San Salvador - August 2013
San Salvador, El Salvador
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador
Global Embassy of Activists for Peace
—Dr. William Soto Santiago, Global Ambassador of the Embassy of Activists for Peace—
“The story of Mr. Pierre, like that of other survivors of different genocides, should not be regarded as a simple tragic event of the past, but as the latent testimony of a living story filled with valuable lessons for the present and future generations concerning the need to break the silence and counteract anti-Semitism, intolerance, hatred and discrimination.”
With these words, the Global Ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace paid tribute to Holocaust survivor Pierre Wolff, who lost his parents during the persecution of the Nazi regime. He was able to overcome the consequences of this tragedy, raise a family and start a new life in El Salvador.
Mr. Wolff came to this country in 1947 as the legal representative of a European firm, and died last July.
—Pierre Wolff, Holocaust Survivor—
"They came with papers, identification cards that said “Pedro Todosantos”. In French they would call me “Pierre Tousaints”, so I had to get used to it.
In World War II, most of the people were passive; they were not interested in what was happening to the Jews, right?"
The unveiling of Mr. Wolff’s plaque, organized by the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador on August 27, 2013. The event counted with the presence of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Development, Carlos Castaneda; the Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador, Sonia Cortez; the Ambassador of the State of Israel, Shmulik Bass; the Diplomatic Body of El Salvador; UNDP Resident Coordinator, Roberto Valent; the family members of Pierre Wolff and members of the Jewish community in El Salvador.
—Carlos Castaneda, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Development—
"We know that the mission of this project is to acknowledge the legacy of the Holocaust survivors, a painful chapter of world history in which more than 20 million people died, which has definitely left us lessons that we must not forget, on the contrary, we must make them known so that more people become conscious of respect for life, tolerance and peace."
—Shmulik Bass, Ambassador of the State of Israel in El Salvador—
"I have no doubt that as citizens of this world, we must be vigilant so that another Holocaust does not take place, nor any other brutal killing of innocent people. A project like this strengthens one’s faith, that this cannot happen again."
Jacqueline Wolff, the daughter of Pierre Wolff, gave an emotional speech, recalling her late father, a man who, despite the sufferings he endured, never showed resentment, and instilled values in her and her family.
—Jacqueline Wolff, Daughter of Holocaust Survivor Pierre Wolff—
"But it was not until shortly before I was 10 years old that I discovered that my dad was also an exceptional man. It happened on one evening when asked me to sit down with him in the living room, he told me about the day he returned from school to an empty house because his parents had been kidnaped by Germans, to be killed shortly afterwards in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Despite having lived such difficult moments, he was a kind, decent, wise man; a man who loved and respected life. He was a person who never ever instilled hatred and always transmitted love with his words, his smile and his eyes."
[Unveiling of the plaque]
This symbol, which aims to keep alive the memory of Holocaust survivors as a way to prevent a new genocide, will remain in exhibition at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for one month.
Traces to Remember
Pierre Wolff (1925- 2013)