"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
—Elie Wiesel in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech,
10 December 1986
We remember so as not to forget; we remember the horror and the evil deeds to remember what man is capable of; and most important, we remember the persons inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance to give life to those whose lives were cruelly extinguished.
The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem writes on its site:
The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Flame at Earl Bales Park, Toronto, was unveiled in 1991, with the Wall of Remembrance following in 2001. Engraved on the Wall are thousands of names of Holocaust victims commemorated by their Canadian families, as well as Holocaust Survivors who rebuilt their lives in Canada and have since passed away.
The site stands as a permanent reminder of the Holocaust’s devastating toll on the Jewish people. It is the Canadian Jewish community’s public symbol of respect for the memories of those who perished in the Shoah and a tribute to the legacy of the Shoah’s Survivors.
It is the Society’s hope that the name of every Holocaust victim is inscribed and every life that survived the Holocaust is remembered. In so doing, we testify to the tragedy of the Holocaust as a whole and help to impart the universal lessons of the Shoah amongst Canadians.
The name Yad Vashem (יָד וַשֵׁם) has particular meaning; Wikipedia writes:
The name "Yad Vashem" is taken from a verse in the Book of Isaiah: "Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name (yad vashem) better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off" (Isaiah 56:5). Naming the Holocaust memorial "yad vashem" conveys the idea of establishing a national depository for the names of Jewish victims who have no one to carry their name after death.
All photos by Perry J. Greenbaum, 2014