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On Thursday 25 January, the EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret, hosted an event at his residence commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event, in cooperation with the Ben Zvi Institute, highlighted the experience of North African Jews during the time of World War II and the portrayal of this experience in cinema. Members of Knesset, representatives from Yad Vashem, academics, civil society and other Israeli officials attended together with the international diplomatic community.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day designated by the United Nations on 27 January to commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. It is dedicated to remembering the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, as well as Roma, mentally and physically disabled people, and homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It marks the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp.
Additional EU events to commemorate the event take place in Brussels, including the opening of an exhibition on the Righteous among the Nations at the European Commission, training seminar for EU staff training on holocaust remembrance and fundamental rights, screenings of films and a discussion on Holocaust remembrance for the young generation. Knesset Speaker Mr Yuli Edelstein will be attending EU official commemorations in Brussels.
EU Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret said: "It's an honour for me to host this event for the first time as Ambassador of the European Union. The international community marks this day with great respect and sadness. The experience of the North African Jewry during the Holocaust is something which I have learned more about today, and I am thankful to the Ben Zvi Institute for this. Each year there are fewer Holocaust survivors to share first-hand the horrors that took place, so it is up to us to ensure that the world remembers this devastating tragedy. We must remember and never forget. It also reminds us to redouble our efforts to combat anti-Semitism which not only is a threat to Jewish citizens in Europe and elsewhere, but also to the core values and the very identity of the European Union."