March 2, 2000
PRIME MINISTER PERSSON TO DELIVER KEYNOTE AT UNITED STATES NATIONAL HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson will deliver the keynote address at this year’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum announced today. The ceremony will be held at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, May 4, at 12 p.m. Its theme is “The Holocaust and the New Century: The Imperative to Remember.”
Benjamin Meed, Chairman of the Museum’s Days of Remembrance program and President of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, said “the Prime Minister himself and the entire Swedish nation have made an exemplary commitment to furthering Holocaust education and remembrance, both in Sweden and internationally,” citing recent Swedish initiatives such as a nationwide Holocaust education program and leadership of the historic 44-nation International Forum on the Holocaust held in Stockholm. He added, “Prime Minister Persson’s eloquent remarks in Stockholm show his understanding of both this uniquely Jewish experience of the 20th century and the lessons we must carry forward as we enter the next. The international conference raised the world’s consciousness about this unprecedented tragedy and its place in our collective memory. I believe his presence at this year’s Days of Remembrance ceremony will have a similar effect.”
Summing up the Stockholm forum, Prime Minister Persson told the January 28, 2000, closing session, “So let me say again: It is the end of the silence, and the beginning of a new millennium. The Holocaust will always hold universal meaning. Although we have left the century in which the Holocaust occurred, we must continue to study it in all its dimensions, at all times. We must add more pieces to the puzzle, foster greater awareness of the causes, acquire more knowledge about the consequences.”
As mandated by Congress, the Museum leads the United States in annual Days of Remembrance in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and in honor of the survivors as well as their rescuers and liberators. This year’s observance is from Sunday, April 30, through Sunday, May 7.