International Day of Commemoration for Victims of the Holocaust
Memorial Ceremony, General Assembly Hall
27 January 2012
H.E. Luis Lithgow, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations
The Dominican Republic considers the remembrance of the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in the framework of the General Assembly, as supremely important.
We renovate our profound adherence and loyalty to the United Nations, as well as the principles, values and objectives of its Charter.
The Holocaust embodies the image of one of the most atrocious crimes ever committed in the history of man.
Approximately 6 million Jews and many others of different nationalities were exterminated because of their ethnic origin, religious beliefs and political views.
We will never know exactly the valuable benefits that humanity would have been awarded, if the children who so terribly suffered in the camps would have survived.
Under no circumstances should we allow that this horrendous tragedy be forgotten.
We salute the role of the United Nations of developing programs that aim to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations.
We have the obligation to disseminate, teach, defend and support the principles of democracy, tolerance, respect and solidarity in order to guarantee that such a tragedy never happens again.
The Dominican Republic, a country where people of diverse racial origins, religious and political beliefs, live together in harmony, feels historically tied to the road of vicissitudes and hardships suffered by the Jewish people.
In 1938, during the International Conference promoted by President Roosevelt in Evian, France to deal with the issue of Jewish immigrants, our country raised its voice to give asylum to one hundred thousand Jews.
Although this objective could not be fulfilled for diverse reasons, and our country did not receive that influx of refugees, the doors of my country remained open to save the lives of thousands of innocent lives.
It is therefore that Sosua, a lovely and welcoming region belonging to the Province of Puerto Plata, just beside the Atlantic Ocean, became the welcoming site of many persecuted Jewish families, where their freedom and other rights would be guaranteed, as stated in our Constitution.
The immigrants quickly untapped the agricultural potential of this small portion of land, with an ingenuity not seen before.
With their talent, dedication and intelligence they transformed these already fertile lands in real value centers, where they led productive lives, although not filled with luxuries. This allowed them to give their children a good education and contributed to the country’s economic growth.
This beautiful episode in our history has been translated in numerous experiences by the survivors of the Holocaust. These experiences are also reflected in the brilliant musical “Sosua”, where the expressions of their art and history have touched many.
If the world has learned anything from this dreadful tragedy is that no nation working alone could have undertaken the task of rescuing the human dignity from the ashes of armed conflict.
As a community of nations, we must remain united, notwithstanding racial, gender related, linguistic and religious differences, behaving always with tolerance, solidarity and shared responsibility.