Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 22, 2020 - The fifth World Holocaust Forum will take place on January 23, 2020, in Jerusalem, Israel to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This one-time, unprecedented event, hosted by President Mr. Reuven Rivlin at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, will carry the theme, “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism.”  

Forty-five world leaders and Heads of State and their delegations expected. From Tuesday, January 21/ 24 Tevet to Friday 24 January / 27 Tevet, the president will hold a series of bilateral meetings with visiting leaders including HRH Charles The Prince of Wales, the President of the Russian Federation, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, His Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians, and the President of the Italian Republic.

The Governor-General of Australia David Hurley was one of the first to arrive in Israel and to meet with President Rivlin at Beit HaNasi. The president welcomed the Governor-General to Jerusalem, saying, “We deeply appreciate your participation in this historic gathering of world leaders. Our commitment to remembering the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism, racism, and fascism unites us.”

“We remember the important contribution of Australia to the Allied forces." The President said he remembered the Australian soldiers' hats from when his childhood in Jerusalem. "Australia became home to thousands of Holocaust survivors, and a big Jewish community. Israel and Australia share values and a deep partnership,” the president said, adding that he was looking forward to his visit next month.

The Governor-General of Australia thanked the president for his warm welcome and said that his participation was not only a question of Holocaust remembrance but also to declare to the world that we will not allow a tragedy like this to be repeated.

Some 250 invited guests are to arrive at Beit HaNasi for a special dinner on Wednesday evening, and three special areas have been built for the honored guests. Over the last few days, large amounts of material have been delivered to the residence, including 150 steel and wooden beams, hundreds of yards of flooring, 240 items of furniture and 800 candles, as well as hundreds of heaters. Unusual heavy rain has dampened and hindered the extensive preparations. The long list of dignitaries and concerns of security have added to the burden on the Beit HaNasi staff.

A special film, featuring the leaders’ statements supporting the fight against antisemitism was prepared to be screened at tomorrow night’s dinner, based on the letters written 44 heads of state and global leaders that are collected in a unique book published by Yad Vashem and the 5th World Holocaust Forum. 

The historic dinner will be served by 200 waiters and servers and will include typical Israeli dishes that have been specially adapted for the event and will bring the best of Israeli produce to the table.  

Among the leaders whose letters are included in the film are President of the United States Donald J Trump, who was unable to join in person and wrote: “to those who seek the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, I say: never again.”

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany wrote, “the Shoah… [is] a self-inflicted wound that has never entirely healed …It is not only a part of German history but also an awareness that guides us in the present day.”

HRH The Prince of Wales wrote, “We must resolve that the memory of the millions who perished …is passed down to future generations.”

President of Poland Andrej Duda, who is not participating in the events, wrote: “the memory of the Holocaust and the Second World War must be a warning sign for us and for our children.”

The film also includes the words of President Emmanuel Macron of France, who expressed his concern about the rise of antisemitism across Europe, writing “Holocaust survivors, citizens of France and of other states are being persecuted only because they are Jews.”

President Vladimir Putin of Russia called on the leaders of the world to unite in the fight against antisemitism and wrote, “We expect the world to unite their efforts in confronting these threats.”

Pope Francis I also sent a message about how to confront hatred, saying: “We must remain firm in our efforts to advance dialog, mutual understanding, and human fellowship as a basis for peace.”

The Government Press Office and Yad Vashem will be broadcasting the main events live and in multiple languages. They can be viewed on the president’s official Facebook and Youtube pages, as well.