Opening of The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors Exhibition


Opening Speech by Ambassador Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America

On the Occasion of the Opening of The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors Exhibition at IA&A Hillyer in Washington, D.C.

Speaker: Ambassador Martin Dahinden

Ambassador Martin Dahinden opening the exhibition
Ambassador Martin Dahinden opening the exhibition © Martin Dahinden

It is an honor for me to speak to you today on the occasion of the opening of The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors exhibition in Washington, D.C., here at Hillyer. Please allow me to be very brief in my remarks to give time to two speakers who came to Washington from Switzerland. 

The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors is an exhibition that gives voice to the women and men who built a new life in Switzerland after surviving the Holocaust. The exhibit is one of the projects resulting from our chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which ended last month when we handed over the chairmanship to Italy. The chairmanship provided us with a great opportunity to highlight Switzerland’s contributions to Holocaust remembrance. 

This wonderful and moving exhibit was shown at the United Nations in New York in January and then at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. We are here tonight to open the exhibit in Washington, D.C. The accounts of the witnesses in this exhibition keep the memory of the atrocities of the Holocaust alive. The testimonies raise awareness of the consequences of racism, discrimination, and anti-Semitism. And we hope their stories will help to prevent such crimes against humanity from ever happening again. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Switzerland is committed to ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust lives on and is protected for future generations. Therefore I am delighted that so many of you are here today to bear witness to the stories told by the last Swiss Holocaust survivors. 

My gratitude and thanks go especially to you, Mrs. Anita Winter, and to the Gamaraal Foundation for making this exhibition possible and for allowing us to show it in the United States. Mrs. Winter, I look forward to hearing from you tonight. Before that, I am pleased to give the floor to National Council Member Christa Markwalder. 

Thank you very much.

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