46 heads of states, members of royalty, presidents, prime ministers and parliamentary leaders from Europe, North America and Australia attended the Fifth World Holocauste Forum, entitled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism” (below is the full list of leaders of nations and heads of delegations who participated in the Forum).
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum, organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, in cooperation with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, took place on 23 January 2020 at Warsaw Ghetto Square in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. Marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“This is an unprecedented and historic event, the highest-level meeting ever held in Israel and on the issue of antisemitism,” Dr. Kantor, initiator of the event, said. “We must use this event as a crucial and defining moment to build a global coalition of leaders who will send a strong and united message that antisemitism, in all of its forms, will not be tolerated and those who perpetrate it will be met with zero tolerance.”
At 10:30 am a press conference with the President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Dr Moshe Kantor and Yad Vashem Directorate Chairman Avner Shalev took place at the at the Yad Vashem Press Center (International School for Holocaust Studies Building).
The event opened at 13:30 with an address by President of the State of Israel H.E. Mr. Reuven Rivlin. Additional speakers included: Prime Minister of the State of Israel H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, President of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, Vice President of the United States of America H.E. Mr. Michael R. Pence, President of France H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron,The Prince of Wales HRH Prince Charles and President of Germany H.E. Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Holocaust survivor and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau as well as Forum organizers – President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev – also spoke at the event. Interspersed throughout the proceedings were several short video clips and musical interludes performed by an international orchestra, conducted by world-renowned conductor Vladimir Spivakov and accompanied by an international choir.
The Forum culminated with the Memorial Ceremony. Holocaust survivors Rose Moskowitz from the United States and Colette Avital, Chairperson of the Center Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel lit a memorial torch, after which heads of delegations commemorated the victims of the Holocaust by laying wreaths at the foot of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Monument in Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem. Cantor Shai Abramson recited the El Maleh Rahamim memorial prayer, followed by Holocaust survivor Naftali Deutsch who sang Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer. The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence and Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah.
The World Holocaust Forum broadcasted live via satellite feed worldwide and via Yad Vashem’s website and Facebook page. The broadcast translated simultaneously to six languages – English, Hebrew, French, German, Russian and Spanish.
Leaders of Nations and Heads of Delegations at the Fifth World Holocaust Forum
- President of Albania H.E. Mr. Ilir Meta
- President of Armenia H.E. Mr. Armen Sarkissian
- President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez
- Governor-General of Australia The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)
- Federal President of Austria H.E. Mr. Alexander Van der Bellen
- Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus H.E. Mr. Vladimir Andreichenko
- King of Belgium His Majesty King Phillipe
- Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Mr. Željko Komšić
- President of Bulgaria H.E. Mr. Rumen Radev
- Governor-General of Canada the Right Honourable Ms. Julie Payette
- President of Croatia H.E. Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
- President of Cyprus H.E. Mr. Nicos Anastasiades
- Prime Minister of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Andrej Babiš
- Prime Minister of Denmark H.E. Ms. Mette Frederiksen
- President of European Council H.E. Mr. Charles Michel
- President of the European Commission H.E. Ms. Ursula von der Leyen
- President of the European Parliament H.E. Mr. David Sassoli
- President of Finland H.E. Mr. Sauli Niinistö
- President of France H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron
- President of Georgia H.E. Ms. Salome Zourabichvili
- President of Germany H.E. Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier
- President of the Hellenic Republic H.E. Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos
- Representative of the Holy See His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch
- President of Hungary H.E. Mr. János Áder
- President of Iceland H.E. Mr. Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson
- President of Italy H.E. Mr. Sergio Mattarella
- Speaker of the Saeima of Latvia H.E. Ms. Ināra Mūrniece
- President of Lithuania H.E. Mr. Gitanas Nauseda
- Grand Duke of Luxembourg HRH Henri
- President of Moldova H.E. Mr. Igor Dodon
- Minister of State of Monaco H.E. Mr. Serge Telle
- President of Montenegro H.E. Mr. Milo Đjukanović
- King of the Netherlands His Royal Majesty Willem-Alexander
- President of North Macedonia H.E. Prof. Dr. Stevo Pendarovski
- Crown Prince of Norway HRH Crown Prince Haakon
- President of Portugal H.E. Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
- President of Romania H.E. Mr. Klaus Iohannis
- President of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin
- President of Serbia H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vučić
- President of Slovakia H.E. Ms. Zuzana Čaputová
- President of Slovenia H.E. Mr. Borut Pahor
- King of Spain His Majesty King Felipe VI
- Prime Minister of Sweden H.E. Mr. Stefan Löfven
- The Prince of Wales HRH Prince Charles, United Kingdom
- Vice President of the United States of America H.E. Mr. Michael R. Pence
- Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi