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The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

Deputy Head of Mission from the Israeli Embassy, Benjamin Krasna shares the importance of remembering the Holocaust and in particular at Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. Read Transcript


- Beyond Duty is a Holocaustremembrance display

not only honoring Holocaust survivors,

but also courageous foreign diplomats

who helped rescue them.

Earlier this year, theUnited Nations allowed

the Israeli Foreign Ministry permission

to display the exhibit there.

And now, the exhibit is onthe road, with the latest stop

being the CBN Regent Universitycampus in Virginia Beach.

Among some of the righteous diplomats

featured in this exhibit,Raoul Wallenberg.

He was from Sweden.

Many of us know about him,

but how many of us have ever heard

about Sebastian de Romero Radigales?

He was from Spain.

Stories of bold diplomats

from nations like Peru andJapan are also featured.

Professor Gerson Moreno-Rianois with Regent University.

- Regent has a long history

of standing with the people of Israel

and the state of Israel.

And the Chancellor, ourfounder, Dr. Pat Robertson,

loves the people of Israel,loves the state of Israel,

so for us, this is just one more

in a long series ofthings that we have done

in partnering with thelocal Jewish community

and the state of Israel.

It highlights the importanceof embodying moral courage

in the face of evil.

I think that today, intoday's world especially,

I think young people, students, others

need to see and understand history.

- [Gary] Israel, CBN,and Regent University,

a unique partnershipbroadening Holocaust awareness

by honoring 36 courageousdiplomats and thousands of others

called the Righteous Among the Nations.

- Well joining us now for moreon the Beyond Duty exhibit

is Benjamin Krasna, Deputy Head of Mission

for the Embassy of Israelto the United States,

and it's an honor to have you with us.

- Thank you, Gordon.

Great to be here.

- Tell us what does it mean,

what does it mean to berighteous among the nations?

- I think to be

righteous among the nations

means that you really hadan inner moral compass

that you didn't depress,that you expressed,

that at some point you realizedthat you had to step out

and do something thatwasn't the norm around you,

that was different than theway everyone else was acting,

that you couldn't be silent,

that you had to take action.

And so we know many stories, for example,

about righteous in countries in Europe

like Poland and Holland who had hid Jews

and hid Jews at great risk to themselves.

In this case, in this exhibit,

what we're talking about are diplomats,

and diplomats who wereable to really expedite

Jews to leave Europe,

to get away from thedangers of the Holocaust,

to move away from theterror of Nazi Germany

and be able to escape whatwas probably sure death.

- Let's go to the other side of it.

Why was it so convenient, if you will,

for so many people to turn a blind eye to?

I mean, what was happeningwas absolutely horrific,

and yet, at the same time,people seemed to be willing

to go round up Jews andthen put them on trains

and deliver them to these camps.

Why, why's that seem to bea natural human tendency,

to just say, well I'm under orders

and I'm just going to obey the order?

- I think it's sometimes the easy way out.

People not willing to puttheir own necks on the line

to save their neighbor.

People not willing toput their career at risk,

the possibility of career advancement

for defying theirgovernments who preferred

to sit aside and not,

to undermine what they thought

was their own agenda, politics.

I mean it was true in Europe, it was true

in this country as well,and unfortunately there were

too many who did that, and therefore

many could have been saved.- This country is notable

for turning away shiploads of refugees

only to have them go back to Europe

and ultimately be killed.

And you look at thesestories and you do ask why.

What was so important thatyou couldn't let them in?

Why is it important today to remember?

I think that's one ofthe keys to this exhibit.

- Well I see two sides to it.

The first is that this is a generation

that is slowly but surely passing.

We're now 70 years afterthe end of the Holocaust.

Survivors and those who tookaction are more and more

no longer with us, andhow do you make sure

that this is a story that'spassed on from generation

to generation and it's never forgotten?

And because, unfortunately,these are lessons

that need to be learned as well today,

because when I see what's happening today

and I look at country like Iran

and its Holocaust denial,its vehement anti-semitism,

its calls to annihilate the Jewish state.

We take it very, veryseriously and we need people

to understand that.

And I think that if people just forget

that not in the very distantpast these things happened.

They don't understandthe nature of the threat,

that if you don't action,you stand by in silence,

then at the end of the day,

these horrific actscould repeat themselves.

- They could and the rabbiseven talk about every generation

having a Haman.

You know Haman was the one whoplotted to destroy the Jews

- Correct.in Iran

and we come into the kingdomfor such a time as this.

- Right.

- And we need to be reminded.

Why do you think that is?

Why the hostility that seemsto be particularly directed

at the Jewish people, and I've got a, why?

- You know, I think that's a question

that we'd all like the answer to.

I think that sometimesthere are other interests

that come in play.

Israel being a small state inthe center of the Middle East,

for so many years anarea that was considered

very delicate becausewe had other interests.

Other interests usually meant oil, energy,

other strategic interests.

I think that that tide ischanging and I think that today

when you see some ofwhat's happening today,

and I think the whole region's come aware

to the threat that emerges from Iran,

Iran's activities and thenSyria and Iran's activities,

and Yemen and Iran'sactivities and Lebanon,

that you're so familiar with,

the threat that emanates from there,

I think the whole region isbeginning to understand that,

and I think that that'swhy it's important.

- Okay, well the exhibit,

it's in Regent University.

All you have to do to find outmore is to go to regent.edu.

It's available all theway through October 23.

If you want to schedule a group visit,

and I encourage you to,

there's a special number you can call,

888-372-1006

and let's get informed.

We look at today's world and you see

all the threats against Israel.

Don't think it's some far-away place.

Right here in Virginiajust in the past week

there were swastikaspainted on a Jewish center

in northern Virginia,so we all need to have

the moral courage to stand up and say no,

not on our watch.

It's not gonna happen here.

Thank you, thank you

for all you're doing.- Thank you.

- Thank you.

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