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Victims of Rwandan Genocide Remembered at Memorial Service

Patrick Lee
Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi lighting candles

  It’s been 20 years since hundreds of thousands were murdered in attacks against the Tutsi people of Rwanda.  They were remembered at a service on Sunday at Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City.

A representative of the Rwandan embassy and survivors of the genocide were asked to tell their stories as part of the service.  As many as a million people were killed in months of attacks by the country’s Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority.

David Sonnenreich is a past president of Congregation Kol Ami, Utah’s largest synagogue.  He says it’s important for Jews in particular not to allow this crime to be forgotten.

“One thing we try to do," Sonnenreich tells KUER, "and this is important to both Holocaust survivors and Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi survivors is to not allow revisionist history to claim the events to be something other than what they were.  It actually took until this year to get the United Nations to actually refer to the genocide as one against the Tutsi minority.”

Sonnenreich says a particularly moving moment in the memorial service came when a group of young Rwandan survivors lit candles in memory of lost loved ones.  Very few in that group now living in Utah have any family left in Africa.

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