Human Rights & Democracy

Holocaust Remembrance Day... in memory of those killed for being born

25/01/2019 - 16:50
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Remembrance is an individual and collective responsibility, particularly in times when antisemitism rises again, [...] inside and outside Europe. So, more than ever, we have the duty to 'remain vigilant' against all forms of racism and discrimination, old and new, to react and to act.

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On Holocaust Remembrance Day we remember the systematic attempt by the Nazi regime and its allies to exterminate the Jewish people and other groups – based on their ethnicity, on their beliefs or on sexual orientations.

The European Union has always been and stays engaged against any form of antisemitism, including attempts to condone, justify or trivialise the Holocaust.

In a statement to commemorate the Holocaust, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini quoted an Italian Senator for life and Holocaust survivor, Liliana Segre, who recently said that the memory of the Shoah must help today's Europeans "to reject the temptation of indifference towards the injustice that surrounds us, to remain vigilant, and to be more aware of everyone's responsibility towards the other."

The Holocaust was a turning point in history, which prompted the world to say 'never again'.

"The modern project of European integration was born as a response to World War II and the Shoah," Mogherini reminded.  "The European Union was built primarily on the decision to say 'never again'. We recognised that our continent's diversity is what makes us strong, and preserving diversity became a fundamental goal of our Union – including in our foreign policy."

"Antisemitism – as well as all forms of racism – is an attack against the very foundations of our European Union: it is an attack against all of us," Mogherini concluded.

Rejecting any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 adopted a resolution by consensus condemning all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, whenever they occur.

The resolution declared that the UN would designate 27 January - the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945 - as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

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