International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Deputy Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) delivered a speech on Tuesday during the dedication of a Jewish museum in Sered, Slovakia. The event at the museum, which places an emphasis on the events of the Holocaust and the annihilation of Slovakia`s Jews, was held in the presence of Slovakian President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico and the speaker of the Slovak National Council, Peter Pellegrini. The State of Israel and the Knesset were also represented by MK Oded Forer, who heads the Israel-Slovakia Parliamentary Friendship Group.

In his speech, Vaknin said ”On behalf of the State of Israel, I wish to express my deep appreciation to the Slovakian government for its bold decision to establish this museum and place the past, as painful and difficult as it is, as a warning sign that cannot be ignored. This is particularly important in light of the harsh displays of anti-Semitism that have reoccurred in Europe over the past few years. The old hatred is trying to rear its head, and it is our duty to stop it, now.”

Deputy Knesset Speaker Vaknin during dedication of Jewish museum in Slovakia: ”Old hatred trying to rear its head”

Deputy Knesset Speaker Vaknin speaks at the event

Later, the MKs took part in a moving ceremony in the capital Bratislava to mark the opening of the museum. Some 600 people were in attendance, including representatives of the Jewish community in Slovakia and Holocaust survivors.

Today, Vaknin and Forer will grant five ”Righteous Among the Nations” titles on behalf of the Israeli government. ”The medals will be awarded to brave Slovaks who risked their lives in order to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust,” Vaknin said. ”We do not remember only the darkness of the days of the Shoah, but also the few [positive things], in the form of the courage of individuals.”