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I was born I Paris in 1933. My father, deported in 1942, died in Auschwitz. I was hidden during the war and did not understand why I was forced to wear a yellow star. I was afraid.
Forty years later, I was diagnosed with eye cancer and given no hope for a cure. I found myself confronted by the same wall that I had faced in my childhood, the same powerlessness.
Historians tell me there are similarities between the 1930’s and the 1990’s…
I do not want to be a part of the silent mass that, blinded by its own need for possession, did not see the value of human life. At that point, it requires being a hero to voice disagreement. A hero, I am not.
Perhaps there is still time to create a context that can move the dignity of humanity forward. It is with this intention that our program was created. I believe that our voices, together, can make the difference on the planet, and your voice surely as much as mine!
I love this adventure, at each instant discovering other human beings, creating relationships without the ultimate danger of “it’s either you or me.” I believe that we can find each other, acknowledge each other, and hum the same tune.
Looking ahead to the 21st century, how can we integrate past disasters, and use memory to anticipate the future? To respect the dignity of those who have suffered or died is to remember and also to act, so that what happened never happens again.
Auschwitz is the place for this essential inquiry: 50 years ago… and in 50 years? What decision will I want to have made today to create a different future? I have no other words to express it.
Claire Nuer, Founder
ACC International Institute