The head of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) Viatcheslav Kantor is convinced that xenophobia and racial intolerance are on the rise due to weakening historical memory. His comments came at a recent meeting with Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, where the two discussed the state of preparations for the Second World Holocaust Forum in Kiev in September. Kantor called the upcoming forum “…a pulpit from which world leaders can come together to take a united stand against the growing dangers of xenophobia and racial intolerance, which raise their heads in an atmosphere of weak historical memory and conscious denial of the Holocaust.”
Kantor underscored that when the peoples of Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, make an effort to remember the Holocaust, they do so “…not just in the name of Jews, but in the name of all of those who fought and continue to fight fascism in all its past and present incarnations.” He stated that “Jews regularly remind the world of the sanctity of human life, causing Jews and non-Jews alike to reflect on human values.” Kantor went on to thank Yushchenko for his “…careful attention to this problem and thorough study of the issues.”
In turn, Yushchenko praised the initiatives undertaken by Jewish organizations in Ukraine and around the world. He also remarked on the scale and international reach of the upcoming forum. “The Holocaust is not just a Jewish tragedy; it is a tragedy that belongs to the whole world,” he stated.
ITAR-TASS Religion and Society