On Sunday, May 4, 2014 Congregation Agudas Israel invited the public to remember the Holocaust and hear from Mr. Robbie Waisman about his experience as a survivor.   Mr. Waisman was only 10 years old when he was put in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Mr. Robbie Waisman speaking at Congregation Agusdas Israel. May 4, 2014

Mr. Robbie Waisman speaks to Saskatoon students on May 2, 2014.

Reflecting on his experience, he observes that, “Every human tragedy has its own unique context. Our own experience with the Holocaust has taught us that evil must be recognized and that we have a responsibility to ensure that it never happens again – to anyone.  And yet, I must ask, have we learned nothing from the past?  What is the world doing about it now?”   

Of the 8 members of his immediate family, only he and his sister survived.  He notes that, “We, the survivors, did an astonishing thing. We could have responded to being abandoned by the world with anger and resentment, but instead we focused on renewal and rebirth.  We determined that our memories should not remain just a source of private pain – they should become a source of public education in order to make sure that no one’s future should be like our past.”

David Arnot, Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, was recognized for his support of the Jewish community and the promotion of citizenship education for youth in Canada.  Ms. Heather Fenyes and Ms. Jan Gitlin presented Mr. Arnot with the Miklos Kanitz Holocaust & Human Rights Award.  In accepting this honour, he thanked the congregation for their commitment to providing learning opportunities to Saskatoon schools.

Chief Commissioner David Arnot, Heather Fenyes, Jan Gitlin
Ms. Heather Fenyes and Ms. Jan Gitlin presented Chief Commissioner David Arnot (centre) with the Miklos Kanitz Holocaust & Human Rights Award on May 4, 2014.