Delegation of the European Union to Israel

Statement by President von der Leyen ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Brussels, 26/01/2021 - 13:13, UNIQUE ID: 210126_20
Statements on behalf of the EU

On 27 January, we mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and remember the millions of Jewish women, men and children  as well as all other victims, among them hundreds of thousands of Roma and Sinti, murdered during the Holocaust.

Antisemitism led to the Holocaust but, sadly, it did not end with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

I am worried to see more hatred towards Jews again, in Europe and beyond. The times of the pandemic have fuelled a rise of conspiracy theories and disinformation, often promoting antisemitic narratives. We see a worrying rise of Holocaust distortion and denial.

We must never forget.

As memorial sites closed down due to the pandemic, and the number of survivors is dwindling, we need to find new ways to remember.

As conspiracy myths spread on social media, we must educate our young generation against antisemitism.

As disinformation spreads, authorities, social platforms and users need to work together to ensure that historic facts are not distorted – online and offline.

Facts matter. History matters. We are determined to win this fight.

Europe thrives when its Jewish community and other minorities can live in peace and harmony.

This is why we will come forward with a strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in Europe later this year.”

Background

The Commission will put forward a strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in 2021, to support EU countries and civil society in their fight against antisemitism. Holocaust Remembrance will continue to be an essential pillar of efforts to ensure that we never forget our history.

A European legislative framework ensures protection from violence, discrimination and expressions of hostility motivated by antisemitism and criminalises Holocaust denial and distortion across Europe.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Holocaust Remembrance (60/7) designated 27 January as the international commemoration day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. On 27 January 1945 the Allied Forces liberated the concentration and death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The Resolution urges every member nation of the UN to honour the memory of Holocaust victims and encourage the development of educational programs about Holocaust history, to prevent future acts of genocides. It calls for actively preserving Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons.

For More Information

EU activities on combatting antisemitism

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