​President Rivlin: “This is not a Holocaust museum, but a museum of life. It is a place that commemorates what was, what will never be again, and the hope for a different future.”

 President Rivlin inaugurates the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

 

Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman

 (Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
At an emotional ceremony today (Tuesday, 28 October 2014) in Warsaw, President Rivlin inaugurated the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, together with President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski. President Rivlin answered his Polish counterpart’s invitation to take part in the opening of this unique and important museum, which encompasses for the first time under one roof the history of the Jews of Poland throughout one thousand years of the community’s life in the country.  Additionally, the President laid a wreath in memory of the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, on the street at the entrance to the Museum.
 
The President said in his address, “I do not stand here today as an individual, but rather as the representative of an entire nation. A nation whose collective journey delves deep into the foundations of Jewish and human existence and into the depths of evil. As a Jew, even if you were not born in Poland, the very name, Poland, gives rise to a shuddering in your body and a longing in your heart.  This country was breeding ground for the soul of the Jewish nation, and unfortunately, also grounds to the largest Jewish cemetery.
 
“Only with this kind of courage we can write, and we have already begun to write, a new and promising chapter in the centuries old history shared between us. Only with this kind of courage we can, one day, add a new wing, new wings, to the museum we are inaugurating today. Wings that will describe the common path we take together today.
 
“We forever remain aware of the danger. The State of Israel will pursue Auschwitz and what it symbolizes: the desecration of human dignity which was born the image of God; anti-Semitism in all its forms and manifestations, and Nazi ideology and racism. Israel continues to fight against all these evils and will not surrender. We build our future eyes wide open and alert. We do not belittle threats. We will not belittle shameful statements calling for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Holocaust continues to serve as a warning sign against non-banal evil.”
 
There were also addresses by the President of Poland, the Mayor of Warsaw, the Director of the Museum, and the President of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute.  At the conclusion of the event, President and First Lady Rivlin toured the museum together with the President of Poland who showed them the various exhibits.