European Jewish Congress
EJC  takes active part in the International Conference
Preserving the Shoah memory
EJC takes active part in the International Conference "Unfinished Justice: Restitution and Remembrance"

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) co-organised and took active part in the International Conference “Unfinished Justice: Restitution and Remembrance”, in the European Parliament.

The conference was conducted under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Antonio Tajani MEP, and organised by the European Alliance for Holocaust Survivors (EAHS), a coalition of Members of the European Parliament committed to issues impacting Holocaust Survivors, in collaboration with the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI), B'nai B'rith International. The conference was as well supported by the Permanent Missions of the State of Israel, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom to the European Union and their respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs. 

Mr Wahnon Martins, EJC Director for EU Affairs, addressed the audience on “Fighting for Justice from a Jewish Perspective” alongside several other speakers: President of the European Parliament, Mr Antonio Tajani, the Israeli Ambassador to the EU, Ambassador Leshno-Yaar, Former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Human Rights Activist, Mr Natan Sharansky, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Nikola Poposki, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Igor Crnadak, MEP Gunnar Hokmark, Chairman of the European Alliance for Holocaust Survivors (ESLI).

Mr. Wahnon Martins reaffirmed the need for a prominent role of the European Union in pushing the Member States for a conclusion on the restitution issues. He focused on the role of the Members of the European Parliament in convening the message with their peers in the National Parliaments, Political Parties and respective Governments to have a final settlement on this matter. He also urged the European Union to commit to provide technical advice and support to assist and monitor various restitution processes in Member States and to encourage the implementation of the Terezin Declaration.

Mr. Antonio Tajani reiterated the urgency to restore justice saying that: “Restitution, together with remembrance and reconciliation, is a fundamental element to restore justice after the Holocaust.” 

Former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Mr Natan Sharansky who was speaking on behalf of the State of Israel, said:  "It is high time that all signatories to the Terezin Declaration take full responsibility to implement their commitments. This is not only an issue for individual states, it is a multilateral European concern." 

Holocaust Survivor, Mr Ben Holfgott, also emphasised the necessity for strong commitment to “a substantial, broad and coordinated programme of restitution which goes some way to recognising the suffering, anguish and torment that occurred directly to those Jews present at the time, and the damage it caused for generations afterwards. There is a moral obligation to the survivors and the dead, to memory and identity, the link of families to their roots and repairing a historic injustice.”

During the Conference, the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) launched a study on Post-Holocaust Restitution in Terezin Declaration Countries.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017
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