Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has encouraged the nation to remember the victims of the Holocaust by saying their names which “they were called in life by those who loved them” and not by the serial numbers that substituted their names.
“For in a name’s utterance one thing of the dead and gone at least survives into the present: the names by which they were called in life by those who loved them. And as they were not to be called again on the way to their deaths because their names had been substituted with serial numbers,” Locsin said in his remarks to commemorate the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, Jan. 27.
Locsin joined in the commemoration of “humankind’s darkest hour” by remembering the six million Jews murdered during a “time of unprecedented, horrifying, and abject cruelty.”
The Foreign Affairs chief stressed that we must seek out the “mocking registries of death” but instead keep saying their names.
“Let us say their names again; and keep saying their names. For the sound of it at least survives into the future they and their possible posterity were denied. Their murderers killed more than the Jews they starved to death, sickened, shot and gassed,” he said.
“So let us say their names; not in the collective as Jews; but the names of each one of them. And keep saying them; one after the other. We owe this as much to our sense of humanity as we owe it to them,” he added.
In remembering the time of the Holocaust, Locsin also remembered the Philippines’ move to open its doors to Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust.
At the time of the Holocaust, he said, it is the “decent thing” the country, which, he said is unmatched amid the resistance from other countries in the world.
“The rescue of the Jews speaks to a Philippine tradition of never turning away a stranger; of offering protection, especially to those most vulnerable to hurt and in most desperate need of protection. And we give it without fail. I will not mention the occasions that spanned a century up to the present,” Locsin said.
“The refuge we gave to Jews fleeing the Holocaust is a defining moment in our friendship with the Jews. We shall always stand by Israel against any declared purpose or hint of another attempt to repeat its extermination by the barefaced lying denial that it ever happened,” he added.
The Philippine top diplomat also said that today, it is the decent thing for the global community to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day .
“We all have a deep responsibility to remember the Holocaust and hold firm to the commitment — never again. Although it happens again and again. But never on the same staggering scale, dark design and unspeakable, relished cruelty,” he said.