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Reflections on Sydney Yom HaShoah Commemorations - 2019

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

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On the afternoon of Sunday 28th April, Sarah Reid (MOTL Australia's Vice-President) attended the inaugural Youth HEAR Yom HaShoah commemoration held at the University of New South Wales. As per its official statement, Youth HEAR is "an organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between Australian youth and the memory of the Holocaust.  The passage of time ultimately transforms horrifying conflicts into mere historical events.  It is our firm belief that the best way to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust escapes this inevitable transformation is to engage with the stories of those who went through it on a personal and deeply intimate level.  Our organisation is committed to bringing these stories to Australian youth within a dynamic and engaging forum in the hope that we will learn from them and truly be able to say 'never again'." This event had an incredible turnout, with over 360 youths aged between 18-30 in attendance.

Following this, in the evening Sarah attended the community Yom HaShoah commemoration in Sydney, which had the theme 'Memorials & Memories'.  The survivor and third generations were represented this year by Dr. Richard Haber and his grand-daughter Mili Haber who were both participants on MOTL in 2015.  Richard was one of the candle-lighters, and a video detailing his experience on MOTL and returning to the memorial sites was screened, in which he spoke very highly of the program. Similarly to the Youth HEAR commemoration, the turnout at the community event was just as inspiring, with over 250 young people in attendance.  

The power of these events, and the great attendance they attracted is testament to the importance of the message they carry: that particularly in today's political and social climate, the atrocities of the Holocaust must not and cannot ever be forgotten!

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