06 November 2016
On Sunday, 6 November 2016, Yad Vashem hosted a symposium entitled: "'We Must Become the Messengers' Messengers': The Legacy of Prof. Elie Wiesel, z"l."
Opening the event, Israel's President H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin recalled Prof. Wiesel's words at the opening of Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum in March 2005. There, Wiesel charged future generations to become the "messengers' messengers," not just to remember what happened, but also "in order to change the world for the better... It is no longer enough for us to sear into the consciousness of our children, our future, the images, the voices and the names," the President said. "Remembrance must become a moral, social and ethical code. To pass on the message... To repair the world a little more."
In investigating the unique qualities of Elie Wiesel as both a witness and a messenger of Holocaust remembrance, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said: "He was one of the first to express the need not only to relate what happened during the Shoah, but also to find and explain its significance for our generation and those to come... as a survivor, he felt a special responsibility to fight injustice. He dedicated his great talents to expressing the ethical implications of the Holocaust and to recruiting all of humanity to the moral responsibility they engender."
Dr. Joseph Ciechanover, Member of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity - Israel, called Prof. Wiesel "a mouthpiece both for the survivors and for the victims. At the White House, [Wiesel] spoke of the danger of indifference. Emphasizing that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference, Wiesel explained that neutrality only aids aggressors, and to forget the dead is to kill them over again. Indifference allows for evil to flourish."
Following the opening addresses, a panel discussion on the topic of "Survivors and the Memory of the Shoah" took place, featuring Prof. Hanna Yablonka, Dr. Shimon Azulay and Israeli poet Agi Mishol.