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ADL’s 33rd Annual Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program Features Thomas Buergenthal, Holocaust Survivor and Accomplished Jurist

  • May 2, 2014


Nearly 1400 people attended ADL’s 33rd annual Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO.


Keynote speaker Judge Thomas Buergenthal, a Holocaust survivor who endured two labor camps, two death camps and a death march, all before the age of 11, went on to serve as the American Judge on the International Court of Justice and as a Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Judge Buergenthal shared his story of survival as a young boy that he has captured in his book A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy.

Reflecting on the deaths of 1.5 million children in the Holocaust, Judge Buergenthal asked:

How many future Nobel laureates, poets, lawyers, bankers, artists and doctors were lost? How many intellectual riches were lost with the deaths of these 1.5 million children? Each generation must ask whether the world has learned from the terrible mistakes of the past, and be on guard against the forces that would perpetrate another genocide in this world.


Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper spoke about our responsibility to act when confronted by acts of bigotry and hate. Reflecting on his visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, the Governor noted that:

Never again means not any time, not any place… We need to renew our vows to carry the lessons of the Holocaust and take the lead to say that freedom, tolerance and compassion must be the basis of our lives across our cities, our state, and the world.


ADL Regional Director Scott L. Levin asked audience members to honor the survivors present for the Program, as well as the memories of those that did not survive, “by committing yourself to say ‘no’ to bigotry, prejudice and hate.”


The program included a candle-lighting ceremony memorializing Holocaust victims and honoring Holocaust survivors, who attended a special reception in their honor organized by young ADL leaders. A highlight was the presentation of awards to the winners of the Moral Courage Student Essay Contest, who wrote about their heroes in the fight for human rights in many realms.

To learn more about the contest and read the winning essays, click here:



ADL Board Members Daniel Feiner, Andy Gurrentz and Michelle Reiff chaired the program. The event was made possible by the generous support of The Feiner Family Foundation, Michael and Debbie Feiner, MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation and the Curtiss-Lusher Family.