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‘Stand up against those who fuel hatred on social media’

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Ms Shant Cooper (inset), Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, speaking at the UN Holocaust Day in Accra
Ms Shant Cooper (inset), Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, speaking at the UN Holocaust Day in Accra

The youth have been urged to treat others equally and use their voices, gifts and talents to promote love among humanity, as well as stand up against those who fuel hatred and prejudice on social media.

The call was made by speakers at a student sensitisation forum that was held in Accra to commemorate the 2019 International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The speakers also called on Ghanaians to respect the rights and dignity of people from all backgrounds.

“We must refrain from judging other persons based on their religion, gender, colour of skin, class and other backgrounds,” they further urged.

Holocaust

The Holocaust, also referred to as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945.

Speakers

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The speakers were the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Shani Cooper-Zubida; a representative of the German Embassy in charge of Culture, Press and Trade, Ms Gudrun Haider; the National Information Officer of the UN Information Centre (UNIC), Mrs Cynthia Prah, and a US-based poet, Ms Cynthia Amoah.

The UN has designated January 27 each year to mark the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a then concentration camp in Poland, as a day for member states to honour the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.

The day that was commemorated on the theme: “Holocaust remembrance: Demand and defend your human rights” aimed at inspiring citizens and leaders worldwide, to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity.

A movie, titled “The Path To Nazi Genocide,” was shown as part of the event.

It examines Nazi rights and power in Nazi Germany and explores the ideology that systematically led to the murder of six million Jews and the torture of others.

Social media

In her welcome address, Mrs Prah advised the youth to promote love among all humanity and denounce hatred, discrimination and prejudice in society.

“No matter where you are coming from and who you are, you must use social media wisely and be very alert about those who use such media to incite hatred, prejudice and discrimination,” she said.

Treat others well

Ms Cooper-Zubida shared a touching experience of her grandmother, named Rachel, who, at the age of six, cruelly endured a lot of suffering, hiding in a suitcase for six months in order to survive the holocaust.

Based on the experience of her grandmother, she advised the youth “never to judge a person by reason of their religion, sex, class and the colour of their skin.

“Always look at the other person as equal to you,” she urged and asked the students to seek to know their family history from their grandparents to enable them to know more about their ancestry.

Human dignity

Ms Haider, who said millions of people were killed, stripped of their human dignity, persecuted, tortured and humiliated in Nazi Germany, said racist ideologies that insulted and disadvantaged others could never be justified.

“Standing by while human rights are violated is unacceptable and will only propagate more violence.

Only if human dignity is respected and solidarity is upheld will our world flourish in peace.

“It is up to you, the young generation, to be courageous and stand up against injustice, to continuously strive for a better world and defend our common humanitarian values,” she charged.

Spread love

For her part, Ms Amoah urged the youth to help spread love and also make use of their gifts and talents to inspire others and change the world.