The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the State of Israel, together with the 26 Embassies of EU Member States present in Israel, remember and pay tribute to the six million Jews who were murdered, on European soil, more than seven decades ago.
We join Jewish communities worldwide in commemorating the individual lives that were lost in the unimaginable tragedy of the Shoah, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters; in cherishing the survivors among us so that their experiences are not forgotten. As Shimon Peres has said: “We are their eyes that remember. We are their voice that cries out.”
We will especially remember the solidarity of Jews who saved other Jews in the Holocaust, embodying solidarity in a disintegrating world, the central theme of Yom Ha’Shoah 2020. We honour the memory of all those who risked their lives and resisted the Nazis and protected or sought to rescue those who were in danger. Their selfless courage should inspire us all to defend the dignity of every human being.
We reiterate our commitment to ensure that Holocaust remembrance and education are based on scientific historical research in order to fight Holocaust denial, distortions and false narratives.
This year, Yom Ha’Shoah occurs at a time of particular challenge for all of us. It is a period in which we are forced to keep our distance physically, but in our hearts and minds unity and togetherness are stronger. For the first time Yom Ha'Shoah will not be commemorated in public. However, we pledge to the victims and survivors that they shall never be forgotten and that their legacy will be kept alive.
The global pandemic we are experiencing today is calling for stronger solidarity and cooperation across the world; it is an opportunity for reflection on the world we wish for our children. In today’s world, antisemitism and racism still persist. Jewish communities all too often live in fear of discrimination and antisemitic attacks. We must constantly remind ourselves that antisemitism affects not only Jews. It undermines the very heart of our democratic societies and threatens our future.
Today, on Yom Ha’Shoah, we reaffirm our responsibility to never forget the lessons of the Holocaust. We will continue to fight antisemitism and hatred in all its forms, and take all measures to prevent evil from prevailing again. The memory of the Holocaust is at the very core of the European project, as demonstrated this year by the unprecedented participation of European leaders at the commemorations in Auschwitz and at the World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Death Camp. It inspires us to protect the values we believe in, and guides us to pursue a society based on equality, inclusiveness and non-discrimination, a society free of hatred in which present and future generations of Jewish Europeans will feel safe.
This is a joint statement agreed by the Ambassador of the European Union to the State of Israel and the Ambassadors of all European Union member states represented in Israel, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.