Canadian Minister of Justice Prof. Irwin Cotler (left) listens to Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, during his tour of the Historical Museum at Yad Vashem
20 December 2005
On 20 December, 2005, Canadian Minister of Justice Prof. Irwin Cotler visited Yad Vashem. The visit began with a 40 minute-tour of the Historical Museum, followed by a preview of the new Hall of Names, which forms part of the new museum complex opening in March 2005. Prof. Cotler also heard about the Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ names, which was uploaded onto the Internet a month ago.
The Justice Minister then laid a wreath on behalf of the Canadian government at a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance. He ended his visit at the Children’s Memorial, where he wrote the following in the Visitors’ Book:
There are things in Jewish History – in Human History – too terrible to be believed but not too terrible to have happened. Auschwitz, Treblinka…these are beyond vocabulary. Words may ease the pain, but they also can dwarf the tragedy. Every victim – each one had a name, an identity – each one was a universe. Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he /she saved an entire universe; but whoever kills a single person it is as if they killed an entire universe.
Never Again – not for Jews, not for anyone – not now, not ever.