Austin, TX – Honorable Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas received the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace at the Capitol in Austin, this past Monday, January 26, 2015, where the project “Traces to Remember” was presented along with an emotional ceremony to mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust this year, under the theme “Liberty, truth and legacy of the Holocaust survivors”; remembering the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, which happened on January 27, 1945.
Presentation of the Project “Traces to Remember”
The Global Embassy of Activists for Peace officially presented in state of Texas its project “Traces to Remember”, whose main objective is to maintain the testimonies of the Holocaust survivors alive, fulfilling the UN resolution 60/7 which “…urges all Member States to develop educational programs to instruct future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help prevent genocide in the future.”
The project Traces to Remember, in Texas, paid tribute to the survivor Leon Horn, and the commemorative plaque, with his, his children and grandchildren’s handprints, was displayed during the ceremony at the Capitol in Austin. In 1943, Mr. Leon Horn was transported to the cruelest Nazi camp: Auschwitz-Birkenau, and when he got off the train, he was received by Joseph Mengele, the “Angel of Death”.
The event took place at the “Rotonda Principal” of the legislative chamber, where senators, representatives, diplomats, dignitaries, officials, and members of the Jewish community from New York, Florida, California, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Brownsville and Harlingen gathered, along with members of the board of directors and members of the project development council, coordinators and activists of the GEAP.
Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., survivor Leon Horn, the CEO of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto; Representative Eddie Lucio III, Under Secretary of State Coby Shorter and the Director of the Historical Museum of Brownsville Maribel Guerrero, were seated at the table of panelists.
Representing the State of Texas, Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. offered the opening message to participants of the ceremony, and highlighted the objective of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace through the project Traces to Remember, which is to maintain the testimony of the victims of this genocide alive, and to prevent the recurrence of one of the darkest chapters in human history, to educate on the subject of genocide, and promote values such as tolerance, equality, respect for life and human dignity. Senator Lucio stressed that:
“It is fundamental for society to remember this terrible act of violence by those who had no respect for life.”
Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., along with Representative Eddie Lucio III, have supported the projects of the GEAP which are destined to promote the defense of the fundamental rights of human beings in Texas, and presented a resolution to the senate with the objective to recognize the importance of the project Traces to Remember, which is led by Dr. William Soto.
The Global Ambassador and Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto, emphasized the objectives of this project, and stressed the importance of education for the prevention of genocide. He also manifested his concern at the alarming rise in anti-Semitism around the world, the persecution of Christians and other groups in different Middle Eastern countries, as they are red flags that bring us to act preemptively against genocide. Concluding the event, Dr. Soto expressed:
“Displaying this plaque with the handprints of Mr. Leon Horn in this enclosure is very significant, because with this act, with this plaque, and with our presence, we are honoring courage, hope and perseverance as a legacy for humanity.”
A testimony for life
In turn, Mr. Leon Horn shared his testimony and touched the audience with his memories filled with historical evidence, which stay marked in the mind and heart of those present, who received the task of conveying the
testimony of this Holocaust survivor:
“I witnessed the persecution of the Jewish people. I want you, special guests, to be witnesses of my testimony, and to tell your friends and family what you have seen and heard today.”
Expressed Mr. Horn.
Representative Eddie Lucio III, on behalf of the State of Texas, thanked the activists for peace, special guests, general public and the GEAP for reminding society the work that needs to be done to promote tolerance, justice and peace, and any action to be taken for this purpose.
Once the event concluded, the Photographic Exhibition “Holocaust: Paradigm of Genocide” was presented in the central gallery of the Capitol in Austin, Texas, where the attendees could learned more of this crime, which left universal lessons for present and future generations.