Traces to Remember was presented in Panama on Thursday, November 29, 2013.
The solemn ceremony held at the Plaza Bolivar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attended by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Francisco Alvarez de Soto, the Director of the Embassy of Activists for Peace, William Soto; the Ambassador of Israel to Panama, Alexander Galilee, the Ambassador of Germany to Panama, Hermann Sausen; Holocaust survivor Simon Burstein, members of the Jewish community, diplomats, Directors of the Foreign Ministry, and religious leaders among others.
The objective of the project Traces to Remember is to preserve the testimony of Holocaust survivors, honor the victims of this horrific event in the history of humanity and educate present and future generations so that atrocious acts like these are never repeated again.
The first plaque in Panama was dedicated to the Burstein family.
— Francisco Alvarez de Soto, Deputy Foreign Minister of Panama—
"Without a doubt, Traces to Remember is another tool that offers mankind the efforts of men and women who work to instill in future generations the teachings of such a shameful period, seeking to establish, particularly in youth, the responsibility that every human being has to prevent, and essentially not contribute, to the repetition of a similar event in history.
Our society is characterized by our peaceful coexistence among various ethnic, religious and cultural groups represented here in different nationalities; but above all, we are noted for the mutual respect we have for our differences.”
— Dr. Alexander Galilee, Ambassador of Israel to Panama—
"The testimonies of survivors are invaluable wealth from our history, particularly nowadays, when there are regimes like that of Iran that try to deny the Holocaust and whose ideology is the destruction of the State of Israel."
—Simon Burstein, Holocaust Survivor—
“The testimonies of survivors in extermination camps have been an exact and real reminder of that historic stage that we should never forget; because we, and future generations, should learn from this lesson in order to prevent it from happening again. It is our responsibility.”
—Dr. William Soto Santiago, Global Ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace—
“Today, the campaign Traces to Remember is initiated in Panama; an initiative that seeks to create reflection and increase the participation of everyday citizens in the defense and protection of fundamental rights, especially the right to life; and for the Ministry to be the first to support this, is an additional reason to praise the work of the Panamanian government in the consolidation of the human rights node of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of the universal human rights protection system.
Today we have the privilege of having among us Holocaust survivor Simon Burstein, whose presence is also a testimony to the survival of Israel, the Jewish people."
The Star of David shaped plaque was presented during the event. Engraved in the center were the handprints of 73 year old Holocaust survivor Simon Burnstein, who has lived in Panama since 1982, his son Mordejai Burstein and his grandson Nessin Burstein.
[Unveiling of the plaque]
The Panamanian media embraced the project and emphasized the Ministry’s participation in projects that work in defense of human rights.
The plaque included a description which briefly explains the Shoah and gives a personal account of the story of Simon Burstein, and will be exhibited in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama.