In an emotional act in the Capitol of the city of Austin
THE STATE OF TEXAS RECEIVED THE PROJECT "TRACES TO REMEMBER"
Austin, TX – On January 26, 2015, the honorable members of the Texas State Legislature welcomed the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) to the Capitol Building in Austin, Texas, where the project, “Traces to Remember” was presented with an emotional act to commemorate the Annual International Day of the Victims of the Holocaust, this year under the theme "Freedom, Life and Legacy of Holocaust Survivors", recalling the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp that took place on January 27, 1945.
Presentation of the Project "Traces to Remember"
The Global Embassy of Activists for Peace officially presented its "Traces to Remember" project in Texas, its main purpose is to keep the testimony of Holocaust survivors alive, in compliance with UN resolution 60/7 who "...Urges Member States to develop educational programs that will inculcate future generations the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help prevent future acts of genocide."
At the Capitol of Austin, Texas, the "Traces to Remember" project paid homage to survivor Leon Horn, and a commemorative plaque with his palm-prints, as well as that of his sons and grandchildren was exhibited during the ceremony at the Austin Capitol. In 1943, Mr. Horn was transported to the cruelest camp of the Nazi machinery: the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and as he descended from the train with thousands of Jews he was received by the "Angel of Death", Joseph Mengele.
The event was held at the main roundabout of the legislative precinct, where senators, representatives, diplomats, dignitaries, officers and members of the Jewish community came from cities such as New York, Florida, California, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Brownsville, and Harlingen – as well as members of the board, the Project Council, coordinators and activists from the GEAP.
The executive table consisted of Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., survivor Leon Horn, Executive President of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto, Representative Eddie Lucio III, Assistant Secretary of State Coby Shorter, and the Director of the Brownsville Historical Museum, Maribel Guerrero.
On behalf of the Texas Senate, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. offered the welcome message to those attending the ceremony, noting that the goal of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace – through the project "Traces to Remember" – is to keep the testimony of the victims of this genocide alive and to prevent the recurrence of one of the most sinister chapters in the history of humanity, as well as to educate about the subject of genocide and promote values such as tolerance, respect for life and human dignity. Senator Lucio stressed that:
"It is fundamental that society remember the terrible act of violence on the part of those who have no respect for life."
Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., along with Representative Eddie Lucio III, have endorsed other GEAP projects aimed at promoting the defense of fundamental human rights in the state of Texas, and submitted a resolution to the Senate with the objective to recognize the importance of the project "Traces to Remember" directed by Dr. William Soto.
The Global Ambassador and Activist for Peace, Dr. William Soto, highlighted the objectives of this project and emphasized the importance of education for the prevention of genocide. He also expressed his concern at the alarming growth of anti-Semitism throughout the world, the persecution of Christians and other groups in different countries of the Middle East, for they raise the alarm that calls on us to take preventive action of genocide. To finalize, Dr. Soto said:
"It is a very representative act to present the plaque with the handprints of survivor, Mr. Leon Horn, in this room, because with this act and this plaque, and with our presence, we honor courage, hope and perseverance as legacies for humanity."
A Testimony for Life
For his part, Mr. Horn shared his testimony and moved the entire audience with his memories full of historical facts, which were marked in the minds and hearts of those present, and who were entrusted with transmitting the testimony of this survivor of the Holocaust:
"I witnessed the persecution of the Jewish people. And I want you, illustrious guests, to witness my testimony, and tell your friends and family what you have witnessed and heard today,” said Mr. Horn.
On behalf of the State of Texas, Representative Eddie Lucio, III thanked peace activists, special guests, the general public, and the GEAP for reminding society of the work that needs to be done to promote tolerance, justice and peace, and the actions undertaken for this purpose.
At the end of the program, the photographic exhibition "Holocaust: A Paradigm of Genocide" was presented at the Central Gallery of the Capitol of the City of Austin, Texas, where attendees could learn more about this crime that left universal lessons for present and future generations.