Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau tours the Flashes of Memory exhibition at Yad Vashem
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04 July 2021
Today, Sunday, 4 July 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada The Honourable Marc Garneau, MP visited Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
The Minister toured the "Flashes of Memory: Photography during the Holocaust" exhibition, the Museum of Holocaust Art, and Yad Vashem's Hall of Names. In addition, he participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, and visited the Children's Memorial.
In the Holocaust Art Museum, Minister Garneau was shown two works of art from Yad Vashem's unrivalled Art Collection: "Moon Landscape," drawn by Holocaust victim Petr Ginz; and a replica of a drawing on a postcard sent in 1944 by Felix Kassowitz to his son Peter.
During the war, illustrator Felix Kassowitz was forced into the Hungarian Labor Service on the Russian front. The message he wrote in the postcard, "You can see that star just the same as me," served as inspiration and hope for his family. Kassowitz survived the war and became a celebrated graphic designer and caricaturist in his native Hungary.
Petr Ginz was born in Prague in 1928. An accomplished author and artist already in his teenage years, Ginz created "Moon Landscape" – a surprisingly accurate vision of what he envisioned the Earth would look like from the Moon, along with many other works of art, eight science-fiction novels, and a vivid journal detailing his many experiences especially while incarcerated in the Terezin ghetto on the outskirts of Prague. Ginz was deported to Auschwitz in 1944, where he was murdered at the age of 16.
These two items were chosen to present Minister Garneau, a former astronaut, due to their content relating to space exploration. Years after the end of the Holocaust, facsimiles of these drawings were taken by astronauts on missions to space. "Moon Landscape" was taken on Ilan Ramon's ill-fated mission aboard the Columbia in 2003, and again on Andrew Fuestel's 2018 journey to the International Space Station. Felix Kassowitz's postcard was carried American Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir during last year's stint aboard the International Space Station.
At the end of the visit, the Foreign Minister wrote in the Yad Vashem guestbook.
"It is an honor to visit Yad Vashem not only to learn from darkest chapters in human history, but also to recall the brave and tragic stories of the Holocaust survivors and to understand more immediate vital lesson of "Never Again". The lives remembered here are an important reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and why we must unfailingly stand up to combat antisemitism and all forms of xenophobia."