Text version below transcribed directly from audio. Clinton, members of Congress, Ambassador Holbrooke, Excellencies, friends: Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe's beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald. He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart.
Throughout history, world institutions have been built to serve the best interests and welfare of society. Whether ill or well intended, these institutions have, instead, built their future on the misfortunes of others.
It is only through the courage of survivors at home and abroad that society has been forced to look at the harsh realities of institutional abuse.
Society is all too often slow to acknowledge institutional omissions and commissions. The Federation honours the legacy of survivors and victims of institutional child abuse by finding the cause of such horrors and correcting the problems we find to ensure such human tragedies never happen again in any land.
I address you today because of my deep interest in this cause. I am a survivor of institutional abuse.
I am an idealist. I still believe in humanity despite the horrors of my own childhood and the past of so many others. The greatest injustice is the voices of those whose lives were claimed by abuse — people who may never be heard, their stories never told. The aims of International Institutional Child Abuse Memorial Day Service project are to engender acknowledgement for wrongdoings, as well as to create dignity through the healing process.
The unveiling of such abuse does not have to be to the detriment of one organization, group or people.
Such exposure can provide lessons to ensure history does not repeat itself in any land in any time to come. I once read a poem written by a survivor of child abuse.
Her closing words were "to make the darkness sing" I think this is representative of what so many of us are trying to achieve on this issue. Our greatest danger is indifference. In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman.
Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can be creative at times. A person who writes a great poem or a great symphony has done something special for the sake of humanity because that person is angry at the injustice that he or she has witnessed.
But indifference is never creative. Even hatred, at times, may elicit a response. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end.In the summer of , as a teenager in Hungary, Elie Wiesel, along with his father, mother and sisters, were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz extermination camp in occupied Poland.
Mr. President, Mrs. Clinton, members of Congress, Ambassador Holbrooke, Excellencies, friends: Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe's beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald.
He was. "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."--Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No.
4,"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.".
"The Perils of Indifference" is no exception. But in this speech, Wiesel also talked about what it means to be human, and how remaining indifferent to suffering and discrimination endangers not only the lives of the victims, but also the very humanity of the bystanders.
In Elie Wiesel, along with his family, was taken to Auschwitz extermination camp. Nearly all of his family was killed while held and brutalized by Nazis. Wiesel gave a speech at the White House in titled The Perils of Indifference in which he emphasized the danger of apathy.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; The idea for the poem came as she was travelling to attend a ball. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her.