San Lazaro Legislative Palace
Chamber of Deputies of Mexico
The San Lazaro Legislative Palace, the official headquarters of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico, was the stage for the introduction of the project Traces to Remember in this country. Senators, members of the Chamber of Deputies, Ambassadors and Jewish community leaders, were present for the exhibition of the commemorative plaque of Holocaust survivor Hans Peter Katz.
In this context, the Point of Agreement of the Chamber of Deputies was also presented, which establishes the permanent annual commemoration of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in the Legislative Palace.
—Deputy Cristina Ruiz Sandoval, Executive Secretary of the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas, Mexican Delegation—
“The Point of Agreement that is being approved by the Commissions and the Political Coordination Board will work so that the Chamber of Deputies, regardless of legislative or directive changes, be permanently committed to fulfilling Resolution 60/7 of the organization of the United Nations which designated January 27 the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Therefore, year after year, this sovereignty will have a formal event with the purpose of encouraging the principles of peace and humanism in all the people of our country.”
—Dr. William Soto Santiago, Creator of the Project Traces to Remember—
“At first glance, Traces to Remember may seem to be focused on the Shoah and the testimony of the survivor, but in reality, it is a project directed to the entire human race with the purpose of protecting fundamental rights and making every human being an upholder of the life and dignity of every man, woman, and child who lives on this planet earth. This is why, I would like to respectfully propose that, through a congressional law, the Holocaust be included as a subject of study and debate during the last years of school, and as a course and case study in universities.”
—Agustin Barrios Gomez, Federal Deputy—
"But all we have to do is remember the names of Srebrenica, the names of Sudan, the names of Rwanda, Burundi, the names of Syria nowadays, to remember that we are a step away from genocide.”
—Dr. Edmund Duckwitz, Ambassador to Germany in Mexico—
“What happened 70 years ago in Germany and Europe shouldn’t just be history book material, this history must be kept alive, it must be a reminder so that these cruelties and this destruction of spirit and life never happen again.”
—Oscar Elizundia, Technical Secretry of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission—
“Initiatives like the project Traces to Remember and the Point of agreement that has been presented today, here in San Lazaro Palace, allow the memory of the Holocaust to be kept alive. All of us, without exception, have the responsibility and obligation to spread the lessons that these terrible acts left for humanity and optimize our efforts so that people of all towns and nations are always able to enjoy the protection of their rights.”
—Glafiro Salinas Mendiola, Federal Deputy—
“It is our duty as men and women of good not to allow the testimonies and lessons of humanity inflicted by the genocide of millions of people to be lost in time.”
—Ruslan Spirin, Ambassador to Ukraine in Mexico—
“Two of every three families in Ukraine lost a family member, as I did, my grandfather was murdered. We know what this means, what war means. Both of our nations, Mexico knows as well, we know exactly what war is and we say ‘no’ to war. We opt for peace.”
The ceremony also served to remember a Mexican diplomat: Gilberto Bosques Saldivar, who from 1939 to 1944, served as the General Consul of Mexico in France during World War II and helped more than 30,000 people to escape from the Nazis and the threat of the French. Among them, thousands of Jews, Spaniards, French and Lebanese, received Mexican visas and were able to change the course of their lives."
—Laura Bosques, Daughter of Gilberto Bosques—
“Over 70 years ago, a group of Mexican diplomats arranged for the rescuing and salvaging in the midst of the abandonment of World War II, always representing Mexico with dignity. Thank you very much."
Holocaust survivor, Hans Peter Katz was born in Vienna, Austria, on May 19, 1930, the only child of Leo Katz and Margarita Bachruch. He studied at a public school until third grade, when the German invasion of Austria took place on March 13, 1938.
At eight years old, he was forced to separate from his mother and leave Vienna, which was occupied by the Germans. In a transport for children called Kindertransport, organized by the International Red Cross of Geneva, he obtained authorization from the Gestapo and was thus able to reach Belgium and save his life.
At the end of World War II he moved to Mexico where he got married and formed a family.
—Hans Peter Katz, Holocaust Survivor—
“We are people who came between 1940, approximately, (during World War II, in Europe) and 1953, many of whom I was able to meet personally when I arrived here in 1946… and they came thanks to the life-saving visas. A visa was a document that even the Germans respected, so that is why they were ‘life-saving’ visas. The people who were able to come, even during the war after the Spanish Civil War, came thanks to the visas of Mr. Gilberto Bosques”
The unveiling of the plaque gathered personalities from different job fields who were able to meet in the Congress of the Union to pay tribute to all the survivors of the Holocaust through this homage to Peter Katz.