Jewish.

The tragedy of Auschwitz is a bitter warning for humanity for all time to come. The Holocaust showed how easy it is for a civilization to cross the boundary into brutality, which inevitably leads to the destruction of humanity. This is no exaggeration because, following the Nazis’ ideas and the logic of their behaviour, other peoples, and the Slavic peoples among the foremost, were to have met with the same fate as the Jews.

It is our duty to remember the Holocaust, understand what caused it, think about why it was possible and do all we can to ensure that this horror never happens again. It is our duty to declare with one voice to present and future generations that no one has the right to remain indifferent to anti-Semitism, nationalism, xenophobia and racial or religious intolerance.
Full Speech
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel Moshe Katsav
The Jewish people will forever mourn the victims of the Holocaust. The lessons of the Holocaust must also direct the ways of mankind.

We can pass the lessons of the Holocaust on to the future generations only if this horrible place Auschwitz-Birkenau remains in the consciousness of humanity, in the historic memory of the humankind, remains on the map of its ethical commitments, and if we do not stand guard in every generation, the Holocaust might reoccur. Human sicerity is weaker than wickedness and demagoguery.

I appeal to the young generation of the world: You are the hope of humanity, create fruitful dialogues amidst the youth of all the nations, in order to promise a better future based on universal human values. Rebel against all occurrences of Racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism!

I believe in the leaders of the Free World; we have shared ideals and objectives, we have shared values and beliefs. We must stand united and firm and prevent mankind from further tragedies like the Holocaust.
Full Speech
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
I am a son of the Ukrainian land, a land where the most dreadful tragedies of the 20th century took place: the Holodomor [the great famine], which carried away 15 million citizens of my country, and the Holocaust. Ukrainians remember what menace is brought by intolerance, violence and aggression. My nation has gone into Maydan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] in order to protect the supreme values of civilisation: respect for the individual, his/her rights and freedom. Ukrainians have made their choice. As the people have willed, I became the head of my state. As the President, I will stand guard to protect democracy, freedom and the rule of law. I do guarantee: anti-Semitism, xenophobia and national hostility will have no place in Ukraine. The tragedy of the past will never come back to the Land of Ukraine. Full Speech
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel RICHARD CHENEY
In the death camps of Europe, men committed some of the greatest wrongs that the human mind can conceive. Yet today these are hallowed places. Auschwitz, said one survivor, is the "largest cemetery in the world, one without gravestones. Only the ashes of countless souls were strewn here." The camps were also the scene of profound humanity and heroism. From survivors we know some of the stories of brave resistance ...

The Holocaust occupies a single period in history, but it is not a single event. It represents millions of individual acts of murder. Where there is no conscience, there is no tolerance toward others ... no defence against evil... and no limit to the crimes that follow. The story of the camps reminds us that evil is real, and must be called by its name, and must be confronted. We are reminded that anti-Semitism may begin with words, but rarely stops with words ... and the
message of intolerance and hatred must be opposed before it turns into acts of horror.

President Bush has said of the Holocaust, "There will come a time when the eyewitnesses are gone. That is why we are bound by conscience to remember what happened, and to whom it happened." At Auschwitz we bear witness to the cruelty, and the suffering, and tragedy of a time that is still within living memory. On this anniversary of liberation, we give thanks for the liberators, and for all who labored to free this continent from tyranny. We pray that God's mercies are forever with the souls of the departed. And we look to the future with hope - that He may grant us the wisdom to recognize evil in all its forms ... and give us the courage to prevent it from ever rising again.
Full Speech
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel VIATCHESLAV MOSHE KANTOR
We, Jews of Europe, have always been a precise instrument for measuring the society health. Being one of the continent's great nations and without our own state in Europe we were attacked at every turn wherever the level of absolutism was not limited by effective democratic institutions.

Today, only 60 years after the Tragedy, we see again tolerance to intolerance standing on the pieces of broken crystals. It is time to act!

