Forty-five heads of state are expected to converge in Jerusalem next week to take part in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II.
The forum, “Remembering the Holocaust—Fighting anti-Semitism,” will take place on Thursday at the Warsaw Ghetto Square at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prince Charles of Britain’s royal family are among the dignitaries planning to attend. Most of the attendees are heads of state of European countries that were affected in some way by the Holocaust. Organizers are hoping that this international spotlight will lead to a concrete plan to staunch the rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world. In recent months, attacks against Jews have risen in the United States and across Europe.
The program will include addresses from President Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prince Charles, President Vladimir Putin, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Moshe Kantor, and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.
The only major absentee will be the president of Poland who has refused to attend because he was not asked to speak while other presidents were. A real display of maturity from the country who sacrificed its three million Jews to Hitler.
“It turns out that the presidents of Russia, Germany and France – whose government collaborated with Nazi Germany at the time – will speak, but the organizers do not agree to a speech by the president of Poland,” Andrzej Duda said. “I absolutely do not agree to this.”
To this, I say, “3,000,000 bro!”
A spokesman for Duda told Polish media that “a situation in which the president of Poland will sit and listen to the false words of President Putin without being able to reply is unacceptable.” Well, that I understand, as Putin is more and more becoming a bully in that region.
The Russian government has recently accused Poland for being partly responsible for starting World War II.
Yad Vashem said it never received an official request for Duda to speak, a claim denied by Poland. Yad Vashem rebutted Duda’s assertion that he should speak because Poland had the most citizens murdered at Auschwitz.
“It is important to note, that out of 1.1 million victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, some 1 million were Jews who were murdered simply because they were Jewish, unrelated to the countries of origin. Hence, the nationalities of the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau have no bearing on the identity of leaders who will address the Fifth World Holocaust Forum,” Yad Vashem said.