An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
The Holocaust and World War Two have defined Europe's modern history like no other event. Our European Union was founded on the desire to say "never again." The Nazi regime and its allies tried to destroy Europe's diversity – by killing Jews, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, people with disabilities, everyone who did not share the Nazi ideology. After this tragedy – the greatest tragedy in human history – we embraced our diversity and made it the foundation of our Union.
But still, 70 years later, antisemitism, discrimination and hate speech are again on the rise in Europe. The best antidote against this madness is knowledge. It is essential that our children learn about the Shoah and visit Auschwitz and other concentration camps, to understand what happened and never let it happen again.
But it is even more important that Jewish culture remains the integral part of our shared European culture it always has been. The history of our European Union is linked to the history of the Jewish people. The European Union could not exist without the memory of the Shoah, and it could not exist without European Jews.
Preserving and transmitting the memory is a duty towards those who lost their lives, and towards our children. Memory cannot only work backwards: it also has to shape our present and our future. The words we say on Holocaust Remembrance Day must translate into policies for every other day. And every day we work with our partners to fight terrorism, antisemitism, xenophobia and hate speech all across our region. We work to preserve not just the memory of the Holocaust, but our continent's cultural and religious diversity. The only way to honour the memory of the Holocaust is to turn remembrance into the promise of a better future.