Probably the last possibility of an Open Dialogue of survivors and liberators with the world youth and Leaders has predestined the outstanding historic Initiative launched by the Presidents of Jewish, Russian and Polish States together with the heads of other governmental delegations and the Forum participants concerning the foundation of the Regular Holocaust Forum; in order to support by their own prestige the Pan-European Program on training everybody teaching the lessons of the Tragedy in every country of Europe.
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel ISRAEL SINGER
The fact that after all that murder and death, destruction and all that you have seen, what could be left is still a nation, is still a people, is still something that can be put together and be one. That is a charm, which could never have been predicted. That is a promise, which could never have been dreamed of. That is a hope that could never have been given to anyone. We are that nation. And we thank you all for having come together today. To help us remember that promise. To help us give our children that charm. To help us save ourselves and others from the sword and to continue to survive as a nation.
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel RABBI YONA METZGER
The extermination camp Auschwitz Birkenau, which is called “the largest cemetery in the world” and in which 1.5 million people were killed, is one of the most atrocious symbols of the Holocaust that took lives of one third of our people. Today we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of this camp. Here in Auschwitz we have encountered the phenomenon previously unknown to the humankind: here entire families were exterminated, including many members of my own family, many communities were eradicated; it was the place of selection where people were sent directly to gas chambers. And only the few, who were considered suitable for slave labor, died of starvation, cold and torture.

All that happened during the Holocaust, was not just one more human misfortune, one more crime. No, it was the greatest misfortune, the greatest crime the humankind has ever known, unprecedented in its cruelty and wickedness, that even today the human mind is unable to perceive.

I have the honor of announcing a new initiative: the launch of a new comprehensive program on teaching the Holocaust history and the lessons that we should learn from this Tragedy. This Program, initiated by Mr. Moshe Kantor, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Jewish Congress, is intended for young people of all countries and continents. This program, God willing, is being implemented with the assistance of the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem, which has already started the work on preparation of educators, who will later teach the history of the Holocaust and its lessons in their respective communities, thus leading to a more profound understanding of this atrocious tragedy.

I appeal to all heads of states! Please support this program.
1. Aleksander Kwasniewski 2. Vladimir Putin 3. Moshe Katsav 4. Viktor Yushchenko 5. Richard Cheney 6. Moshe Kantor 7. Israel Singer 8. Rabbi. Yona Metzger 9. Elie Wiesel ELIE WIESEL
How can you, how can you go away from here with the knowledge that you have gathered and be the same, my good friends, important leaders, young people?!

My good friends, if you after this day will be the same, then we have lost an encounter with this memory, which now you are the custodians of, must do something to you and through you to the whole world and put an end to the curse of hatred, to the scorch of anti-Semitism, to racism, bigotry, hatred.

Hatred is a cancer, it goes from limb to limb, from person to person, from group to group, so you have seen here and through us you have heard words. Let these words remain with you.
Full Speech


We are gathered here today, in the center of Europe, on the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, pledging our commitment to further Holocaust education and remembrance throughout the continent and around the world.

In scriptural tradition, remembrance is invariably connected to action. “And you shall tell your children” (Exodus 13:8) is not only a commandment for parents to tell their children about the slavery of the Jewish people in Egypt, but also a directive to in still values of freedom and hope.

As this international gathering, “Let My People Live” draws to a close, we, as the heads of states of Israel, Poland and Russia, leaders and representatives of many nations call for and put upon us a commitment to maintain a World Holocaust Forum to strengthen Holocaust education and commemoration for generations. We especially seek to touch the hearts and minds of youngsters, so that they will uphold the sanctity of human life.

We hereby request that an organizing committee make all the necessary arrangements to establish an international body that will convene this forum every few years, and in which world nations will examine the past and preserve the memory of the Holocaust and its legacy for the future.

This forum will also support a cadre of leaders in Holocaust education who will participate in intensive training courses and study seminars focusing on passing on the Holocaust legacy to future generations, as well as combating all forms of racism, intolerance and antisemitism.

The lessons of the Shoah command us to safeguard the values that provide the foundation for a democratic society. It is our hope that this forum will make an important contribution toward this sacred task.

"Let My People Live" International Forum 2005 PHOTO GALLERY Holocaust Memorial Programme in Tempel Synagogue Welcome Dinner Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum State Ceremony JULIUSZ SLOWACKI THEATRE, KRAKOW Theatrical performances
Press Conference with Holocaust Survivors & Liberators
Memorial Programme Welcome Dinner State Ceremony Theatrical Performances Press Conference

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