This year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day has a special resonance since it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination Camp.
Those who suffered and perished during the Holocaust must never be forgotten, nor should we forget the daily struggles of the survivors who still carry with them the pain of their experiences, but also the memory that constitutes a lesson for the future generations.
For us in Europe, today’s ceremonies take place in a sobering context. The latest terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, in which four people were murdered, is a grim reminder that violent anti-Semitism is still alive. Seventy years after the Holocaust, there are Jewish communities in Europe that again feel threatened.
So today, more than ever, it is not enough to say “Never again”. We must turn these words into action. Today, more than ever we must inform the generations born after the Holocaust about the terrible events that took place on European soil and educate them to take a stand against anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
In the words of the renowned Italian writer and Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi: “It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness, and yet I think it must be done, because what could be perpetrated yesterday could be attempted again tomorrow, could overwhelm us and our children.”