President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder addresses the offical ceremony at the former German Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau during events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020. - More than 200 survivors came from across the globe to the camp the Nazis built in Oswiecim in then-occupied Poland, to share their testimony as a stark warning amid a recent surge of anti-semitic attacks on both sides of the Atlantic. (Photo by Wojtek Radwanski / AFP) (Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

OSWIECIM, Poland (JTA) — Holocaust survivors seeing their grandchildren facing the hatred that nearly killed them is a source of shame for the world, World Jewish Congress leader Ronald Lauder said at Auschwitz.

Lauder spoke Monday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp in occupied Poland.

Dozens of world leaders attended the event at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum near Krakow, including Polish President Andrjez Duda, who was the only politician to speak. He vowed to “always nurture the memory of and guard the truth about what happened here.”

Other leaders included Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Several survivors also spoke, including Batsheva Dagan, 94, who lives in Israel but was born in Poland.

“The thought of revenge became a source of strength allowing to endure longs days and nights of inhumane suffering,” she said of the prisoners at concentration camps.

Lauder in his speech said that following the Holocaust, “everyone wanted to distance themselves as much as possible from the horrors” of Auschwitz. “But in recent years, I’ve seen something I never thought I’d see in the spread of antisemitism.”

He also condemned what he called the “shameful and constant fixation on Israel at the United Nations,” which he said has passed 202 resolutions condemning individuals nations since 2013, of which 163 focused on Israel.

“Anti-Zionism is nothing but antisemitism,” he added, prompting many survivors to applaud. Israel’s haters, he said, “speak of it as antisemites spoke before about Jews.”


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