From the event
From the eventEffi Yossefi

The European Union Delegation to the State of Israel on Tuesday hosted an event to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the presence of about 80 ambassadors from across the globe, Israeli officials, and members of civil society.

At the center of the event, which took place at the Herzliya residence of EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev, stood the launch of the “Humans of the Holocaust” photo exhibition, as well as the moving testimony of Holocaust survivor Haim Raanan. A survivor of the Budapest ghetto, Raanan escaped Europe and rebuilt a new existence in Israel, where he witnessed unspeakable antisemitic atrocities once more when Hamas terrorists entered Kibbutz Be’eri and brutally slaughtered many of its residents on October 7, 2023. Two additional Holocaust survivors attended the event as the delegation’s guest of honor: Aharon Pacirkovsky, who survived Łódź Ghetto, and Menachem Haberman, who survived Buchenwald and Auschwitz.

EU Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev: “The Holocaust was the darkest period in our history, and it is our sacred duty to remember the genocide of the Jewish people that our ancestors committed on European soil during the reign of the Nazis. At the same time, we must do everything to fight the tragic resurgence of antisemitism that we are witnessing today, in Europe and around the world. For the European Union, this is and will remain one of our most urgent priorities. On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hosted a photo exhibition with beautiful portraits of survivors, which highlights the human aspect of the terrible catastrophe that was the Shoah. We were incredibly honored to welcome three subjects of the exhibition, Aharon Pacirkovsky, Haim Raanan, and Menachem Haberman, who went through unspeakable horrors but are still full of life and optimism. I join their call to immediately release all the hostages that are still held in Gaza.”

Haim Raanan, Holocaust survivor, Survivor of the 7th of October massacre: “I never thought that as a Holocaust survivor, I would need to hide for my life again. I was shocked to see that eight decades after the Holocaust the Star of David symbol has been painted once again on Jewish homes all across Europe and the United States to target and frighten them amid the devastating October 7 massacre. It echoes the antisemitic persecution I suffered as a child. I never imagined that something like this could ever happen again.”

Erez Kaganovitz, Photographer, Humans of the Holocaust project: “As a grandson of Holocaust survivors, I feel it's imperative to fight back against the current surge of antisemitism by better informing and educating people about the dangers of blind hatred. To do so I've created the “Humans of the Holocaust” project, which tells the human story of Holocaust survivors with inspiration and optimism. The stories I've collected are portrayed in ways that are unexpected and moving and they have a universal message where you don't have to be Jewish to engage with it. From my experience, highlighting the human stories of Holocaust survivors who overcome the most inhumane circumstances can strike a chord and help to better inform and educate people about the dangers of antisemitism.”