On January 27, as in previous years, the EU has actively participated in various events marking the International Day of the Victims of the Holocaust, demonstrating the EU's commitment to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.
In collaboration with the Permanent Missions of the Czech Republic and Poland, the EU Delegation unveiled at the Palais des Nations an exhibition entitled "The Family Camp", curated by the Terezin Memorial Museum. The exhibition tells the story of the Terezín Ghetto – infamously exploited by the Nazi regime in 1944 as a "showcase" facility for a Red Cross inspection – and of the so-called "Family Camp" in Birkenau to which a large number of Terezín prisoners were later transferred. It illustrates the brutality of the "Final Solution" policy, while on the other hand depicting the humanity retained, against all odds, by the prisoners. The collection of art on display, including poetry and drawings by the prisoners, many of whom were children, chillingly brings to life the horrors of the Holocaust.
The exhibition opening in the Salle des pas perdus was very well attended: More than 150 guests listened to remarks by EU Ambassador Peter Sorensen, by the Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN as well as by the Permanent Representatives of Poland and of the Czech Republic to the UN.
At the main commemoration event, the now traditional evening concert organised by the United Nations Office jointly with the Mission of Israel, Peter Sorensen, Head of the EU Delegation, emphasized the need to find prejudice, racism and antiseminism in our own time. "The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for. Everyone here shares the same resolve: Never again!"
Mrs Paulette Angel-Rosenberg, a holocaust survivor, provided a gripping testimony of her detention in the deportation camp of Drancy, an antechamber to Auschwitz for the Jews of France.
"In their darkest hours, Jews conducted religious, educational and cultural activities. They practiced their holidays and remembered their traditions. They wrote poetry, novels, and painted. In the midst of destruction, they created. Nazi barbarism failed to extinguish their spirit and their human dignity. To me, this is the definition of courage". In his words, at times deeply personal, the Permanent Representative of Israel commended the spirit and resilience of the Jewish people, reflecting the title of the evening : "Du souvenir à l'avenir".