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Visit of the Polish President to Yad Vashem

President Kaczynski rekindles the Eternal Flame at the memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance.  Standing behind him are his wife and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid President Kaczynski rekindles the Eternal Flame at the memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. Standing behind him are his wife and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid
The Polish President (second from right) and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev walk around the Hall of Names The Polish President (second from right) and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev walk around the Hall of Names
The Polish President (second from right) looks at the “Auschwitz Album” during his tour of the Holocaust History Museum The Polish President (second from right) looks at the “Auschwitz Album” during his tour of the Holocaust History Museum
President Kaczynski and Avner Shalev photographed together with the schoolchildren and youth movement members who recently visited Poland President Kaczynski and Avner Shalev photographed together with the schoolchildren and youth movement members who recently visited Poland
Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and President of the Institute of National Remembrance Prof. Janusz Kurtyka sign the archival agreement, in the presence of the Polish President (center) Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and President of the Institute of National Remembrance Prof. Janusz Kurtyka sign the archival agreement, in the presence of the Polish President (center)

Polish President Lech Kaczynski visited Yad Vashem yesterday accompanied by his wife Maria and an official delegation of some 55 people. The President went on a guided tour of the Holocaust History Museum, then attended a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and visited the Children’s Memorial. During the course of his visit, President Kaczynski met with some 50 schoolchildren and youth movement members who had recently been to Poland. They asked him a variety of questions relating to antisemitism, trips to Poland, and the restoration of Jewish cemeteries there. Also present at this meeting were the President’s wife, Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies Motti Shalem, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid, ambassadors from Poland and Israel, and President of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in Poland, Prof. Janusz Kurtyka. Following the meeting, an archival agreement detailing cooperation between the IPN and Yad Vashem in the field of Holocaust documentation was signed by Avner Shalev and Prof. Janusz Kurtyka in the presence of President Kaczynski.

The President wrote in the Yad Vashem visitors’ book:

"The nation which I represent, and on the soil of which the German Nazis committed their terrible, criminal plan of the Holocaust, knows very well the importance of maintaining the memory of these events that broke a one thousand year presence of Jews in Poland.

What happened in Europe at that time should be a warning and a lesson for the future of the entire civilized world. We already know that all crimes are possible, and in this regard, we have to do everything in order to prevent them from happening."

Yad Vashem Council Chairman Joseph (Tommy Lapid) told the President:

“I am a Holocaust survivor. Six million Jews were murdered in Europe not only because of the wicked murderers, but also because good people remained silent. Today, the President of Iran is threatening to annihilate the State of Israel, and Europe is silent. Europe has to join the struggle against this threat so that a memorial will not be established in memory of another six million Jews.”