Holocaust Survivor Tells UN General Assembly the World ‘Did Not Learn Enough From the Holocaust’
A Holocaust survivor who addressed the UN General Assembly last week bemoaned the fact that genocide is still being committed in the world today, The Algemeiner has learned.
“Looking back, it is heart-breaking that as a world we did not learn enough from the Holocaust,” Haim Roet said at a ceremony held at the UN on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Genocides are still going on, and 11-year-old children, like I was, are still killed and suffer in too many places.”
Roet — the father of Ambassador David Roet, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations — called for an end to global genocide. He also noted that though there are only a few Holocaust survivors alive to tell their stories 70 years after the horrors took place, it is important for their tales to continue being told, “Not only so we can remember the victims, but in order for them to be a constant warning to all, reminding us where blind hate and racism can lead to.”
Roet was born in 1932 in Holland, a country which he said was home to 140,000 Jews before the Holocaust, after which only 25,000 remained. The youngest of six children, he described his parents as “modern middle class orthodox Jews.”
He said that not long after the Germans invaded Holland, two of his sisters and his grandfather were taken by SS officers. It was then that his parents sought the help of resistance fighters to find hiding places for the rest of the family.
“My parents, brothers and I were hidden at different places all over the country without any contact with each other,” Roet told the audience at the UN General Assembly. “My parents were hidden in a small attic. I was moved from home to home in Nieuwlande, a small Protestant village where most of the residents rescued Jews.”
Roet constantly changed homes until the liberation, when he was reunited with his parents and three surviving brothers. Among those who perished were his two sisters, his adopted brother, grandfather and nearly all of his aunts and uncles.
During his speech, Roet read excerpts from a postcard his sister wrote after her liberation from Auschwitz. He also discussed his Holocaust memorial project, Unto Every Person There Is A Name, which holds ceremonies in Israel and abroad where the names, ages and places of birth and death of the victims are read aloud.