U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fleeing Atrocities: Witness Perspectives Panel Discussion, Feb. 23, 2017

Posted on: February 28th, 2017 by Jessica Unger | Miami, FL

The Alliance for Response-Miami Co-Chair Steve Detwiler attended this panel discussion which was held at Nova Southeastern University’s Miniaci Performing Arts Center in Davie, FL. This event was sponsored by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum and the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. The discussion featured Alfred Munzer a Holocaust survivor and Mouaz Moustafa a Syrian Immigrant and the Executive Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force.

This panel discussion touched on the common themes between the Holocaust and the Syrian Civil War and the crimes against humanity being carried out by the Assad regime and their allies. Both speakers stressed to the audience members when they witness injustice they should speak out and take action. Mr. Munzer recounted how he was saved by an Indonesian family living in the Netherlands who hide and cared for him. When he asked his adopted father why he saved his life his answer was simply “what else could I have done.” Out of Mr. Munzer family, only his mother survived. His older sisters (ages 6 and 8) were murdered at Auschwitz and his father died two months after the war from exhaustion.

Mr. Moustafa talked about how the Syrian Civil War began in a small southern province of the country with parents demanding peacefully that someone in the government be held accountable for the murder of their children. He also recounted the actions of a photographer who worked for the Syrian government and had the responsibility to document the murders committed by Syrian intelligence of men, women and children held in government prisons. He took 50,000 photographs which were smuggled out of Syria and are now under the protection and being preserved by the Holocaust Museum. This effort has been documented at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjCAXyYoByo&feature=youtu.be

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