‘Never Again’ projected on Brazilian congress buildings for Yom Hashoah

Thousands from Jewish communities in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo hold virtual ceremonies to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

Brazil's capital landmark projects a Yom Hashoah message, April 20, 2020. (Roberto Suguinoa/Agencia Senado)
Brazil's capital landmark projects a Yom Hashoah message, April 20, 2020. (Roberto Suguinoa/Agencia Senado)

RIO DE JANEIRO — The words “Holocaust Never Again” followed by “Solidarity Saves Lives” in Portuguese were projected on Brazil’s National Congress buildings to mark Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was the greatest genocide in history, of which as a human being and as a Jew I sympathize and suffer twice. We reinforce it to the world so that we never have to witness a holocaust again,” tweeted the president of the Brazilian Senate, Davi Alcolumbre, the first Jew ever in the role.

It was the third straight year that the green block letters with the Holocaust-related message covered the 300-foot-tall facade of both 28-story twin towers of the Congress, Brasilia’s most famous landmark, for four hours on Monday night. However, it was the first time a second message was added.

“Jews from around the world pay tribute to the memory of Holocaust victims and martyrs. At this time, when humanity is experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, the message of solidarity is even stronger and more necessary,” said Fernando Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, Brazil’s umbrella Jewish organization.

Thousands attended online Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies held by the Jewish federations in both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where three-quarters of the country’s 120,000-strong Jewish community lives.

“The remembrance of the Holocaust can be a powerful educational tool to deal with intolerance of all kinds, so present in today’s times,” Lottenberg added.

“The Jewish community today remembers the victims of the Holocaust. Never forget what intolerance and prejudice can do. After such barbarism, the Jewish people created a great nation. Togetherness, courage and faith in a common destiny can do more than hate, bitterness and resentment. Shalom,” tweeted Supreme Court Minister Luis Roberto Barroso, who is Jewish.

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