Taiwan has much to learn from Germany and Israel in the pursuit of transitional justice, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday at a ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The commemoration was organized by the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the German Institute Taipei.
Israel’s example of advocating tolerance with reference to Jewish history, and Germany’s honest self-reflection and willingness to take responsibility are worth emulating, Chen said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
“We deeply look forward ... to giving citizens a clearer understanding of the development of human rights in Taiwan and the hardships necessary to strive for and defend human rights, not just to remind ourselves not to repeat the same mistakes, but also to unite and work together,” Chen said.
Taiwan would do its best to continue to stand with the international community in defense of common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, he said.
A 2005 UN resolution designated Jan. 27, the day on which Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp, was liberated in 1945, as the international day to commemorate the genocide in German-occupied Europe of more than 6 million Jews, as well as Roma, disabled people, homosexuals and other groups.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Israel Representative Asher Yarden and German Institute Taipei Director-General Thomas Prinz thanked Taiwan for holding a ceremony for the fourth consecutive year.
Some have questioned the need to commemorate the Holocaust, whether “in innocence” or “with malice,” Yarden said, adding that it is important to honor survivors and recognize the uniqueness of the Holocaust, which “has become an ethical code, a scale according to which every genocide in the modern era is measured.”
Taiwan’s participation made it part of a group that “unequivocally declares its commitment to human rights, to democratic values, to the commemoration of the Holocaust and to the learning of its lessons,” the Israeli envoy said.
Prinz said it was important to “promote a culture of remembrance as a bridge between the past and present,” especially as the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles with each year.
Taiwan’s participation in the ceremony put it among the ranks of other liberal democracies, which are “strong bulwarks against human rights abuses and genocide,” he said.
Earlier in the ceremony, Rabbi Shlomi Tabib of the Taipei Jewish Center delivered a prayer in Hebrew.
A video of Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Co’s (台原偶戲團) 2012 play I Have a Name (我有名字), which depicts the real-life stories of three children in the Netherlands aged one-and-a-half to 15 who were killed during World War II, was also shown during the ceremony.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no