Members of the Auburn Tigers tour the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem
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04 August 2022
Today, 3 August 2022, the Auburn Tigers, a 1st Division NCAA college basketball team from Auburn University in Alabama, visited Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, as part of their tour of Israel. Their meaningful experience at Yad Vashem included a guided tour of the Holocaust History Museum.
Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan greeted the team's coach Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers teammates and retold the group a story about his own tour of the Civil Rights Trail, which he took while serving as Consul General for the State of Israel in New York.
"Like my trip in the footsteps of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., your visit today to Yad Vashem is a journey through history. The Holocaust is the representation of humanity's lowest point, at time when all morality and justice was lost to an ideology that deemed Jews subhuman. Today we must fight hatred and antisemitism in all its forms, in order to ensure that history is never allowed to repeat itself."
At the end of the visit, the group visited the Children's Memorial dedicated to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Coach Bruce Pearl also signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book on behalf of the team. There he remarked:
"The pictures on the walls of this museum are the pictures of my family, the children remembered here are our children. We pledge that when we go back home, we will continue to tell their stories."
American Society for Yad Vashem Co-Chair Adina Burian and her husband, American Society Board Member Lawrence Burian, accompanied the Auburn Tigers throughout Yad Vashem. At the conclusion of the visit, Lawrence, son of Andrew Burian, who survived the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, addressed the group. Relating his father's survival story, and how he went on to rebuild his life and family, Burian stated:
"What you saw today in the Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem is an example of what can happen when we allow hate, intolerance, violence and discrimination to take hold. Our society is only as strong as the people who support its values and principles are. As an influential group, you have a responsibility to lead by example and to speak out whenever and wherever you see injustice and hate."
The entire Auburn Tigers team was presented with a copy of Andrew Burian's memoirs, A Boy from Buština, which was published by Yad Vashem.